02 April 2010

Olinda Oil Field History: Carbon Canyon Oil Company Stock Certificate

After a March Madness of depressing discussions of corruption, ill-gotten gains, and other manipulations and machinations by corporations (with equally heartwarming brief interludes turning upon dumped trash and eviscerated highway guardrails from errant, misguided navigators of SR 142), let's turn away from all of that for a moment and talk about . . . uh, oil companies. 

Well, there isn't actually much known about the Carbon Canyon Oil Company, which incorporated in June 1900 and soon began operations at the Olinda oil field.  Here's what was stated about it on this blog in a September 2008 post based on the 1900 book by Lionel Redpath called Petroleum in California:

There was a new player being highly touted by Redpath: the Carbon Canyon Oil Company, which "among the many companies operating in the Fullerton field, none has started in a more substantial, business-like manner, and with more flattering prospects." The company had 160 acres in Carbon and Soquel canyons close to today's Olinda Village. Redpath wrote that "the two canyons, traversing this tract, expose some of the finest formations of shale and sand rock that are to be seen anywhere on the Coast, and if indications are to be trusted, the company will strike a marvelously rich flow." It was also noted that "two wagon roads" crossed the property. The company was also exploring on holdings in the present east Yorba Linda area; in Piru near today's Santa Clarita; and in Whittier. Capitalized at a half million dollars, the Carbon Canyon Company had W. F. West as President; E. G. Judson as 1st Vice-President; J. R. Greer as 2nd Vice-President; C. E. Price as Secretary and General Manager; and directors F. W. Gregg, G. M. Hawley and J. R. Westbrook.

To follow up, here are some images of an unissued stock certificate for 100 shares in the company, dated October 1900 and signed by company officers West and Price.  The certificate is courtesy of the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum and is a pretty rare early artifact concerning the Olinda oil field, which had only been opened seven years prior.

The reference to wagon roads is actually notable, because this undoutebtedly refers to what became Carbon Canyon Road and Soquel Canyon Road.  More on the former later (to follow up on the post from late February.)

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