23 February 2013

A 1914 Map Showing the Olinda Oil Field and Surrounding Areas

In 1914, the California State Mining Bureau issued Bulletin 69, titled "Petroleum Industry in California," as well as a Map Folio set to accompany the work.  Part of the state government's effort to identify and report on the growing importance of the natural resource, the bulletin and folio are excellent sources about the early years of the oil industry in California.

The Map Folio includes sixteen plates with depictions of fossils found in oil fields, geologic maps of field areas, more standard maps showing oil well locations, plans for oil rigs and reservoirs, and a map of pipelines.  One of the geologic maps is Plate II covering portions of Los Angeles and Orange counties.  On this is the area in and around the Olinda field.

This detail from Plate II, a geologic map of part of Los Angeles and Orange counties from the Map Folio of the California State Mining Bureau's "Petroleum Industry in California" (1914) shows the area in and around the Fullerton-Olinda Oil Field.  The image is courtesy of the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry.
At this date, the field was approaching two decades in operation and there were many companies working leases or owned sites.  While the Los Angeles basin had yet to see the great discoveries of Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill and Huntington Beach, among others, the Fullerton-Olinda field (once known only as Fullerton), was one of the major ones.

At the top of the first detail above is the area that later became the cities of Walnut, Diamond Bar and the City of Industry.  Note that at the upper left is the name and boundary of Rancho Rincon de la Brea (rincon meaning corner and brea denoting tar.)  Crossing that vertical line at about the center is the boundary line between Los Angeles and Orange counties running horizontally.  At the right side, the jagged boundary separating Los Angeles from San Bernardino counties comes in from the upper right and disappears just below the center.

A light brown area running left to right is the geologic section constituting at the west end the Brea Canyon Oil Field and, at the center, the Fullerton-Olinda field.  It moves through much of what is now Chino Hills State Park before terminating at some dark lines at the bottom right corner showing where Santa Ana Canyon is located.

Note that under this, the place names of Placentia and Olinda are placed and there are thick black lines throughout that denote roads.  In the further detail below, we can pick up on more specifics within the Olinda and Catbon Canyon areas.

Another detail from Plate II showing the geologic formation area for the Fullerton-Olinda Oil Field and other local aspects.
From where the word "Placentia" is, there is a road leading up to the "Fullerton-Olinda Oil Field" phrase and then this road makes an abrupt turn right, or east.  This would seem to be Valencia Avenue transitioning in that quick change of direction to Carbon Canyon Road.

Significantly, the road goes into Carbon Canyon, enters into a three-fingered geologic area marked by the letters "Tm" and then crosses the county line.  This, of course, marks where Sleepy Hollow would be developed just under a decade later.  It is quite clear, however, that the road simply ends not far over the county line, perhaps at the actual geological back of Carbon Canyon where the Western Hills Country Club more or less is and just below the Carriage Hills subdivision.

Early on in this blog, an excerpt from an oral history of former Olinda oil field residents conducted in the 1970s by Cal State Fullerton personnel included one by a man who remembered working on the building of Carbon Canyon Road at just about this time (that is, 1914.)  At that time, though, the road not only stopped where this map indicates, but it also wasn't paved.  Whether it was all-dirt or had some composite or oiled surface remains to be discovered.

Getting a little more "zoomed in," the dark line moving from center left to upper right is that of Carbon Canyon Road, abruptly turning east from Valencia Avenue and terminating not far into San Bernardino County (the county line is the one running at an angle at the upper right), probably at the true geological end of Carbon Canyon just below the Carriage Hills tract and near Western Hills Country Club.
Note, too, what is, in the further detail just above, the denoted "Fault Line" running from the upper center left to the lower center right.  It may very well be that this is the fault which, over the last five years, has yielded some fair-sized seismic activity, a few of which have been chronicled in this blog, that have been identified as taking place in the southern end of Chino Hills State Park and are usually noted as "Yorba Linda" quakes.
Meantime, the map does extend east over towards Chino and the detail shown below takes in the town of Chino and its straight lines of streets at the upper right.  It also, however, indicates existing roadways, all probably within private ranches with the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino (the name of whicjh is emblazoned across the center of this detail) in what is now Chino Hills. 
Moving east and north, this detail from Plate II shows the Chino/Chino Hills area, with the town of Chino at the upper right and the undeveloped ranching area which became Chino Hills at the center and bottom.  The road moving toward the lower left corner and ending abruptly is undoubtedly the east end of what became Carbon Canyon Road later.
 It seems pretty obvious that the road curling down towards the bottom left corner and then ending is what would later become Carbon Canyon Road and linked, in the mid 1920s, to the portion of that road noted above from the Orange County side. 
Among other notable elements is the roadway that runs from to the right of the top left corner to above the bottom right corner.  This is the old Colorado Road from Los Angeles to Yuma, named from at least 1851, and then, after 1858, denoted as the Butterfield Stage road for that famed, if short lived, line that ran from St. Louis to San Francisco and also became part of the more well-known (and also limited run) Pony Express route.  In later years, it was known as the Pomona-Rincon Road, Rincon being a community that was dismantled when the Prado Dam project was created decades ago and portions of that road still exist in Chino and Chino Hills today.
In the not-too-distant future, there will be a post on another map from this folio showing oil wells and landowners in the Olinda Oil Field area--an interesting precursor to the 1924 map detailed in this blog last year.
The images shown here come from a copy of the Map Folio in the collection of the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry.

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