|1. Pardee House||4. Mogul Locomotive||7. Kingsburry House|
|2. Newhall Ranch House||5. Mitchell Adobe||8. Callahan Schoolhouse|
|3. Saugus Train Station||6. Edison House||9. Ramona Chapel|
The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society was founded in 1975 as a non-profit corporation to stimulate public interest in the history of the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas, to collect and preserve the stories and artifacts which relate to local history, and to provide educational services to the community. With the increasing destruction of local historic sites, the Society realized that it must rescue, restore and conserve those important or representative structures within the community, or they would be lost forever. As these structures were threatened, they moved to land leased from the County of Los Angeles in William S. Hart Park and Museum in downtown Newhall. Thus came into being the idea of a heritage park, where the community and visitors could enjoy the rich heritage of this unique region of Southern California.
The Society’s first big acquisition was the Saugus Train Station, which Southern Pacific deeded to them in 1980. Monies were raised through a variety of community functions and the Station was moved from its original site. It has since served as the headquarters for the Society and as a museum.
In 1982, the Society was given Mogul Steam Engine 1629, located at Melody Ranch, by Gene Autry. The locomotive now sits on a siding alongside the Saugus Station where it has been joined by a Southern Pacific caboose. Both the locomotive and the caboose ran on the local rail line at one time.
In 1986, the Society took a stand (literally) around the Mitchell Ranch, an Adobe and a Victorian farm house in Sulphur Springs. As the bulldozer approached the farm house, members formed a barricade with Sulphur Springs residents and tried to stop the impending destruction. They were unsuccessful, but as the machinery approached the adobe on the same property, Mother Nature intervened with a swarm of bees coming from within the building. This delay allowed the Society to negotiate with the property owners and retrieve the surviving adobe bricks, removing them to a spot across from the Saugus Station. Today, those bricks are reassembled within the Santa Clarita History Center as the Mitchell Schoolhouse Adobe.
Six other buildings have since been moved to the Santa Clarita History Center. All are in various stages of restoration, each has a project manager, and people interested in learning about restoration and working on the structures are always welcome to contact them.
To further its objective of education, provides guest speakers for clubs and school groups, gives tours of the Santa Clarita History Center and holds events including an annual tour of the St. Francis Dam Disaster site, and is preparing to open a brand new museum of local history in 2023.