History and Historic Sites of the Valley * Then and Now Photos * Lost Crescenta * Rockhaven * Membership
Cradled among chaparral-covered canyons an hour north of downtown Los Angeles lies a remarkable place called the Santa Clarita Valley. The first documented discovery of gold in California actually took place in the Santa Clarita Valley, and not at Sutter's Mill. The state's first oil well and refinery were established in the SCV and the historic linking of Northern and Southern California by rail – which literally prevented California from splitting into two states - also took place in the Valley.
The SCV's rugged hills and canyons later provided the perfect backdrop for hundreds of Westerns when the movie industry was in its infancy, transforming the Valley into the "Old West" in the eyes of the world. Many landmark movies were filmed there, cementing it as a solid piece of Hollywood history.
Kim and E.J. Stephens are lecturers and historians who lead Hollywood history tours in the SCV and throughout Los Angeles.