30 December 2011

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #8563

UPDATE, 31 December:  The Chino Hills Champion reports in today's edition that a stolen minivan containing stolen property and methamphetamine crashed late Monday evening in the 2000 block of Carbon Canyon Road, with the vehicle rolling over into the front yard of a home. Three La Mirada residents in their early to mid 20s then got out of the vehicle and ran, one of them stealing a bicycle, but were captured by Sheriff's Department deputies about midnight Tuesday after a perimeter was cordoned off and then searched. Obviously, Carbon Canyon is about the worst kind of location to escape on foot (or even bike), so it must have been easy pickings for deputies to capture their quarry, who were taken to the county jail in Rancho Cucamonga

This latest manifestation of motor vehicular mayhem seems to have occurred within the last week or so.

This is just beyond the summit on the S-curve on the Chino Hills side of the canyon and is the property of a long-time resident.

An eastbound driver took the curve too quickly (naturally) and crossed lanes, plowing through the chain link fence, mailbox and property owner's identification sign before plunging down the short embankment.

As a year-end bonus: another front fender is lying under some weeds on the old La Vida Mineral Springs property on the Brea side, representing another recent deposit of derelict driving debris.  Presumably, someone miscalculated the curvature of the road relative to what was on the speedometer (as if such a thing mattered anyway.)

29 December 2011

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

In the area directly north of the Olinda Oil Field's thick concentration of oil wells on this 1924 map, are sections 4 and 5 up in the hills and into the lower part of Tonner Canyon.  Research into the several owners of these areas has yielded little information, so far, except for, naturally, Shell Oil Company, which is well enough known.  For example, nothing has been located yet on the California Crude Oil Company and the surname Packovich in the rest of section 5.  And, in section 4, the larger share assigned to "C. Sheerer" has also drawn a blank.  At least with the remainder of that latter section, something is known, although there is also some speculation to be made, too.

There are four persons, other than Sheerer, listed as owners of land within section 4.  For at least two of these, there appears to be a solid link.  These are Waddy Johnson and his father-in-law, John Ward.  Johnson, whose birth name was, indeed Waddy (often used as a nickname for Walter), was born in March 1861 at Knight's Landing, a river ferry crossing community in Yolo County, just west of Sacramento.  His father, John, was a native of North Carolina and his mother, Mary, was from Tennessee.  By 1870, the family had relocated to the Ventura area and, in the ensuing decade, John Johnson passed away.  At the time of the 1880 census, Mary Johnson, Waddy and a daughter, Clara, were living in Santa Ana, where Waddy worked as a farm hand.

Perhaps he was employed on the farm of John Ward, a native of Arkansas, who later resided and married Texas.  He and his wife Rosana had a daughter in the Lone Star State before coming to California in the late 1860s.  By 1880, the Wards settled in Tustin, living a few households from the community's namesake founder, Columbus Tustin.  The Wards established a farm at the intersection of what is now Newport Boulevard and Walnut Avenue, just east of the 55 Freeway and south of Interstate 5. 

However they may have met (you've heard the one about the guy who met the farmer's daughter), Waddy Johnson married Rosana Ward, the third Ward child, in 1887.  The couple, who had three daughters, resided for a time in the Orange area, before settling in Santa Ana, on the west side of the river, where Waddy was an apiarist, or bee-keeper, for a time.  Later, he seems to have worked for the Irvine Company, before retiring in the 1920s to a home in downtown Santa Ana.  Waddy died in Santa Ana in 1938 and his wife passed away four years later.  It would appear that Johnson and Ward went in together to acquire the property in the hills north of Olinda believing there would be the potential for oil there, though the map clearly shows that this was not the case, at least in 1924.

As to the other two men listed in the same section as Johnson and Ward, there looks to have been a possible connection geographically.  There was a John W. Rogers, born in July 1882, who lived in Santa Ana, where his father, Frank, owned a feed mill.  John later resided on Cambridge Street, west of the town of Orange, where he worked in ranching and his wife, Martha, was a nurse.  By 1930, the couple lived in Tustin, where John operated a farm.  Perhaps further research will validate whether this was the "John Rogers" listed on the map.

The case is a little stronger for Fred Kelly.  It is tempting to want to believe that this is the same Fred Kelly, for whom the athletic stadium at El Modena High School in Orange is named.  This Fred Kelly, born in 1891, was a 1911 graduate of Orange High and, while a freshman at the University of Southern California, qualified to represent the United States in track and field events at the summer Olympics of 1912 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he took the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles.  Kelly competed in American Athletic Union (AAU) events and was a two-time hurdles champion later in the 1910s.  While working on a ranch in the Riverside County desert town of Mecca, near Palm Springs, he enlisted in the aviation corps for World War I and began a career as a pilot.  In 1930, for example, he delivered mail by airplane and lived in San Gabriel.  Whether he would have amassed the money or had the interest in buying land near Olinda before his mid-30s, when the map was issued, is not clear.

There was, however, another Fred Kelly in the area.  This one was born in May 1870, in Milford, Pennsylvania, at the eastern edge of the state near the borders with New York and New Jersey.  His mother was Jane Robinson and his father James Kelly (the two marrying in March 1869).  James Kelly, a native of Milford, was a farmer before enlisting with a state cavalry unit and serving as a first lieutenant.  He was captured by the Confederates in June 1864 and remained a prisoner of war (even escaping twice before being recaptured) until the conclusion of the war about nine months later.  He returned to farming and also served as county sheriff in his home area before taking his family west to Lawrence, Kansas in 1888.  Fred, meantime, enrolled at the University of Michigan, where he received his degree as a doctor of medicine, though he did not practice.

In 1891, James Kelly and family, including Fred, migrated to California, takling up residence in east Santa Ana, living on a farm on Walnut Street, where he raised apricots, oranges and, naturally, walnuts.  Fred, however, by 1896 found a government job as postmaster, though this was in Needles, the eastern California desert town on the Arizona border.  He continued in that position for at least twenty-five years, but obviously spent much time in Santa Ana, where he met and married Pearl Glenn, an Iowa native whose widowed mother moved to Santa Ana in the late 1890s.  After their 1899 nuptials, Fred and Pearl Kelly raised two sons, though Pearl and the boys often lived with her mother in Orange County, while Fred tended to his job in Needles.

Sometime in the 1920s, though, Fred changed professions and became an engineer for a mining company.  While there was plenty of that being done in Needles, Fred had relocated permanently to Santa Ana.  Perhaps he purchased the property near Olinda because of his experience in the mining industry?  Perhaps further research will better establish the connection of the property discussed here with Kelly, Rogers, Sheerer, Packovich and California Crude Oil. 

Notably, the land covered in this post is west of the boundary line (being Valencia Avenue, seen at left) between the Rancho Cajon de Santa Ana and public land and going up to the border between Los Angeles and Orange counties.  Some of this area is now the Olinda Alpha Landfill.  It is also worth pointing out that, just west of this, and also covered by the map is the Brea Canyon property developed by more Santa Ana residents, including Albert Otis Birch, whose strange story was covered in an early post on this blog back in 2008.

This, however, concludes the series of posts on this fascinating map.

20 December 2011

A 1924 Map of the Olinda Oil Field and Surrounding Areas, Part Six

This detail shows the heart of the Olinda Oil Field as it was in 1924.  At the upper right is the area covered in the last post, concerning parcels in and to the west of today's Olinda Village subdivision.  To the lower right and bottom of this detail, meanwhile, are sections of land held by the Olinda Land Company, the descendant of the original Olinda Ranch, founded by William Hervey Bailey in the late 1880s.  Bailey's son, William, Jr., still had a controlling interest in the land company and held some of his own area parcels, as noted in the last entry. 

While the Olinda Land Company also had some oil wells, these numbered sites marked by black dots, the big players in the Olinda field were major firms like Shell, General Petroleum, and CCMO (Chanslor-Canfield Midway Oil).  The latter, co-founded by Charles Canfield, who was a partner of Olinda's first oil producer, Edward Doheny, when the two struck oil at Los Angeles in the early 1890s, operated on land leased from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.  This area is now mainly within the Olinda Ranch subdivision and up Santa Fe Drive is the Olinda Oil Museum, which features the still-pumping 1896-97 well drilled by Doheny.  Other oil companies featured in this section included Fullerton and West Coast.

Speaking of the railroad, commonly called the ATSF or Santa Fe, the line coming up from the bottom left and ending in two strands at the bottom of the CCMO parcel is the spur rail line built by that company from its main line between Los Angeles and points east from a station stop in Atwood, a neighborhood in today's Placentia.  The spur was used, naturally, to haul crude oil from the Olinda field to the main railroad line for shipment, although pipelines were also added to directly carry the crude to refineries situated in and around the harbors at San Pedro and Long Beach. 

The dual lines with white space in between them, found at the bottom and bottom left of the image, are plotted roadways for subdivisions.  Those to the lower left of the place name "Olinda" and through which the railroad spur lines pass are likely for the 1880s townsite of Carlton, created out of Olinda Ranch property, but succumbing to the bust that followed the real estate boom of 1886-88.

Finally, the dashed line at the left marks the boundary between the Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana to its left (or west) and public lands to the right (or east), which latter were used by ranchers in the Spanish and Mexican eras for common grazing. 

The San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana was granted in 1837 by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado to Juan Pacifico Ontiveros and spanned nearly 36,000 acres in present Anaheim, Brea, Fullerton and Placentia.  Ontiveros (1795-1877) was a corporal in the Mexican Army, stationed at Mission San Gabriel and was later majordomo or foreman at Mission San Juan Capistrano.  In 1853, Ontiveros sold about two-thirds of the ranch to prominent American merchant and land owner Abel Stearns and then moved to Santa Barbara County, where he had a ranch north of Buellton and south of Santa Maria.  In 1857, Ontiveros sold off some more land to a syndicate of German colonists called the Los Angeles Vineyard Society seeking to establish a winemaking community, which they named Anaheim (Ana from Santa Ana, and heim being "home" in German.)  Ontiveros' sons, Juan Nicolas and Patricio, received shares of land on the ranch, but promptly sold them to their sister's husband, August Langenberger, one of the German founders of Anaheim.  Another German, Daniel Kraemer, acquired the remainder of the ranch at the same time, in the mid-1860s, and this became the foundation of the city of Placentia.

The northern boundary of the rancho extends to Tonner Canyon Road and then to Brea Boulevard before it enters the City of Brea and on out to a short distance east of Harbor Boulevard, before moving southwestward through a small section of La Habra and then southward just to the east of Euclid Street through Fullerton and Anaheim.  At about the intersection of Euclid and Ball Road, the boundary takes a southeasterly angle, passing through the extreme southwest corner of a Disneyland parking area, slicing through the Anaheim Convention Center, and then through a corner of The Block at Orange before turning north and east, passing roughly up near State College Boulevard and the western extremity of Angel Stadium before taking in the west bank of the Santa Ana River until west of Tustin Avenue.  From there, the boundary heads north west of Tustin, which turns into Rose Avenue within Placentia and appears to form the boundary between Placentia and Yorba Linda from north of Yorba Linda Boulevard to Golden Avenue before entering Brea and bisecting Rose Drive until it follows the path of Valencia Avenue until the road turns into the Olinda Alpha Landfill.

Click here to see the September 1855 survey of the Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana, conducted for the California Land Claims case pertaining to the rancho by George Hansen, who was responsible for selecting the land that became the Anaheim colony shortly after.

More from this map soon.

18 December 2011

Carbon Canyon Historical Artifact #26

This is another 10 ounce bottle from the La Vida Mineral Springs.  It is the same type in terms of design and layout and era as the one featured last month and may be from about the same era: 1940s or perhaps not long afterward.

But, the reverse list of available flavors offered by the La Vida Bottling Company, Inc. is slightly different than the other bottle.  For example, the one shown in November offered some flavors not found here or named differently.  Such as, what is here shown as "Tropical Punch" is probably "La Vida Punch" on the other.  Or, that one had "Lime Rickey" and this one shows "Lime Soda."  Then, there was "Cheri Cola" on the first one and "Black Cherry Cola" on this.  And, there are some, like "Tom Collins Mix" or "Grapefruit" from the other that aren't found here.

Finally, this bottle has a flavor that is in a larger font size, seemingly indicating the one that was found in this bottle, and, it's a pretty cool name: "Charley's Chocolate."  Makes one wonder (maybe) who "Charley" and whether the attempt at alliteration made for a better flavor rather than just a catchier name!

16 December 2011

The La Vida Landfill, East Annex

The trash unceremoniously dumped some weeks back at the historic La Vida Mineral Springs property, where a bridge once crossed Carbon [Canyon] Creek and led to the old motel, remains, only more widespread, perhaps into the creek, and further dampened with the recent rain.

Now, a second pile of trash has appeared just a short distance east in a large open area off the south side of Carbon Canyon Road--an annex of sorts to the first.

Let's see how long both accumulations of garbage are left to beautify the Canyon . . . and how many more might appear.

15 December 2011

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #8412

While there have been no major accidents (at least known to this blogger) since the tragic death of a bicyclist several weeks ago, there have been some recent errant driving incidents on the Chino Hills side of Carbon Canyon, including the dismembering of a stop sign at Carbon Canyon Road and Ginseng Lane, the nudging or flattening of a sign or two on the S-curve near Summit Ranch, and the entire front bumper of a yellow car left by the side of the road in the same vicinity. 

All reminders that, whether there are so-called "major" incidents or not, unsafe driving is a daily occurrence and those who drive safely should comtinue to exercise caution when driving through the Canyon, especially on weekend evenings (when, evidently, the bumper was deposited along the highway) and during the upcoming holiday season. 

As has been noted before, the most horrific accident yours truly has seen in the Canyon occurred New Year's Eve/New Year's Day, at about 1 a.m., when several cars were strewn across Carbon Canyon Road on the downslope east of Olinda Village.  There were persons lying in the road and fronzen in shock behind shattered windshields.  It's a scene that will not be forgotten and, unfortunately, will be repeated.

05 December 2011

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

Our series based on this nearly 90-year old map continues with the ownership (in 1924 or well before) of parcels in and around Olinda Village.  A large section, in fact, between there and the La Vida Mineral Springs property to the east is attributed to a "J.T. Raddick," but nothing has been discovered about this person thus far.  There are, however, three others, who owned property in the mid-1920s or earlier, who can be discussed.

One, actually, has been covered previously--this being William Hervey Bailey, Jr., the namesake son of the founder of Olinda Ranch.  Bailey, Jr. succeeded to the ownership and management of the ranch after his father's death in 1910, and his land in this section appears to have been near the Hollydale Mobile Home Estates tract and the confluence of Carbon and Soquel canyons.  His story has been amply detailed in earlier posts about the Baileys and the history of Olinda Ranch.  We will also see that Bailey, Jr. controlled other parcels on this map lying further south and west in the Olinda oil field.

To the north and west of Olinda Village, in what is today both privately-held land and portions of Chino Hills State Park, there was a notable character in the history of American oil development, John Martin Clapp.  Clapp's holdings extended to the Orange/Los Angeles counties border and, to the east, near the existing water tanks above the east side of Olinda Village, while, to the west, his land seems to have gone close to what is now the Olinda Alpha Landfill.  Given his history, there seems no question that Clapp bought his property, as did many others within the Canyon from about 1900 onward, for potential oil development, though little, if any, was found in his section.

Clapp was born in May 1835 in Mercer, Pennsylvania, in the far western part of the state, not far east of Youngstown, Ohio.  His mother was Sally Hubbard and his father, Ralph, was an iron master (an owner of an iron foundry--steel and ironworking being a primary Pennsylvania occupation for much of its history) before switching gears (!) completely and becoming a Methodist Episcopal clergyman.  The Clapps later moved to a new town established by Ralph called President, in Venango County, to the northeast of Mercer.  It was in nearby Titusville, in 1859, that the American oil industry began.

Meantime, John Clapp worked in the iron industry, perhaps taking over his father's foundry, as his occupation in the 1860 census was that of a "furnace manager."  Two years later, as the Civil War was in full swing, Clapp enlisted in the 121st Pennsylvania Infantry and was captain of its F Company.  Later in life, he was very active in veterans' affairs and was a major figure in the state's Grand Army of the Republic organization.  At the conclusion of the war, Clapp married Anna Pearson from nearby New Castle.  In the 1870 census, the young couple resided with her parents and John worked as a merchant in a flour mill.

His career in that line soon ended, however, as he moved to Tidioute, a booming oil town, in 1871 and engaged in petroleum prospecting with a brother.  Within a decade, he rose rapidly to become one of the state's oil barons and controlled tens of thousands of acres of oil-bearing lands and drilled, along with his brother and other partners, some 250 wells.  By 1881, he moved his family, including three children, to Washington, D. C., while he continued his oil business, supplemented with activities in banking, timber and real estate.  He remained a full time resident of America's capital and had a summer home at Lakewood, New York on Lake Chautauqua, not far from the Pennsylvania border, where Clapp died in October 1906 at age 71.  Interestingly, he was one of America's first major numismatics or coin collectors and his collection, left to his namesake son, was well-known and highly valued.

How Clapp came to acquire property in and around Carbon Canyon takes us back to Burdette Chandler, who was from the same area of Pennsylvania as Clapp and who entered the oil business there in 1860 at the start of the industry, discussed in the last post.  Chandler and Clapp certainly were acquaintances or friends back East and the former, it will be recalled, acquired considerable holdings within the Canyon in the later part of the 1800s, but wound up selling much of it, probably as the Boom of the 1880s petered out and Chandler needed cash.  In a 1906 Los Angeles newspaper article he wrote about the oil industry, Chandler noted that, "Victor Hall [Charles Victor Hall, another Olinda notable earlier profiled in this blog], J. M. Clapp of Pennsylvania and others also bought land.  J. M. Clapp came to my rescue when the Los Angeles business men hesitated and I sold him land at from $2.50 to $3 an acre."  Clapp appears to have owned at least a full section, or 640 acres, of land, at least by the reckoning of this map.

The other individual listed in the map as a property holder in the Olinda Village area was E. F. Gaines, who had the distinction of being one of the few, maybe the only, such landholder who actually lived in the Canyon and, also, utilized his property for something other than oil investments. 

Edward F. Gaines was a California native, born in January 1868 in Gilroy, south of San Jose, and long considered (at least, self-proclaimed) to be the garlic capital of the world.  His father, John, a native of Kentucky, was a carpenter and his mother Mary Margaret Clamp was from New York.  In the 1870s, however, the Gaines family migrated south and lived in the Wilmington area near today's Long Beach, where the family took up farming.  On Christmas Eve 1889, Edward married Frances Atwater, a native of Illinois, and the two settled in the Clearwater community of the Downey Township--now the City of Paramount--where Edward farmed, while the family grew to include three daughters, two of whom lived into adulthood.  As of 1910, the Gaines family still lived in this area, but sometime in the following decade moved out to Carbon Canyon, when Edward acquired property there.

In the 1920 and 1930 censuses, Edward and his wife Fannie lived alone on a ranch with his occupation listed as "farmer" and "dry farmer," respectively.  Oral histories of former residents of the Olinda oil fields (this covered in early posts to this blog) remembered Gaines as running cattle in the hills and it does seem unlikely that there could have been any tillable land in the Olinda Village area.  By 1947, Mrs. Gaines had passed away and nine years later, Edward died in Canyon City, an unincorporated area near Chula Vista close to San Diego.  Still to be discovered is when he sold his land, which was developed into the Olinda Village tract in the early to mid-1960s.

In the same Section 10 as the Gaines and Bailey, Jr. tracts were those of three companies: Olinda Land Company, owned by Bailey; Soquel Canyon Oil Company (previously discussed in this blog), which existed for a few years from 1900; and Continental Oil Company of Los Angeles, founded in 1899, and which was headed by William West, also president of the Carbon Canyon Oil Company, which operated on 160 acres near where Soquel and Carbon canyons meet.  Charles E. Price, owner of land near the La Vida Mineral Springs area, was a partner with West in the Carbon Canyon and Continental firms.  In 1900, Continental had 40 acres in the Olinda field, but its later history needs to be researched, especially as to whether it became part of the Continental Oil Company that is now the massive conglomerate, Conoco (get it?) Phillips.