The Path and the Players

Henry Mayo Newhall

The Five Newhall Sons

Newhall Land and Farming Co.

Henry had a dream for his beautiful Rancho San Francisco. In his Last Will and Testament, he made it clear that this land would stay in his family.


The five Newhall Sons took over the estate of Henry upon his death in 1882.  Through crisis after crisis they were still able to maintain the land and continue moving forward.

Newhall Land and Farming Co. was established in 1883 to run the estate of Henry Newhall.  Through serious business management efforts in the early 1930’s, NLF set upon a path to make effective use of the land through the creation of “Valencia”, continuing Henry’s dream.

Key Dates

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The History of Newhall Ranch


1630 - Family Immigrated to America


Two Newhall brothers arrived at Lynn, MA from England in 1630. The next 7 generations stayed in Lynn, MA until Henry’s father Jonathan met and married Henry’s mother Hannah Oatman in Saugus, MA.  That is where they settled and where Henry was born.  Henry was the first of his family to leave for bigger and better things.

1825 - Born

On May 13, 1825, Henry Mayo Newhall was born in Saugus, MA.  Henry was the 5th of 9 children of his family.  The family made shoes in the winter and farmed in the summer.  Henry was the first in 7 generations to set off for distant lands in search of adventure and something new.

1838 - Cabin Boy

He started traveling at the age of 13.  Signed on to work as a cabin boy on a ship in Boston that was headed to the Philippines. It may possibly have been his grandfather’s ship but that is only speculation.  The trip from Boston to the Philippines was almost 17,000 miles ONE WAY.  I can’t even imagine that for a 13 year old boy.  That definitely says something for Henry’s spirit for sure!

While sailing, Henry broke both legs after falling from a high mast but was able to convince the Captain to keep him on until they got back to Boston.  He went back home to Saugus, MA to heal. Enough of the sea for him.

1840 - Surveyor

In the spring of 1840 Henry left home again in search of work away from his family.  He ended up working as a chain holder for a survey company in New York.  They were laying the route for a train from New York to Philadelphia.

When the surveyor line reached Philadelphia, he got a job at an auction house Myers, Claghorn and CO. as a clerk.  His tenacity, hard work and cheerful disposition eventually landed him a job as an auctioneer.

1843 - Newhall and Baker Opened

While working at Myers, Claghorn and Co., Henry had an offer from the owner of an auction house in Mobile, AL with an opportunity to invest and become a partner if he would move south to Tennessee, which he gladly accepted.  Eventually, the partnership he had been promised, was awarded to the son of the owner.

Disappointed and angry at being cheated out of the partnership by the owner, he moved to Pulaski, GA and opened Newhall and Baker, Auctioneers.  By this time Henry had 10 years in the Auction business and was a master Auctioneer.  He later moved the firm to Nashville, TN.   Newhall and Baker also worked as a pawn shop and merchant bankers

1845 - Moved Newhall and Baker

Newhall and Baker, Auctioneers moved to in Nashville TN.  They bought goods wholesale and auctioned them off to retail merchants.  They also worked as pawn merchants.

1849 - ONE

1849 - Married

While in Tennessee, Henry traveled to Clarksville in search of auction merchandise.  While there he met and eventually married Sarah Ann White on October 15, 1849.

The White family was fairly new to America, having recently immigrated from Ireland.  William White, Sarah Ann’s father, was the first of his line to be born in America. He was born in 1800 in New Jersey.  In 1831, the White family moved to Clarksville, TN.


1849 - TWO

1849 - Goodbye to His Bride

THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH started.  Having only been married for a few weeks, Henry, wanting to be part of the gold rush, sold his part of Newhall and Baker Auctioneers to his partner for $8,000 to raise capital to go to California.  He said goodbye to his bride and went off with a group of men that pooled their funds to travel to San Francisco to participate in the gold rush.

Map of Gold Rush Travels

1850 - In Search of GOLD

The quickest way to California from Tennessee was via Panama. In late 1849, the group of friends boarded a ship called “Panama” at New Orleans, then crossed the Isthmus by canoe and made it up the Chagres River. They then went by mule back to Panama City.

Henry had fallen ill and was unable to continue to travel. When their names were called to go on the ship to San Francisco, his friends unfortunately went on without him, but he understood. It was not until June 17, 1850 that he was finally able to travel and boarded Pacific Mail Steamship Company steamer ship named “PANAMA” and made it to San Francisco on July 6, 1850.

He then bought a ticket to get down to Stockton to work in the Douglas Flat area. A few months later cold and broke he returned to Stockton where he auctioned off his clothes to make enough money to return to San Francisco in order to get a ticket back home to TN. He made $300 for his clothes. He paid $16 for his ticket back to San Francisco.

1850 - Back to San Francisco

After purchasing his ticket to SF, he noticed four boxes of assorted dry goods had split open and were laying aside. He bought the boxes and took them with him to San Francisco. He met with John Collins, Auctioneer and asked to borrow his auction block to sell his goods from the broken boxes in exchange for a 25% cut.

Henry made a handsome profit and he went to buy a steamship ticket to the east coast for $125 to go home to his bride. While waiting for his ship to sail he wanted to work temporarily and approached Almer Hall of Hall and Martin Company, Auctioneers. Mr. Hall ended up offering him a job as an auctioneer for $300 a month. From there on forward the company advertised “Hall and Martin, H.M. Newhall, Auctioneer”.

Henry live in San Francisco for the rest of his life.

MAP - Henry's Travels

The map below are the places Henry traveled beginning as a young boy at the age of 13 until he reached San Francisco at the age of 22.

Keep in mind that in the early 1800’s there was horseback, covered wagons and sailing ships… and that’s it. Think about the miles he traveled and the hardship he endured to do it all. It really speaks to his spirit and tenacity.  Putting this together I found it to be very thought provoking!  I kept thinking that he was so young during most of his travels.  As a mother and grandmother, it just baffles my mind thinking about it.

The Google map below is interactive.  If you click on the box in the top right corner of the map, it will make it a full page and you can get the full scope of his travels.  Enjoy

1. Saugus, MA

HOME  –   He left home at the age of 13


2. Boston, MA

Caught a ship and sailed to the Philippines as a cabin boy


3. Philippines  

Broke both legs falling from a tall mast on the ship.  That was enough Sea for Henry.


4. Saugus, MA  

Went home to heal.


5. New York, NY  

Found work as surveyor for a train route to Philadelphia, PA.


6. Philadelphia, PA

Met up with his uncle. Worked as a grocery clerk and then Myers, Claghorn & Co. Auctioneers.


7. Tennessee  

Worked as auctioneer with the potential of a partnership.  The man’s son was named partner instead.


8. Pulaski, GA

Opened his own auction house with a partner – NEWHALL and BAKER, Auctioneers


9. Nashville, TN            

Moved NEWHALL and BAKER to Nashville, TN


10. Clarksville, TN       

Met his wife Sarah Ann White.  Married her on October 15, 1849.  Left after a few weeks to Gold Rush.


11. New Orleans, LA

Left Clarksville to go join the San Francisco GOLD RUSH.  Sailed to Panama on the “Panama” sailing ship.


12. Panama                     

Arrived in Port of Panama on his way to San Francisco.


13. Chagres River          

Went by mule through the Panama jungle and then canoed up the Chagres River to get to Panama City.


14. Panama City             

Sailed to San Francisco


15. San Francisco, CA   

Arrived on July 5, 1850


16. Stockton, CA            

Sailed from San Francisco to Stockton, CA to get to Douglas Flat to the gold mines.


17. Douglas Flat, CA      

For a few months he tried to mine gold, but was unsuccessful.


18. Stockton, CA            

Went back to Stockton to sail to San Francisco.


19. San Francisco, CA   

Went to work with Hall and Martin Auction House.


20. San Francisco, CA    

HOME – Starting at the age of 22, he forever called San Francisco his home.

Fire - ONE

1851 - Hall and Martin - Fire One


During a big fire in San Francisco, Hall and Martin’ warehouse burned to the ground. During the rebuild Mr. Martin decided to return home and sold Henry his share of the business. Company was relocated to the intersection of Commercial and Sansome Streets. (309-313 Sansome Street)

Article – FOUND SF

Fire - TWO

1851 - Hall and Martin - Fire Two

Weeks later when another fire destroyed their company again, Mr. Hall decided to sell his half of the company to Henry as well. Henry was now the sole proprietor of Hall, Martin & Company which the following year he changed the name to H. M. Newhall and Company.

1851 - Henry Gregory joins Newhall

Henry Gregory became his right-hand man and was made a partner in 1853. The Newhall’s first son was named after him.

1852 - Beale St. Home

In 1852, Henry bought a lot and built a house at 334 Beale Street on Rincon Hill in the South Park district of San Francisco, overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

1852 - Henry Reclaims Bride

Henry left his partner, Henry Gregory in charge and went to get his wife in TN.  He of course had to go back through Panama to get to her.

Miraculously, Sarah Ann had decided to join Henry in California and their paths crossed accidentally on the Isthmus of Panama. They turned around together and went back to Saugus to visit Henry’s family.

From there they went on to New York to visit Merchants to arrange for them to export goods to CA for Henry’s business.  Done with their family and business travels, they traveled together to their new home in San Francisco.

1853 - White Family joins Newhalls

Sarah Ann was very happy to finally be with her husband after such a long absence.  It was certainly worth it however.  She loved her home but missed her family. 

Henry and Sarah Ann decided to invite her family to come live with them permanently if they wanted to.  Her father William, mother Jane and 2 sisters, Margery and Margaret moved from Clarksville, TN to join the Newhalls in their new home in California.  They arrived just in time to be there for the birth of Henry and Sarah Ann’s first son, Henry Gregory Newhall.

The Whites lived the rest of their lives with Henry and the boys in San Francisco.

1853 - First Son is Born

Their first son Henry Gregory Newhall is born.

1855 - Second Son is Born

Their second son, William Mayo Newhall is born.

1856 - Third Son is Born

Their third son, Edwin White Newhall is born.

1857 - Gilbert Palache Joins Newhall

Gilbert Palache joined H.M. Newhall and Co. and became a lifelong partner. In 1857 Gilbert married Margery White, Henry’s sister in law and became his brother-in-law.

1857 - Bad Debt Makes Millions

Henry co-signed a note for $90,000 for a friend. When the note came due the friend was unable to pay. Instead the friend gave him a one-third interest in the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad Company. The company collapsed in June 1860.

Henry’s investment was lost, but it made him more determined than ever to make a railroad route out of San Francisco happen.  That made him millions!

1857 - Henry Builds His Mansion

With the family growing, Henry bought almost half of a city block and built a new, bigger home at the southwest corner of 1299 Van Ness Avenue (corner of Sutter Street).


1858 - Sarah Ann and Fourth Son Died in Childbirth

Henry’s fourth son and Sarah Ann both died in childbirth. The White family stayed with him to help look after the children. Margaret Jane White (Sarah Ann’s sister) was in charge of the children.

1859 - Henry Married Margaret, Sarah's Sister

A year later, Henry married Margaret Jane White, Sarah Ann’s younger sister.

1860 - H.M Newhall Co Expands into Insurance

H.M. Newhall and Co. went from auctioneer to wholesaler and also into insurance. Profits were substantial

1861 - Fourth Son Born

Henry and Margaret had his fourth and her first son, Walter Scott Newhall.

1861 - San Francisco and San Jose Railroad CO Created

Voters approved funds to purchase railroad stock. Henry started organizing and when the second San Francisco and San Jose Railroad Company was organized, Henry was elected Vice President.

1863 - Fifth Son Born

Henry and Margaret had Henry’s fifth and her second son, George Almer Newhall.

1864 - Henry Becomes Railroad President

The tracks in the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad company had been laid all the way to San Jose. Because of political issues Henry and two partners bought up all the stock in the Company and Henry became President of the Company.

1865 - The California - Locomotive was Built

Henry ordered the first heavy locomotive to be built in California. The “California” as it was known, set a speed record west of the Rockies of sixty-seven miles per hour.

1867 - Started Another Railroad Company

Newhall and partners started Santa Clara and Pajaro Valley Railroad Company to go to Gilroy, CA. It was complete in 1869

1870 - Another Railroad Company - Made them $$$ for Doing Nothing

Henry and partners established the California Southern Railroad Company but never laid a tie. The Central Pacific merged with several smaller railroad companies and became the Southern Pacific Railroad and offered to purchase the “franchise rights” to their new company.

Henry and his partners sold their shares in the railroad for $1,250,000 each. That ended Henry’s 10-year span in the railroad business.

1871 - Rancho El Piojo Purchased

He purchased Rancho El Piojo  – 13,300 acres –  in Monterey County for $70,000.


Map of the Ranchos Henry purchased from 1870 to 1875

1872 - Rancho San Miguelito Purchased

Henry purchased Rancho San Miguelito – 22,135 acres – for $166,000.

1875 - Rancho San Francisco Purchased

1875 Henry purchased 46,000 acres known as the Rancho San Francisco for $90,000.  He was told about the property by a friend Jose Manuel Soto.  Soto had wanted to purchase it himself, but was strapped for cash.  He suggested to Henry that Henry buy it and reserved the right to purchase part of the Rancho San Francisco at the original purchase price, but was never able to come up with the cash to do so..  To see these maps much larger and get the full story of the Rancho San Francisco…  CLICK HERE

This is the original property map of the Spanish land grant Rancho San Francisco.

I took the above map, along with my Los Angeles and Ventura County Thomas Guides and was able to put together a map based on what part of Santa Clarita was part of the original land grant.  Many thanks to my dear real estate colleague, Janis Stonerook from Realty Executives, Agua Dulce, CA for help with this puzzle.  She is the land map expert from Santa Clarita to Palmdale.

1875 - Rancho Santa Rita Acquired via a Mortgage Foreclosure

In the early 1870’s Henry loaned money to Jose Manuel Soto in the form of a short term mortgage to keep him going after the drought killed practically all of his sheep and cattle.  Unfortunately the drought continued and Soto was not able to pay his debt to Henry.   Henry foreclosed and acquired 1700 acres of the Rancho Santa Rita.

1875 - El Rancho Suey Purchased

1875 Henry purchased 48,000 acres known as the El Rancho Suey for $150,000.

1876 - Town of Newhall Named for Henry

  • Henry deeded 426 acres to the Southern Pacific Railroad asking only in return that it name the town after him.  (NOTE:  The original town of Newhall and the Newhall train station was actually located around the Bouquet Canyon and Soledad Canyon junction.)


  • Newhall School District was established and Newhall Elementary school was built on 9th and Walnut St.  A 2-story wood bldg. which burned down twice.


  • 1876 Pioneer Oil Refinery was built and still stands on Pine Street.  It is said to be the oldest surviving refinery in the world.


  • You could now travel 400 miles by train all the way from Rancho San Francisco to the city of San Francisco.


1878 - Town of Newhall Moved

  • Henry decided to move the town of Newhall, which had been located around the intersection of Bouquet Canyon and Soledad Canyon, about 3 miles south because he couldn’t sell property because of the wind and sandstorms.


  • Originally called “Old Town”, it would later be named Saugus after his birthplace in Saugus, MA..


  • Town of Newhall consists of the Southern Hotel and a surrounding park but it would grow and grow quickly.

1879 - Rancho Todos Santos Purchased

In 1879 Henry purchased cattle from Robert Conway and he threw in his share (1/12 = 1,500 acres) of the Rancho Todos Santos as well.  Shortly thereafter, the other 11 share holders of the Todos Santos, sold Henry all the other shares of the Ranch totaling 5,500 acres with one condition – that title not be transferred until the death of their mother.  They did allow him the use of the property in the meantime to graze his cattle.

1880 - New Newhall Streets

  • Henry’s “new” Newhall had all of its streets named after streets in Philadelphia, PA where he first achieved success.  The streets were named Race, Arch, Chestnut, Walnut, Market, Spruce and Pine.


  • Newhall’s main square faced Railroad Avenue between Market St. and Eighth Street. Railroad avenue was also known as “Main Street” in the 1880’s.

1882 - Henry Mayo Newhall Died

HM Newhall died –  Inflicted with food poisoning when in New York and then shortly after that, having not recovered from the food poisoning, he was again injured when his horse tumbled and fell off while riding leisurely on the Rancho San Francisco.

Henry was sent by train back to San Francisco to recuperate.  He died a few days later. He was buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in San Francisco.

Henry’s will left $3 million to his wife and sons.  His specific request was that his wife be given the homestead, furniture, watches and jewelry, carriage and horses and money to support her for the rest of her life.  The other holdings would be distributed equally and all debts be covered “without sales of real estate.”

1883 - Newhall Land and Farming Co. Formed

  •  Newhall Land and Farming Company established.  Sons Henry and William “Mayo” were elected president and vice president respectively.  Gilbert Palache was secretary.  H.M. Newhall & Co. was appointed treasurer.


  • Newhall Sons & Co opened to continue with the auction business.  The business, run by sons Edwin and Walter, faltered because of the development of communications and commerce.  It was heavily in debt and closed within two years.

This is a picture of the original Stock certificate issued when Newhall Land and Farming Co was formed.

1887 - Saugus Train Station / Saugus Cafe

Southern Pacific Railroad finished its line to Ventura which required it running the entire length of the Rancho San Francisco.

After continuing to live lavish lifestyles after the death of their father, the families of the 5 sons put an increasing burden on the company.  Thinking of the Ranchos a financial, against their father’s wishes, the family to sell two of the Ranchos.  Fortunately, none of them sold at that time.

When the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its line, a railroad station was built in “Old Town” (formerly Newhall before it moved) and was re-named “SAUGUS” which was Henry Mayo Newhall’s birthplace.

This is the Saugus Train Station.  It was located on Railroad Avenue, just across from the Saugus Cafe’.


The Saugus Café back in it’s day! You can see the train station above the “traffic” on the left side.

1889 - Henry Gregory Steps Down as President of NLF

Son Henry’s acting presidency ended when he suffered financial setbacks.  He sold some of his stock in the company to other family members and moved to Europe with his wife and three-year-old daughter.  While he held the title of president for 4 more years, he was not actively involved in the day to day operations.

Walter took over Henry’s role as manager of the Rancho San Francisco.

1890 - Edwin and George Buy H.M.Newhall & Co.

Edwin and brother George bought out the other 3 brothers from H.M. Newhall & Co.  They made that their main business while the other 3 boys ran the ranches.

1893 - Walter Succeeded Henry in Newhall Ranch

Walter succeeded Henry as manager of Rancho San Francisco now known as Newhall Ranch.  This is the town of Newhall in the late 1800’s.  This is Railroad Avenue, also known as Main Street sometimes.

1894 - William Mayo Newhall President NLF

William “MAYO” was elected president of NLF.

1895 - Henry Returns from Europe

Henry returned from Europe with his wife and was appointed engineer and surveyor for the company.

He surveyed the borders of all the ranches and mapped the irrigable fields on the Suey, Piojo and San Francisco ranches.


1899 - Newhall Oil and Development Co. Formed

  • Newhall Land and Farming created it first subsidiary, The Newhall Oil and Development Company.  The western end of the ranch was then leased to oil companies to drill for oil, however none ever did. A nice income was generated from the leases.

1900 - Newhall Ranch Listed for Sale

During the last years of the nineteenth century, following the panic of 1893, the nation as a whole was in an economic slump.  Farmers and cattlemen were desperate.  NLF decreased its dividends from 1891 to 1895, then stopped paying them altogether.

On July 5, 1900, with no relief in sight, the board of directors of NLF voted to sell the Rancho San Francisco.  Walter was selected to negotiate the sale.  It was listed, all 45,000 acres for $750,000.  Buyers were acquired but the sale fell through.

NLF borrowed $70,000 from private money lenders to stay afloat for a while..  Directors then voted to sell any or all of the land belonging to the company.  They then borrowed an additional $38,000 from banks in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.



1901 - Margaret Jane Newhall Died

Margaret White Newhall died. Her estate was put into a new company and called the “White Investment Company”. It appears that the income generated from the newly formed company was enough to carry the company financially for a while. Because of that, they decided not to sell the Ranchos and took them off the market.

I find it interesting how things happen in life.

1903 - Henry Gregory Newhall Died

Henry Gregory Newhall died. His wife and three surviving children left CA permanently and spent time in England and New York. They had no further connection with the company from that time forward other than receiving dividends from his estate.

1904 - Funds Tight Again - Close Down Newhall Ranch

Business was going badly for NLF. Directors instructed the secretary to write to Walter to close up Shop on the Rancho San Francisco, now known as Newhall Ranch because it was costing too much money to maintain.



It is a beautiful property for sure!

1906 - San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

April 18, 1906, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the city of San Francisco.  The earthquake was followed by major fires that destroyed 80% of the city and killed over 3,000 people.

Luckily, Edwin Jr’s Pacific Avenue home was spared.  The H.M Newhall and Co was not so lucky as it burned to the ground so Edwin put up a sign that the company would be run from his home.  However, before it burned an employee was able to secure all the records.  Within just a few months the company was back up and running in temporary headquarters.  Edwin also housed other employees and friends who had lost their homes in the fire.

1906 - Walter Scott Newhall Died

On Christmas Day, 1906, Walter Scott Newhall died.

He had not been feeling well and decided to go to Europe with his wife to recuperate.  He was only in Europe for a short time when his doctors advised him to return home.  He died a few days later.

Walter’s estate was left to his wife and upon her passing, since they had no children of their own, would be distributed between his 13 nieces and nephews.

1906 - The Third Generation Steps Up to NLF

In 1906, George Almer was President, William Mayo was Vice President and general manager and Edwin was Secretary.  Edwin’s two sons, Almer and Edwin Jr got involved in the workings of the ranch.  According to Ruth Newhall, “of all the next generation, only Edwin Jr, was interested in being involved with the company.  At the time she wrote her book “The Newhall Ranch”,  in 1958, Edwin Jr. had been with the company for 53 years.

1908 - Owens Aqueduct Easement Agreement

Agreed to an Easement for the Owens Valley aqueduct which allowed the St. Francis Dam to be built.

1912 - Citrus Grows on Newhall Ranch

Started the orange and lemon groves on the western end of the property.


1915 - Edwin White Newhall Died

  • Edwin W. Newhall died in 1915
  • William Mayo Jr. elected fifth member of the board.
  • The third generation was now in a majority on the board of directors.

1920 - Crops, Cattle and Leases Sustained NLF

Crops and Cattle were the mainstay of the company during this time.  There were also mineral leases for oil that helped. Unfortunately it was not enough to support the growing families of the Newhall sons who had positions of “community leadership” to maintain.

The civic and social activities called for a comfortable manner of living and uninterrupted contributions of time and money to community and welfare projects.  When funds fell short, they went to the inheritance left by their father.


1922 - Piojo and San Miguelito Sold

Portions of The Piojo and San Miguelito Ranches were sold to William Randolph Hurst to bring cash to the struggling company.

1924 - Arthur Chesebrough Joins NLF

William Mayo’s son, William Mayo Jr. divorced and decided to leave the company to work in the Diplomatic service in China. Mayo Sr. replaced him with his youngest daughter’s husband, Arthur Chesebrough. Life seemed to be good during the 20’s

1928 - St. Francis Dam Disaster

St. Francis Dam burst, drowning over 400 people. It destroyed a huge part of Rancho San Francisco as it came out of San Francisquito Canyon and ran 15 miles through Rancho San Francisco and out to the ocean. It made much of the ground on Rancho San Francisco unusable for crops because of the mud and silt that now covered much of the property. The county of Los Angeles agreed to a settlement of over $750,000 but didn’t pay it out for almost 2 years. The name of Rancho San Francisco was officially changed to NEWHALL RANCH.

The path of destruction of the St. Francis Dam through Newhall Ranch.


1929 - Stock Market Crash / George Almer Newhall Died

  • Stock market crash – The great depression started 1929
  • George Newhall Died – treasurer of the company.
  • He died just a few weeks after the crash of the stock market.
  • The stock market crash and George Newhall’s improper management of the finances of the company pushed the company to near bankruptcy.

1930 - Atholl McBean to the Rescue

  • William Mayo asks his son in law, Atholl McBean to help him determine the financial damage the company suffered at the hands of his brother George.
  • Mayo and Atholl discovered the company was almost bankrupt.
  • The Newhall’s and The Newhall Land and Farming Company was almost over $3 million dollars in debt through George’s living extravagance.
  • He also crushed his nephew Almer’s financial wellbeing because they were partners in many companies and investments.

1930 - No Selling Out for NLF

The family wanted to sell out but Atholl McBean managed to bring the company back through smart investments and cost controls.  He ran the company like a company and it began to prosper almost immediately.  He borrowed $250,000 to keep the company afloat, discontinued ALL dividend payouts to the family, tightened the purse strings and moved his company into the future.

He was not a popular man with the families to say the least.  Eventually he took on hero status for being able to salvage what was left and eventually turn a profit.

Atholl McBean

1930 - Dam Disaster and Hearst Pymt Keep NLF Afloat

He received payment of $737,039 from Dam Disaster to bring liquidity to the struggling company.  They also received the final payment from William Hearst for the land they sold him.  Things were looking up financially.

1933 - Highway 99 Opens

Highway 99 Opens 1933.  It ran straight through the center of Newhall Ranch.


1936 - Barnsdall Strikes Oil

Oil was struck by a lessee on NEWHALL RANCH, Barnsdall Oil Company. The major discovery was 44 producing wells which brought significant cash flow to the company.


NLF sold Rancho El Piojo and Rancho San Miguelito to the US War Department to create a troop training facility known as the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation.


California’s Tax Rate changed (temporarily as it turns out) but the NEWHALL RANCH was taxed at its “highest and best use” which was for residential instead of farming and cattle. That created the incentive for Newhall Land and Farm to go into the land development business to build houses.


Christmas lunch with Atholl McBean with 30 members of the Newhall family. He offered a toast to Fifth generation: the fifteen young Newhall’s ranging in age from three to seventeen. He inspired Ruth Waldo Newhall to write the History of the Newhall Family.


The city of Valencia is in the planning stages.


  • The first buyer of brand new Valencia home closed escrow.
  • Many more followed and the new beautiful town of VALENCIA is still thriving 50 years later.
  • McBean retires and turns company over to non family members.
Newhall Land and Farming Co. went public


Interstate 5 opened


Magic Mountain opens


Santa Clarita becomes a city.


Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital opens


Magic Mountain sold to Six Flags Company


Begin to lease for movie and television filming


Saugus Train Station closed and moved to SCV Historical Society “Heritage Junction”


Cityhood for Santa Clarita


Newhall House moved off Magic Mountain property and moved to “Heritage Junction”


Valencia town mall opened


  • Plans submitted for Newhall RanchPlans submitted for Newhall Ranch
  • Newhall Ranch Company established as a division of Newhall Land and Farming.


Newhall Metrolink station opens on the exact spot that the old Newhall Train Depot was in the 1800’s.


L.A County board of supervisors APPROVES Newhall Ranch Specific Plan


After 121 years of family ownership, Newhall Land and Farming as a family company ceased to exist – Lennar Corp. purchased Newhall Land and Farming, owned 50% by Lennar and 50% by LNR / Land Source Communities Development LLC. It ends being a publicly traded entity.


Lennar and LNR sold 34% interest in Land Source Communities to CalPERS for $970,000. Lennar retained 32% stake in Newhall Ranch with rights to the first option to purchase land owned by the mutual partnership.


LandSource and Newhall Land and Farming filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – CalPERS lost its entire investment in NEWHALL RANCH because of the bankruptcy during the economic down turn at the time.


LandSource out of bankruptcy and under new control and new set of owners.  Emile Haddad, former CFO of Lennar, to head the company.  New Company is called “FIVE POINT”.LandSource out of bankruptcy and under new control and new set of owners.  Emile Haddad, former CFO of Lennar, to head the company.  New Company is called “FIVE POINT”.2015 Five Point Holding, Inc. announced it submitted a draft registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a possible initial public offering of  Class A common Stock.  Later declined offering.


Lennar entered into a Contribution and Sale Agreement to combine their entities and become part of Five Point Holdings, Inc. “Five Point”


Newhall Land formally “folded” into Five Point. The name Newhall Land will no longer exist.


  • Five Point submitted its proposal for a public offering. On May 10, 2017 they became a publicly traded company.
  • Public hearing set for Mission Village and Landmark Village for July 18, 2017
  • July 18th, 2017 The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously gave final approval for the tract maps of Mission Village and Landmark Village!  After over 30 years, they can finally move forward with the beginning stages of the development of Newhall Ranch.

There's so much more to come!

The Ranch on the River will keep you up to date!

Come by and visit often!

See You Soon!


27943 Seco Canyon Road, Suite 531
Santa Clarita, CA 91350