Happy Birthday to Tom Frew! He’s 29,006…!

The Time Ranger
Time Ranger

Good darn thing these few hundred thousand ponies are trained to stay in place with but a mere clearing of the throat. Think my hand would get tired holding all those reins.

We’ve a most interesting pre-
Thanksgiving trail ride ahead into SCV history, as the French say: dear pals de saddle.

There’s turkey hijacks, a bisected bad man, the day they poisoned every single fish in Lake Hughes and a Signal editorial on “Sex Morons.”

By golly.

We were against them then.

We’re against them now.

Share these suggestions, in this exact order, with your noble steeds: “Giddy” followed by “up …”


Happy birthday to the first person in the SCV n Nov. 28, oh, say, a million years ago when volcanoes were cooling and great dinosaurs paused in their grazing to stare at a distant roar, longtime saddlepal, SCV history expert and really, really, really, really longtime resident Tom Frew was born. Actually, he was born so long ago, it was before there was language and Tom was just called, “Ug.” And no. It’s not short for anything. If you happen to bump into Tom this week, give him some carrion or berries. It’ll bring back fond memories of his Cro-Magnon childhood growing up in Newhall. Happy birthday, amigo!

NOV. 24, 1919

Yup. We used to have a 7th Street 
W.F. Erwin finished grading what was once 7th Street. The new link between Happy Valley and downtown Newhall had been originally cut earlier, but was far too steep for the cars of the day to handle. Making matters worse, the first day they oiled it, cars coming down the decline slid right through the intersection. Erwin and his road crew went back to make the grade less steep and 7th Street was renamed, “Market” an exact century ago. How ‘bout them apples?

And we don’t mean hand buzzers 
Southern California Edison was asking locals to “… give the gift of electricity.” SCE thought that giving the missus electric wiring to her cabin was just the perfect gift that keeps on giving. How do you wrap something like that?

Milch. Milk. Whatever it takes. 
Before phonetics, we had The Mighty Signal. Check out this classified ad from 1919: “FOR SALE — Good young milch cow.” Wonder if it went, “Muuuuuuw …”

NOV. 24, 1929

The answer to the question is: ‘Very carefully.’ he question? How do you chloroform a 120-pound German shepherd? On this date, 90 years ago, Mrs. G.H. Mistler and her very large police dog were beset by crooks. They ran her truck, filled with chickens and turkeys, off the road, drugged her and used a chloroform-soaked rag to subdue her alleged watchdog. Then, they swiped all the poultry.

Not exactly attracting a flock he Mighty Signal got a letter from local pastor, the Rev. H.G.C. Hallock. Hallock was taking a year to be a missionary in China, seeking converts. If anything, Hallock had zeal. In his note back to Newhall, he felt confident he could convert even the “most hardened idolaters” of the old Chinese priesthood. Hallock noted that “the idolaters” weren’t “much impressed with my Message.”

NOV. 24, 1939

Wonder who the heck was Clifton? 
Back on this date, the Saugus Union School District went back to its original name. For about a year, Saugus, for reasons unknown to me, was named, Clifton.

There’s a well-done Thanksgiving bird joke here somewhere …  crowd estimated at about 1,000 stopped along Weldon Canyon to watch a brush fire. Seems a large owl flew into some high-tension lines, became incinerated and started the 12-acre blaze. 

Another bozo hunter story 
Rancher John Witt chased five young trespassing deer hunters from his ranch. The five came back and shot up his hog pen, killing a valuable boar.

NOV. 24, 1949

Fishing on a grand scale ake Hughes was teeming with, well, if not fishermen, people who scoop fish. Seems Fish & Game introduced some rogue species that destroyed the regular fauna. F&G went in, poisoned every fish in the lake and all the creatures were floating on the top, d-e-a-d. The chemical Fish & Game used wasn’t poisonous to humans — much — and folks were crowding the waters, scooping up fish right off the top of the lake. The state game department then replenished Lake Hughes with indigenous fish.

Tim Whyte assures us he didn’t write this he Signal editorial for Thanksgiving week? It was entitled: “SEX MORONS BELONG IN ASYLUMS.” Guess the traditional topic, “ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY BIRD” was too pedestrian.

NOV. 24, 1959

Will we ever stop growing? d Holden, a visiting dignitary from the Regional Planning Commission, told mucky-mucks at a luncheon that the population for the SCV was estimated at about 16,000 — with 20% of that incarcerated in prisons. Interesting note: According to the Newhall Water Co., Newhall had never failed to gain in population every single year since 1920. Holden chillingly predicted that the population of the valley would hit 160,000 by 1980 and that our saturation point would be 250,000. All those who would like the valley to return to 16,000, raise your hands…

Almost sounds Tahitian n this date, the Native Daughters of the Golden West and the state of California officially dedicated a bronze plaque for the old Lyon’s Station at the base of Fremont Pass. In 2019 directions, that would be at Eternal Valley, today.

NOV. 24, 1969 

And while you’re at it, fix the darn valleys!! omeowners at Princess Homes protested their developer for shoddy construction. One picketer carried the sign: “WE WANT THESE DAMN HILLS FIXED!!!” Seems many of the homes started heading south after the torrential rains of 1969. Some of the brand-new homes had to be bulldozed.

And a quarter-pound of Brussels sprouts  guestimation by TMS found that local residents ate 45 tons of turkey over Thanksgiving. The calculation was based on an estimated 6,000 turkeys sold at about 15 pounds each. 

NOV. 24, 1979

Early out-of-control government 
Scott Newhall penned one of his famous front-page editorials, this one entitled: “Send the WLACRCD Maharajahs to Jail.” The lads at the West Los Angeles County Resource Conservation District had been indulging in a lengthy clown show, traveling to unnecessary junkets (like a fact-finding mission to Catalina Island) and traveling first cabin. Every meeting was a pie fight with one member a certified insane person (and on parole for theft) and another openly drinking malt liquor from a can and paper bag during meetings. Mostly, the five men argued about how to spend the $185,000 in their coffers. They drew heat when they decided to buy themselves cars, two bicycles and a $15,000 color Xerox machine. It got even stranger when the group, which did essentially nothing, voted to move their offices to something larger and more comfortable and to hire an interior decorator to design the place.

Well. I can see from the rush of light up ahead we’re back at our particular time warp station. If I don’t see you before Thursday, all y’all have a most wonderful, peaceful and rewarding Thanksgiving. Sure appreciate you SCVianites. Whatdya say? See you first Sunday of December with another exciting Time Ranger adventure? Until then ¡Vayan con Dios, amigos!

John Boston has been writing about SCV history for more than 40 years. Read his historical tome, “Images of America: The Santa Clarita Valley” on Amazon.com. Check out his History of The Mighty Signal series on Saturdays on A1.

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS