15 September 2011

1924 Oil Map of Olinda Oil Field and Surrounding Areas, Part One

This 1924 map shows a wide area from La Puente, Walnut, Diamond Bar and Pomona on the north to Anaheim, Placentia and Fullerton to the south and from La Habra on the west to Chino on the east.  Among its many details are roads, railroad lines, historic rancho boundaries, property owners and, the core of the object, oil wells.

This detail of a 1924 map of the Fullerton oil field shows an area to the north including portions of Walnut, City of Industry, and Diamond Bar.  Courtesy: Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry.

This first post looks at some of the details of the very large map, starting from the northern sections.  The view above shows the area from Walnut and Diamond Bar at the top down into Tonner Canyon and towards Brea Canyon at the bottom.  At the top left is a portion of Rancho La Puente, including a subdivision created by William R. Rowland, son of the ranch's original co-owner, John Rowland.  In fact, a small adobe house built by Rowland as a residence for ranch workers survives in Lemon Creek Park in Walnut, within the subdivision. 

Just below that, between the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific rail lines is "Swan's Subdivision."  Henry A. Swan has been mentioned before in this blog concerning property he owned further south within lower Tonner Canyon.  The Swan tract appears to be west of Brea Canyon Road within Walnut and City of Industry. 

Sections four, nine and sixteen, meanwhile, were ranch lands of Alvin T. Currier, a Los Angeles County sheriff and state senator, who bought his property in 1869.  About forty years later, he built a large home that was moved, several years ago and at great expense, by the City of Industry to the Phillips Mansion historic site in Pomona as Industry was developing the old Currier Ranch between Valley Boulevard, the 57 Freeway, Grand Avenue and the 60 Freeway. 

But, the biggest landowner shown on the map, in parts or all of ten sections, was Frederick E. Lewis, who created the Diamond Bar Ranch.  Note on sections 16 and 20 that two oil companies were leasing from Lewis, including Gold Seal Petroleum Company and Copa de Oro.  There is an Olinda Village street by that name, though it is not known if there was a direct connection between the firm and the naming of the street four decades later. 

Another curious detail is in sections three and ten, where a rectangular parcel set at an angle was used as the "Pomona City Sewer Farm"!  This appeared to have been somewhere just east of today's 57 Freeway near Grand Avenue.

There are only a few oil well sites in this portion of the map.  One is referred to as the Currier well at the lower left of section nine.  Another, at the lower right of section sixteen, is a Gold Seal site.  The third, at the upper right of section seventeen, is labeled "Fundenberg Well."  This refers to W. F. Fundenberg, a Pennsylvania man who owned most of Tonner Canyon at one time (an earlier blog post discusses him in some detail) before it was sold and became Tres Hermanos.

Next another close-up or two (including more on Tonner Canyon) of this fascinating and richly detailed map from nearly eighty years ago.


Unknown said...

hi there!
for the past couple of weeks, I have been devouring mainly the "historical" posts on ur blog. I used to ride my mtn bike thru CC Park in the early-mid 1980s, and it was beautiful and largely untouched land then....I have a question: what can you tell me about the old town of Prado, now buried under the dam basin?

Unknown said...

many years ago, with the help of some really old maps (AAA, US Geological, old/new topos, etc), I actually set out to find the abandoned town of Prado, and ended up walking the entire length of the old mainline railroad grade bed that used to pass thru there, before it was re-aligned way south near the 91 when the dam was built in 1941. I did not find Prado, tho....too much water back there! :)

prs said...

Hi Matt, welcome back. My limited knowledge is that the community there was called Rincon (after the Rancho Rincon de Santa Ana, granted to the Yorba family in the Spanish era.) It was situated on the old Colorado Road, which went from Los Angeles out to present-day Pomona (then Rancho San José) and then turned south through today's Chino and Chino Hills before turning east into modern Corona and then south roughly paralleling Interstate 15 (I believe Temescal Canyon Road is the old route or close to it) as it headed out toward Temecula, then east to Warner's Ranch area and beyond to the Colorado River. This road was later used by the Butterfield Stage (from 1858) and the Pony Express (1861) and the Butterfield name is still found out here today. When the Atchsion, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad built a line into Orange County from points east and north, it requested a name change, because of existing "Rincons", and the name Prado was adopted and then stayed until the flood of 1938, the condemnation of the land, and the construction of the dam. For a pretty good discussion, try http://articles.latimes.com/2003/jan/23/local/me-prado23. Also, the Heritage Room at the Corona Public Library has material on the Rincon/Prado community. Did you get my e-mail after your first comment?

Unknown said...

hi paul,
you know, i didn't receive a first e-mail. i kept looking for one over the weekend and the last couple of days, since I know that you post to the blog VERY frequently (which is good! :)

anyway, thanks for responding. I have read that Times article on Prado aka Rincon, just a few weeks ago, actually, and sent off an e-mail to the woman who wrote that detailing my "prado field trip" back in the late 80s or maybe it was 1990.

i actually posted a comment to your blog a few weeks back, but it was on a page from I think 2009, so you might not have read it. I wanted to let you know that Carbon Canyon has a special place in my heart because I absolutely LOVED taking my mountain bike up there from Orange (my mom drove us) and speeding thru the seemingly endless "tunnel" of reeds that I noticed from Google Satellite are now GONE! Bulldozed out I guess! This was just west and north of the neat little grove of pines (i think?) in the extreme south-east corner of the park adjacent to the dam. I noticed that on that ridge above now, there are hundreds of houses :(

Also, one of my professors from Cal State Fullerton lives on Buckthorn Drive in the Canyon, and I had a friend years ago who used to frequent La Vida when they had old Blues performances there.

I live in North San Diego county now, and am still a road nut, collecting data on old road and highway alignments, old trails (like the butterfield stage route), defunct towns and villages, and old abandoned bridges, vanished railroad lines/spurs, etc.

We should chat sometime. Here is a link to a really neat map! (i have an old paper copy from decades ago, but this webpage has an almost pristine copy!) You can zoom in on it too if you put the mouse over the map!

Take care!

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