Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Stolen Brass Plaque Replaced at Oak of Golden Dreams.

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Plaque Marking First Gold Find Rededicated.

Newhall, July 13. — After nearly four years of kicking around as a bit of scrap brass, the plaque marking the spot where gold first was discovered in California was replaced today under the oak of golden dreams in Placeritas Canyon five miles from here, set firmly in a stout stone monument.

The tablet was rededicated by pioneer relatives of Don Francisco Lopez, who is credited with discovering the first gold ever found in the State on March 9, 1842.

Club Assists.

Aiding in the dedication ceremony high in the peaceful canyon were members of the Newhall-Saugus Kiwanis Club, the Ramona Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, and other Newhall organizations, under sponsorship of the Newhall Chamber of Commerce.

Principal speaker was Marco Newmark, president of the California History and Landmarks Association.

Also on the program were Mrs. Isabel Lopez de Fages and Mrs. Louisa McAlenan. Both are direct relatives of Don Francisco who, according to the historic accounts, discovered a gold nugget [sic: flakes] imbedded in roots of a wild onion he plucked when resting on the spot beneath a huge oak tree.

Plaques Stolen.

This plaque, according to Dr. S[arah] L. Murray, president of the Newhall chamber, is the third such marker to be placed at the historic site.

All tablets have been stolen by vandals, and the present battered plate was recovered by a Ridge Route truck driver who noticed it beside the highway.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam, 2017.

• California Gold
• Lopez Discovery
• Placerita Post-Lopez
• San Francisquito
• Oak/Dream Dedication 1930
• Oak/Dream



Correspondence Re: Park Creation 1940s


Run-Up to Park Formation 1940s


Stolen Plaque Replaced 1941


Park's First 40 Acres 1949


Park Dedication 1956


Pageant 1959 x2




Rudy Pavini's Murals (Dedicated 1976)


2004 x2

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