Named by Captain Pedro Fages in 1772, this community features the well-known Vasquez Rocks County Park. It is rural and accesses the major 14 Freeway to the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita communities. Large lots attract ranch homes, equestrian amenities, and fabulous views of outstanding geological formations for residents and the filming genre. Agua Dulce also boasts one small Agua Dulce Air Park, which is extensively used for filming and private endeavors.
Canyon Country has carved a unique identity apart from its neighbors to the west. It is the largest of the four primary bedroom communities that make up the City of Santa Clarita. The area started as a collection of rural homes nestled into canyons and smaller communities – Mint Canyon, Tick Canyon, Iron Canyon, Sand Canyon, Whites Canyon, Vasquez Canyon, Soledad Canyon, Honby, Pinetree, Forrest Park, Sulphur Springs, and Solemint Junction. The area south and north of the Santa Clara River was renamed Canyon Country in 1968 by a residents' ballot. Laced with equestrian ranches and large estate homes, Canyon Country is a place to call home. Residents have access to shopping, entertainment, Metrolink train depot, and a library. Beautiful and rural, Canyon Country is home to the new championship golf course Robinson Ranch designed by the famed Jim Robinson and son golf architect/landscape team. Canyon Country has a style all its own.
In 1866, General Beale bought the whole town known as Rancho Castaic and changed its name to Castaic. In 1887 when the Southern Pacific established a depot at Castaic Junction, pioneer families followed. In 1889, the first school was founded. By 1914 when the Old Ridge Route opened, Castaic became a highway stopover with small cafes and vehicle services. Known as a truck stop for many years, Castaic is fast becoming a popular residential community. The most northerly community of the valley, Castaic is located along the I-5 corridor and is best known for its recreational sites in the vicinity of Castaic Lake, part of the California Water project. Castaic Lake offers a variety of outdoor/recreational activities including camping, fishing, boating and wind surfing. Recently, the Valencia Commerce Center was established, strategically placed where the Interstate 5 freeway and Highway 126 intersect; the 1.2 million-square-foot Commerce Center is home to the corporate headquarters of REMO, Inc., ITT, UltraViolet Devices Inc. and a 1,800 employee postal center.
Founded in 1876, Newhall is the oldest and most historic area in Santa Clarita. It was originally an oil, mining and farming community, which has grown to include family homes, senior housing complexes, and the Master's College. This is where the earliest Western movies were filmed and William S. Hart, of the early movie fame, lived and upon his death bequeathed his home and the surrounding property to the county. Presently it is open to the public and has grown to be a real tourist attraction. Gene Autry's famous Melody Ranch, now completely rebuilt, is also situated in Newhall and its new owners encourage location companies to film movies and commercials there. Newhall is presently involved in a redevelopment project to return the area to its original significant historical background and encourage new business to invest in the area; Old Downtown Newhall is emerging as a new thriving venue of shops, theaters, and restaurants.
A small community, which was originally a Southern Pacific railroad stop, Saugus is now home to the Saugus Speedway and Swap Meet, Castaic Lake Water Agency, a large Metrolink Station, and the new City Central Park. One of the older communities within the city limits, Saugus caters to family living with most of its development built along its main thoroughfare, Bouquet Canyon Road, which extends through picturesque hills all the way to the Antelope Valley. This is a popular area with rolling hills and beautiful winding canyons. A recent residents' survey revealed that 70 percent of the homeowners want to maintain Saugus as a bedroom community and not a business-oriented area. Saugus is a great place to live with nationally acclaimed schools, a large Metrolink Station and more!
The newest community in Santa Clarita, Stevenson Ranch is set in the foothills of the Santa Susan Mountains and lies west of the I-5 freeway. Stevenson Ranch consists of 4,000 acres of rolling hills offering a variety of homes designed to meet any pocketbook, from condominiums to large estates. A planned community, it was approved by the county in 1987. The Valencia Marketplace and Stevenson Ranch Shopping Center are new additions to the community as well as an elementary and middle school, chain restaurants, hotels/motels, and the very large Camping World facility. This area backs up to the historic, oil-mining town of Mentryville, founded in 1875.
Valencia is a sensitively planned, intelligently balanced new town that truly offers something for everyone. Following its slogan "A Great Place to Live, Work and Play," Valencia has become one of the most popular areas in Southern California for people to raise their families. Newhall Land has developed Valencia in accordance with a master plan created by legendary planner Victor Gruen in 1965. Rather than focusing on residential development, the community's master plan includes every aspect of life — work, recreation, shopping, medical care, etc. Beautiful residential neighborhoods are companioned with all the ingredients for an outstanding quality of life - excellent schools, houses of worship, neighborhood recreation centers, local and regional parks, childcare centers, and convenient shopping. The community is also home to Valencia Gateway, the largest center for business and technology in Los Angeles County.
Originally called Eureka Villa; Val Verde was developed in a rural mode on land owned by Sydney P. Dones, following the short-lived "Gold Rush" era of the mid 1800's. Once a rural resort and farming area, Val Verde is now home to 800 residents who prefer the quiet of its verdant hills, single market shopping facility, large park with Olympic size pool, and the health services of the Samuel Dixon Medical Center. Val Verde is located just north of State Route 126 and west of Interstate 5.
For a more detailed and extended look at the history of Santa Clarita please visit the Santa Clarita Historical Society at www.scvhs.org
Plenty of towns that dot the California landscape can claim a piece of the state's celebrated history in gold, oil, transportation and filming. Santa Clarita is no exception, but for one thing. In many respects, Santa Clarita is where it all started. Long before there were stagecoach lines, the Santa Clarita Valley was an important crossroads along ancient Indian trade routes. North met south and east met west at a craggy rock formation named, much later, for Bandido Tiburcio Vasquez.
Santa Clarita's topography lent itself to early filming. Silent screen stars like William S. Hart and Tom Mix used the valley to create the traditions that would define the "Western." Santa Clarita's Western roots shaped its ultimate transformation into a vibrant community of safe streets, award-winning schools, new technologies, and thriving industries. More than simple landmarks of yesteryear, today the Hart mansion, Heritage Junction, Mentryville, Vasquez Rocks, and the Placerita Nature Center vividly demonstrate the ways in which the people of Santa Clarita are preserving the past for the benefit of the future.
With its eight diverse communities, Santa Clarita residents are proud of its historic past, growing present, and promising future. The City of Santa Clarita, founded December 15, 1987, is comprised of half of the eight towns and includes Canyon Country, Saugus, Newhall, and Valencia. The remaining four areas of Agua Dulce, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, and Val Verde are part of the unincorporated Los Angeles County called the Santa Clarita Valley.