The SCV is made up of several different micro-communities. Which one is right for you?
Valencia? Stevenson Ranch? Castaic? Canyon Country? Newhall? Saugus? What about Acton and Agua Dulce?
Yes, there are many small communities within the city of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley that, while bonded through cityhood, began as individual and distinct communities within the Santa Clarita Valley.
As a matter of fact, residents, when greeting each other for the first time, will usually acknowledge their residential community. “I live in Saugus.” “Oh really, I live in Valencia now, but used to live in Canyon Country.”
So what is it about these communities, and if you’re considering a move to Santa Clarita, which one is best for you? Let’s take a quick look.
The birth of Santa Clarita
The name “Santa Clarita” was actually coined by Spanish Explorers in 1769 during an expedition through the area. They remarked on how it resembled the Santa Clara Valley in Northern California, only smaller. So, Santa Clarita was named, and of course, it stuck. But Santa Clarita was not the original name of the city that was founded in the late 1800’s by Henry Mayo Newhall. In fact, Saugus was the first official settlement in the Santa Clarita Valley after Newhall purchased the entire valley just after the Civil War. He leased land to the railroad for a dollar per year, and established the first railroad station in the area. Newhall, being from Saugus, Massachusetts, named the town for the place of his birth.
It wasn’t until Henry Mayo Newhall’s untimely death in 1882 that the town of Newhall came into existence. His family wanted to protect his legacy, so they established the Newhall Land & Farming Company (Which is still around today).
Newhall sprung to life as a farming community beginning in the late 19th century, and continued as the population hub of the Santa Clarita Valley until the surrounding areas were established beginning in the mid 20th century. What we consider “Old Town Newhall” now was once the center of activity for shops, restaurants, and movie theaters.
Newhall consists mostly of well established neighborhoods with classic-style homes that were built between the 1940’s and 1970’s. The Happy Valley community just south of Lyons between Wiley Canyon and Newhall Avenue represent a collection of homes that don’t quite fit the modern mold of tract housing. Newhall is also close to the Interstate 5 freeway and the Old Town Newhall Metrolink station.
By the mid 1940’s, with an abundance of GI’s returning from World War II, as well as a baby boom being in full effect, it was determined that housing was desperately needed over the course of a generation to fulfill the booming post-war population. It was then that the County of Los Angeles decided to rezone parts of the Santa Clarita Valley from agriculture to residential, and the first steps toward a “master-planned community” was born. While ground didn’t break on the first homes in the Old Orchard community of Valencia until 1967, plans were underway 20 years prior to lead up to this monumental event. As a master planned community, Valencia would feature many schools that were easily accessible by residents, as well as an innovative “paseo” system that would allow pedestrians and cyclists to traverse the neighborhoods while avoiding street traffic.
These unique qualities were kept in place as Valencia expanded throughout the next few decades, and they are what make this area very desirable.
Coming up in our Part II: the first “tract housing” in the SCV, and how Canyon Country got its name.
The Lichen-Hooper Real Estate Team are your choice for buying or selling homes in the Santa Clarita Valley. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.