14 May 2017

Carbon Canyon Historical Artifact #55: La Vida Mineral Water Company Stock Certificate, 1930

With many thanks to Dorothy Infantado, who sent this item a few days ago so that it could be posted on this blog, this entry highlights a stock certificate from La Vida Mineral Water Company, which used the water from the resort here on the Brea side of Carbon Canyon and bottled it with a variety of added flavors as a healthful beverage.

A stock certificate for 20 shares of preferred stock in La Vida Mineral Water Company, issued to Charles and Lulu Rose of Long Beach, 2 September 1930.  Donated by Dorothy Infantado.

Previous posts here have given some of the history of the La Vida Mineral Water Company, but this is the first time that a stock certificate has surfaced.  The seal of the firm shows an incorporation date of 27 February 1928, with posts on this blog stating the company started producing water in 1927 and then, evidently, decided to sell stock in the company to raise capital for expansion.  This definitely happened as La Vida water was marketed heavily throughout the West Coast in following years, peaking in 1931.

The president of the firm was C. [Charleston] A. Kleinman, whose signature is on the certificate, along with the company's secretary, whose name, however, is largely faded and indecipherable.  Information about Kleinman was included in earlier posts here from 2012.  This is certificate number 500, dated 2 September 1930, and 20 shares were issued to Charles E. and Lulu Rose.  It is not known what the par value of the stock was

The front panel of the stock certificate--likely the Roses did not receive much in the way of dividends and equity from their shares.

The stock purchased by the couple was preferred stock, which means that any dividends or any payments made on dissolution of the firm would go to holders to this type of stock before those who held common stock in the firm. La Vida Mineral Water issued a quarter million shares of capital stock, with half being preferred and the other half common.

As to these stockholders, they were not wealthy investors.  Charles E. Rose was a native of Illinois and was about 47 years old when he bought the stock.  He worked as a streetcar motorman, probably for the Pacific Electric system.  His wife Lulu Evans, who hailed from Michigan was a few years younger, and the couple resided in a modest bungalow north of downtown Long Beach.

An ad for the firm in the San Bernardino County Sun, 19 June 1931.
Even though the Great Depression began a little under a year prior to the Rosses buying their shares of stock in La Vida Mineral Water, the company's rapid growth and breathless promotion of the many health benefits of its product obviously convinced them that it was worth the expenditure.  But, it is unlikely they ever got much out of their investment in terms of dividends or equity.

What happened to this certificate is uncertain--Lulu Ross, who was previously married, had two children and it is likely the document passed to them.   However, items like this can wind up in other hands in any number of ways.  For example, perhaps a later owner of one of the homes the Rosses lived in found it.

A testimonial to the myriad health benefits of La Vida Mineral Water from another Sun ad, 26 March 1931.
In any case, many thanks to Dorothy for passing this along so that it can be shared with readers of this blog.

13 May 2017

Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council Brush Drop-Off Day a Success

Today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Canon Lane next to Fire Station 64, north of Carbon Canyon Road, there was a steady stream of Carbon Canyon residents from the Chino Hills portion who took advantage of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council's brush drop-off day.

The first bin was set aside and the second one was put into place during today's brush drop-off day.
This program, with the support of the City of Chino Hills and Chino Hills (Republic) Disposal, has been held for the last several years, often in the spring and fall, and allows for local residents to dispose of their brush and help keep the fire risk in the canyon down.

Several Council volunteers were on hand to help with off-loading and piling of the debris into large roll-off bins and there were sometimes three vehicles at a time waiting to drop off the material.

Local residents participating in the drop-off day; in this case, this vehicle made several trips to drop off material.
By mid-morning, the first bin was getting full and, fortunately, the disposal company had another empty one nearby in Chino Hills, so it took just a few minutes to bring it and haul away the first one.

As 1:00 neared, the second bin was just about full and one late arrival had to be turned away as the bin was being hauled out.

With something on the order of 7,500 pounds of brush dropped off, that means that much less of a fire risk in the canyon.
In all, an estimated 7,500 pounds of brush was brought down and then taken away.  With the deadline of the 15th looming for local residents to remove their brush by order the fire department and with the weather being just about perfect, this was the time to get the work done and it was great to see those residents who took advantage of the project.

There may be a fall date for a second brush drop-off day this year, so look for more information here, on the Chronicle Facebook page, on Next Door Sleepy Hollow and on the Chino Hills Connection site.

08 May 2017

Dangerous Left Turns Into Left Turn Lanes on Carbon Canyon Road

Last Wednesday, the Chino Hills Planning Commission meeting featured a presentation of the first phase of a Carbon Canyon Road traffic study.

More on that in a coming post, but there was a statement made by the traffic engineer for the consultant, KOA Corporation, that there are too many cars on the state highway for the type of road that it is.

When it came time for ten canyon residents to express their concerns during public comment, several of them stated that turning left onto Carbon Canyon Road can be a stressful and frustrating experience, which is true.  The road mentioned most often was Canon Lane and concerns about accidents stated.

However, just forty-five minutes ago, while I was heading east on the highway, a late-model BMW 5-series sedan turned left from Canon and, because the road was not clear for that turn, the driver used the left turn lane on westbound Carbon Canyon to southbound Canon Lane as a collector lane.

Sure enough, a black sedan entered that left-turn lane to go south onto Canon just as the BMW was starting to exit it and cut in front of the driver ahead of me to get onto the eastbound lane of Carbon Canyon.

This is the second time in the last several days that I've seen/experienced this.

Last week, I was heading the same direction and a new-looking Mercedes SUV made the same maneuver and was looking to enter the roadway from the westbound left-turn lane, but I happened to be there, so the driver stopped and had to wait in that lane before heading on to Carbon Canyon Road.  In this case, there was no one turning left, but what if there had been?

Residents of the canyon know all too well the frustration of waiting long periods to try and turn left (or right to a lesser extent) onto Carbon Canyon Road during busy times.

Risking injury or death by making dangerous turns onto the roadway using a left-turn lane others might use, however, is lunacy.

In both these cases, these weren't young, inexperienced drivers, they were mature adults in their 40s to 60s.  They really should know better.

Among the comments at last week's meeting was that traffic signals at intersections like Canon Lane and Carbon Canyon Road would make turning left onto the state highway a great deal safer.  It's hard to argue with that, though there are many other factors about such issues traffic flow and delays to bear when considering these changes.

For now, though, people have to be more patient.  In both cases, when I looked into my rear view mirror after those maneuvers, there was room for those vehicles to turn left behind me within seconds.

Is it really worth it to try and shave off a few seconds of time to make a dangerous and illegal left turn?

07 May 2017

Brush Drop-Off Day Next Saturday the 13th

Next Saturday the 13th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council, with significant support from the City of Chino Hills and Chino Hills (Republic) Disposal, is holding its spring brush drop-off day.



Residents of the Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon only can bring their cut brush to a roll-off bin on Canon Lane next to Fire Station 64, just north of Carbon Canyon Road, where Fire Safe Council volunteers will help load the material into the bin.

Remember, there is a Chino Valley Fire District-imposed deadline of the 15th to remove brush from properties in order to reduce fire risk, so next Saturday is an opportune time to take that material down for disposal.

02 May 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #25738

About twenty minutes ago, while heading westbound on Carbon Canyon Road at the eastern end of the S-curve in Chino Hills, I came upon a single motorcycle accident.

It was not clear which direction the rider was headed, nor if there were any injuries, but a tow truck was getting ready to haul the pocket rocket away and two Sheriff's Department vehicles were directing traffic in one lane each direction.  The backup for eastbound travelers extended to Sleepy Hollow.


15 April 2017

The Gaines and Brown Families of Carbon Canyon, Part Four: Olinda Baseball Team, ca. 1910

Because the major league baseball season has just gotten underway in the last couple of weeks, this seems like a good time to post another great photo, provided by Joyce Harrington, of a couple of her family members.


Earl and Alvis Brown were members of the Olinda baseball team, as pictured here in the oil field community's "ballpark", about 1910.  Identities of most of those in the photo were provided:

Back row (left to right):  Powell, Art Cripps, Bob Isbell, Manager John Martin, Charles (Shagg) Lloyd, and Alvis (Dutch) Brown.

Front row (L-R): Claude (Buzzy) Buzzard, Johnnie Craig, Ray Perry, Billie McLean, Earl Brown.

Nora Brown McMillan wrote some reminiscences of her years living in Olinda and noted:
I would not forget the Olinda baseball team!  It was another source of much pleasure to the settlement.  The local boys first played on a diamond in the "flat" just east off Santa Fe Avenue.  Walter Johnson, the well remembered Big League ball pitcher was one of the local boys who played there, but Walt had moved on up to the Big Leagues before Olinda's best known ball team was formed.  This team was managed by John Martin, and the ball team was back of Martin's Drugstore on the Hall's Lease.  The games were played on Sunday afternoons, and we filled the small grandstand to watch them . . . (Later the ball diamond was again on the Santa Fe Lease, on the west side.)
The photo was also described in Mrs. McMillan's account and the location was, of course, what she said was "back of Martin's Drugstore" on the lease of Charles Victor Hall and his Fullerton Consolidated Oil Company.  The Santa Fe Lease was to the east on the hillside north of Carbon Canyon Road where the Olinda Ranch subdivision is now.

As for Walter Johnson, the native of Kansas came with his family to Olinda in 1902 (five years after the first oil well was brought in by Edward Doheny in the area) when he was fifteen.  By 1907, he signed a contract with the Washington Senators and played for 20 years.  "The Big Train" won 417 games, struck out over 3,500 batters, had 110 shutouts, and sported a lifetime ERA of 2.17.

Johnson threw a no-hitter in 1920 and won his only World Series four years later.  He also managed the Senators and the Cleveland Indians between 1929 and 1935 and won 55% of his games.  A member of the all-century and all-time teams, Johnson was also one of the "Five Immortals" originally inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, securing just under 84% of the vote in 1936.  The others were Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Christy Mathewson.  Johnson died of a brain tumor in 1946 at age 59.

13 April 2017

New News on Tres Hermanos Ranch

This morning's San Gabriel Valley Tribune has another front-page piece on Tres Hermanos Ranch and negotiations over its potential use.

To read about these developments, read the article here.

12 April 2017

Carbon Canyon Road Closure Today

A few hours ago, the westbound side of Carbon Canyon Road was closed just east of Olinda Village near the old La Vida Mineral Springs site because of a solo vehicle crash.

Here was the detail from the City of Chino Hills website's "Alert Center":

Road Alert-Update 6:05 pm Wed., April 12th Westbound traffic on SR142 is being rerouted around a solo vehicle accident scene east of Olinda Village. Traffic is heavily congested. 

Major Road Closure - 5:45 pm Wednesday, April 12th – Westbound lane is closed on Carbon Canyon Road, east of Olinda Village, due to a solo vehicle accident. A SIG alert has been issued for the next 45 minutes. Traffic is heavily congested.

Notably, the City of Brea's Carbon Canyon hotline had nothing about this accident, as was the case with the accident just yesterday near today's wreck.

It does seem like there has been a spate of incidents recently, though whether these last two have been because of speeding or other reckless driving is not known.

La Vida Mineral Springs Water Tank Good Samaritan Redux!

For the second time in the last few weeks, a good samaritan (or samaritans, it appears) have stepped forward to eradicate graffiti on the water tank of the La Vida Mineral Springs in Carbon Canyon near Olinda Village.


A post five weeks or so ago noted that graffiti applied weeks before that was painted over.  Then, within a short time, another batch of tagging was applied.

However, in short order, another beautification effort was made, including pink paint to match the historic color of the tank!


Incidentally, the concrete base just below the tank has been crumbling in recent years and the heavy rains, so desperately needed, this past winter have done further erosion, but it's great to see what is left being cared for.

So, once more, many thanks to whoever is doing this community service!

11 April 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon: #24839

Heading westbound on Carbon Canyon Road in Brea at about 1:45 p.m., I came across an accident scene, in which an eastbound vehicle evidently skidded across the state highway and crashed into some yellow bollards on the shoulder and was stranded on the westbound lane.  The location was just east of the former Manely Friends stable.


A passerby was working to help with traffic because of a curve in the road and a siren could be heard from the west.  As I proceeded along, a fire truck from the Olinda Village station roared by with sirens and lights going and an ambulance and police vehicles were not far behind.

The car looked like it was totaled with significant front end damage, though a call to the City of Brea's Carbon Canyon Road hotline did not have information about the crash.  

10 April 2017

Near Miss on Carbon Canyon Road This Morning

This morning at about a quarter to 8 as I was taking my kids to school and heading eastbound on Carbon Canyon Road, approaching the second to last curve on the S-curve between Azurite Drive and Old Carbon Canyon Road, I was about forty feet from the turn when a truck with a very long flat bed came around the turn heading west and the bed was well into my lane.

In fact, the truck's bed was so far into the eastbound lane that it left only a few feet of space at the curve, forcing me to make an abrupt stop, while the truck passed.  The driver did not appear to be overly concerned about whether he was going to be able to make these turns without moving through the opposing lane.

The length of the truck, including the long bed, was well over the 50 feet that is on the posted signs (brought about because of local community activism) "advising" drivers that continuing on Carbon Canyon Road is not recommended.  This is, of course, only an advisory and CalTrans has no legal authority to ban vehicles from traveling along the S-curve.

Clearly, this is not an isolated incident.  I once watched an eastbound truck come down the sharper curve west of Azurite and sweep into the westbound lane as a school bus just ahead of me had to stop sharply to avoid a collision.  There have been other incidents, including trucks literally stuck and unable to make these hard turns through the S-curve.

Some years ago, a post on this blog posed the question of why Carbon Canyon Road remains a state highway.  Cited as a model for what could be done was a portion of State Route 39 on Hacienda Road from Whittier Boulevard north through a canyon in La Habra Heights that is also two lanes and features sharp curves and turns.

A number of years ago this section of highway was deleted from the system and control of the roadway went to La Habra Heights.  Large trucks are, consequently, banned from using Hacienda Road.

Carbon Canyon Road is essentially the same type of thoroughfare as Hacienda Road--it consists of two lanes, winding and curving through a canyon and steep hills.  It presents many of the same general obstacles, constrains and problems.

There is, however, one substantial difference.  There are only three viable ways to get from east to west from the lower Inland Empire to Orange County and the lower San Gabriel Valley.  There is the 60 freeway, Grand Avenue (and then the 57 for both of these heading south), the 91 Freeway, and Carbon Canyon Road.

Despite the massive growth inland, causing greater volume and congestion on these routes and despite the urge for greater numbers of long, heavy trucks to use Carbon Canyon Road as a faster alternative to the 60 and 91, all that CalTrans can do, so long as Carbon Canyon remains a state highway, is to give advice.  Local law enforcement occasionally goes out and tickets truck drivers for crossing the lane.

This morning wasn't just crossing the lane, it was taking all but several feet of it.  And, it was a question of timing and circumstance.  A few seconds' difference and there could have been a collision that could have led to serious injury and who knows what else.

Some might recall what happened on Highway 2 in La Cañada/Flintridge some years ago, when a big rig lost control coming down from the San Gabriel Mountains portion of that state highway and caused a fatality.  The situation is not exactly the same on Carbon Canyon Road, but serious collisions on the S-curve are a real possibility, as I experienced first-hand this morning and others have, as well.

Drivers on Carbon Canyon Road:  beyond the other hazards on the state highway, continue to use extra caution, especially on the S-curve and particularly when trucks that are often too large or with drivers unaccustomed to the curves are plying the road looking for a faster shortcut.

09 April 2017

The Latest Tres Hermanos Update

With the City of Industry's $100 million offer for the Tres Hermanos Ranch, in Tonner Canyon just north of Carbon Canyon, still on the table, but with an uncertain future, here is a new article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune about a lull in the situation.

21 March 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #s 22222 & 23333

Friends over at Mountain View Estates, the older neighborhood similar to Sleepy Hollow off Canon Lane and Carbon Canyon Road reported that, last Sunday, a pickup with four young people in it crashed on the state highway and rolled over.


Tonight, about an hour ago, a truck heading westbound through Sleepy Hollow went too fast, skidded into the eastbound lane and broadsided a sedan carrying a woman and her young son, who looked to be about three years old.

While the sedan is totaled, no one was injured, fortunately.


This marks the second accident recently here within steps of this house in which a vehicle left the road--a drunk driving crash was the other.

Tow trucks have just hauled the two vehicles away and it looks like the road is fully opened again, though it was never completely closed.

04 March 2017

Carbon Canyon Road School Bus Stop Signs

School buses have been picking up children along Carbon Canyon Road on the Chino Hills portion of the canyon for decades and decades.

Experience shows that, as with lots of other places, drivers along the state highway just don't follow the law and stop when a bus reaches a location, turns on its red lights and puts out the little stop sign at the back of the bus so students can board safely.


It looks like someone got the attention of CalTrans District 8, which maintains the highway on the San Bernardino County sign because there are two new signs indicating bus stops.  The westbound one is downslope from the S-curve before Fairway Drive/Ginseng Lane.  The eastbound sign is just before Canon Lane.

Not that this will stop people from continuing ignoring the fact that a full stop needs to be made in both directions when a bus picks up students and gives the proper notification.

03 March 2017

La Vida Mineral Springs Water Tank Repainted!



The Good Samaritan for the La Vida Mineral Springs water tank returned this week and painted over the graffiti sprayed on it quite some time ago.

So, thanks to whoever did this good deed yet again!

24 February 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #21112

This latest evisceration of a directional sign on the S-curve on Carbon Canyon Road between the Carriage Hills and Summit Ranch subdivisions took place within the last couple of days.


Based on how the sign was hit, it appears the driver was climbing the grade going westbound at high speed, because the non-offending sign wasn't just hit and knocked over, it was twisted and mangled.

It wasn't that long ago that the same sign was flattened by someone going eastbound, but this set of signs has been regularly bearing the brunt of errant driving on the state highway.

16 February 2017

Carbon Canyon Road Speed Limit Adjustments

Several years ago, CalTrans District 8, which controls maintenance of the Chino Hills/San Bernardino County portion of Highway 142/Carbon Canyon Road implemented speed limit changes that lowered the amounts by 5 mph.

That was soon rescinded as an immediate outcry rose up.

Within the last few weeks, however, the same agency has made adjustments to limits and sign placement.

From Chino Hills Parkway heading west the speed limit is now 50 mph, or perhaps it always was, because the portion of Highway 142 that is Chino Hills Parkway coming from the 71 Freeway has been zoned 50 heading west.

Now, however, there is a new sign soon after the turn from Chino Hills Parkway showing the 50 mph limit.


As drivers approach the first turn, Feldspar Drive, which leads into the Summit Ranch neighborhood, the speed drops to 45.

Then, not far past Feldspar, the limit becomes 40--the sign there has been moved further east.

The limit remains 40 until past the S-curve and summit and until drivers pass Fairway Drive/Ginseng Lane at the Western Hills Country Club location where the speed is 45.

Once the downslope of the road approaches Sleepy Hollow, the limit becomes 35 and remains that way until the Orange County/Brea line is crossed.

Coming east from that line, the limit is 35 until exiting Sleepy Hollow and then the limit moves to 45.  The limit reduction to 40 appears to be further west than before as the drive climbs towards the summit and S-curve.

Once that area is passed, there had been a 45 mph sign virtually at the intersection of Old Carbon Canyon Road that was mowed down by an errant driver several years ago and not replaced.  The question then was: what was the actual speed limit?  Presumably, it was still 40 because that was the last posted (and still standing) sign back before the S-curve.

Now, however, there is a new 45 mph sign though it is quite a bit further east than the previous sign had been.

Finally, after Feldspar is passed and a driver moves towards Chino Hills Parkway, the limit climbs to 50 mph.

10 February 2017

DUI Accident on Carbon Canyon Road



A little over an hour ago, a car came roaring through Sleepy Hollow and skidded into an embankment on the eastbound side of Carbon Canyon Road just past Rosemary Lane.

When a local resident went out to investigate, he found the driver was intoxicated as was the friend in the vehicle behind him.  The two men then took off eastbound, but another resident followed until they reached a shopping center in Chino Hills where Sheriff's deputies soon arrived and arrested the pair.

At the moment, a tow truck is on scene to take the car away so traffic is backed up going east on the state highway.

05 February 2017

The Gaines and Brown Families of Carbon Canyon, Part Three

Here are some more great photos, courtesy of Joyce Harrington, of members of the Gaines and Brown families, who lived in the Carbon Canyon area for decades during the 20th century.

Ed and Fanny Gaines were owners of the Flying Cow Ranch, which is where the Olinda Village community is located, and their home sat where the Hollydale mobile home park is.  Argus and Margaret Brown resided in the Olinda oil fields area where the Olinda Ranch subdivision is now, and Angus was a longtime employee on the Santa Fe lease.

This 1911 photo shows Argus Brown, right, and Emil Haskel, left, who were neighbors and carpenters on the Santa Fe lease at Olinda posed with their handiwork at an oil well.  The photos are courtesy of Joyce Harrington, a descendant of the Brown and Gaines families.
The first photo shows Brown and Emil Haskel in 1911 at work on the construction of an oil well at Olinda.  The two men, who were neighbors as shown in the federal census of the preceding year, were carpenters and the image was obviously taken to show their handiwork in the building of the apparatus of the well.

Brown, a native of Missouri who also lived in Iowa and worked as a farmer, migrated to California in the first decade of the century and found a job at Olinda in September 1907.  He later was a pumper on the lease and remained working in the area for several decades.  He and Margaret stayed in the area until she passed away in 1935 and he died about a decade later in 1946.

The 1910 federal census listed the Argus and Margaret Brown family just below Emil and Minnie Haskel at Olinda.  From Ancestry.com
Joyce Harrington provided some reminiscences from her great-aunt, Nora Brown, daughter of Argus and Margaret, and these will be shared in future posts.

Edward Gaines and his wife Fannie Atwater married on Christmas Eve 1889 and farmed in Clearwater, later Paramount, in southeastern Los Angeles County, as well as had the Flying Cow Ranch in Carbon Canyon, to which they later moved.

Fannie Atwater (1861-1947) and Edward F. Gaines (1868-1956), owners of the Flying Cow Ranch, at what is now the Olinda Village area, ca. 1900s.
The couple not only had the ranch, but were also involved in the early use of the La Vida Mineral Springs just east of their home.  Ed Gaines was well-known for his breeding of foxhounds and hunting, as well as for his ownership of a rare original stagecoach which he rode at parades and other functions.

Fannie Gaines died in early 1947 and her husband passed on just under a decade later in April 1956.  Eight years later, in 1964, the Gaines Ranch became the site of the new subdivision of Olinda Village and the construction of the Hollydale mobile home park and an adjacent church removed the Craftsman-style residence the family used for many decades.

Ed Gaines with one his cows (though it doesn't appear to be the breed that could fly) on the ranch, ca. 1940s.
Again, more history of the Gaines family, much of which has been presented in this blog in the past, will be shown through photos.

25 January 2017

Tres Hermanos Ranch Decision Postponed

The successor agency to the City of Industry's former redevelopment agency has delayed a decision on the city's $100 million offer for Tres Hermanos Ranch.

Tres Hermanos Ranch, March 2016.
The bottom line is the agency wants to know more from the city about its specific plans for the 2,500-acre property, aside from its recent general statements about preserving open space and providing public access.

Read more here.

23 January 2017

Tres Hermanos Ranch Article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Late Saturday, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune posted an article about the City of Industry's latest offer to purchase the Tres Hermanos Ranch in Tonner Canyon for $100 million.

Tres Hermanos Ranch as seen from the south, March 2016.
Mention is made about the concept of using much of the property for water storage.

Read more here.

22 January 2017

Carbon Canyon Road Closed Due to Mudslides

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.  Literally got home ten minutes ago and am now hearing the first flow of cars heading eastbound on Carbon Canyon Road, which is now completely open.

8:50 a.m., 24 January:   Chino Hills has not updated its alert, but the Brea hotline was updated a few minutes ago and says the road is closed with no clear path to Chino Hills and that CalTrans states the road might possibly be open at Noon.  Yet, for nearly two hours cars have been heading west, though with long delays.  A long line of westbound vehicles is stopped here in Sleepy Hollow, but cars have been going through for about two hours, though very slowly.

7 a.m., 24 January:  Though there have been no updates from Brea or Chino Hills, a long line of cars is making its way west on Carbon Canyon Road, which appears to indicate the road is open, though perhaps not both lanes.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m., 23 January.  A half-hour ago, a new update came out, now posted by both Brea and Chino Hills that CalTrans has revised its estimate for reopenng Carbon Canyon Road from 6 a.m. to Noon.

UPDATE, 5:40 p.m., 23 January.  The City of Brea updated its Carbon Canyon hotline an hour ago.  Residents of Olinda Village and the Hollydale mobile home park will be escorted to their homes tonight by CalTrans personnel, but will then have to "shelter in place" (that is, stay put) until the work is completed to reopen Carbon Canyon Road.

CalTrans estimates the state highway will be open by 6 a.m. tomorrow morning and it hopes to do so sooner.

4:30 p.m., 23 January.  The City of Chino Hills alert system was last updated at 1 p.m. and there was no news.  Carbon Canyon Road remains closed while repairs on the mud slide and downed power pole continue.

UPDATE, 23 January, 5:50 a.m.  An alert update almost an hour ago informs that Carbon Canyon Road remains closed from the county line to Santa Fe Road.

UPDATE, 11:05 p.m.:  Carbon Canyon Road will remain closed through the night with no given timetable for reopening.  Olinda Village residents can access their homes from Santa Fe Road eastward with a police escort only.

Not surprisingly, with the heavy downpours all day today, Carbon Canyon Road has been closed between Santa Fe Road and Olinda Village, where the uphill climb eastward passes the steep slopes of the hills.

Mud slides and a downed power pole are involved, according to notices posted just moments ago on the Brea phone hotline and the Chino Hills website.  More information will be posted when available.

The Gaines and Brown Families of Carbon Canyon, Part Two

Here are a couple more great photographs provided by Joyce Harrington of her ancestors in the Brown and Gaines families, who were in the Olinda oil fields (Brown) and at the Flying Cow Ranch (Gaines) where Olinda Village is now.

The first photograph shows Earl Brown and others at an office, probably the Santa Fe lease where the Olinda Ranch subdivision now is located, on the Olinda lease.  The date was given on the photograph as 1909 or 1910.

Employees at an office, probably on the Santa Fe lease, at Olinda, ca. 1909-10.  The photos shown here are courtesy of Joyce Harrington.
The second image is a look at the Gaines family home from the southeast.  It looks as if the photo was taken on what is now the Hollydale mobile home park.

The dirt road leading to the house probably came up from the old road through Carbon Canyon, which was down along the creek as it came from Olinda to the west, met the confluence with Soquel Canyon and its creek and then headed uphill to Carbon Canyon just east of the ranch.

The Flying Cow Ranch house of Ed and Fannie Gaines seen from the southeast.  The location of the photo appears to be on what is now the Hollydale mobile home park and the peaked hill in the background is to the west of the Olinda Village subdivision.
People familiar with the area will recognize the peaked hill in the background, which is to the west of the Olinda Village tract.

More fantastic photos coming soon!

20 January 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #20001

Looks like this one happened earlier today.


The location is on the S-curve along Carbon Canyon Road between Summit Ranch and Carriage Hills in Chino Hills.


As said here before, these come in groups.

19 January 2017

The Gaines and Brown Families of Carbon Canyon, Part 1

Yesterday, a package arrived in the mail from Joyce Harrington, who lives in central California, and who is descended from the Gaines and Brown families, whose histories in Carbon Canyon go back almost 120 years.

Ms. Harrington very generously offered to share photos and reminiscences from both families for publication here (as well as for the Brea Historical Society) and there is enough material to keep this series going for quite some time.  Some sorting, organizing and arranging needs to be done, but let's start off with some basic information and a couple of great photos.

Earl Brown in a carriage pulled by "Nick" the horse at Olinda, ca. 1910s.  Photos courtesy of Joyce Harrington.

Her mother Barbara Brown was the daughter of Ora A. Brown and Stella Aileen Gaines.  The Browns were from Missouri and arrived at the Olinda oil field in 1907, a decade after the first well was brought in there by Edward Doheny in partnership with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.  In fact, the Browns lived in housing on the Santa Fe lease where the Olinda Ranch subdivision is across from the Carbon Canyon Dam and Regional Park.

The Gaines family had been in Gilroy near San Jose and then migrated south to Hynes and Clearwater, communities now known as Paramount, near Long Beach.  The family had a ranch there as well as in Carbon Canyon and the home on the latter is where the Bharat Sevashram Sangha Temple is adjacent to the Hollydale mobile home park at Olinda Village.

Edward F. Gaines at an entrance to the Flying Cow Ranch where the Olinda Village community is now located.
Ora Brown and Aileen Gaines attended the Olinda School, which was located near Carbon [Canyon] Creek in what is today the east end of the regional park.  They then attended Fullerton High School, which served the whole area, and married in 1918.

Some of this history of the Gaines family and their Flying Cow Ranch has been posted here before as well as general information about the Olinda oil field.  Future posts in this series will intersperse the history of the ranch and oil field, but the focus will be on the amazing photos Ms. Harrington has generously provided.

The Gaines family home on Flying Cow Ranch, where the Bharat Sevashram Sangha Temple is next to Hollydale mobile home park in Olinda Village. 
For now, enjoy the few examples here and check back regularly for further posts!

17 January 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #19999

CORRECTION, 9:45 a.m.:  Thanks to a local resident who commented on a Facebook post about this accident and stated that this accident was early on Sunday before 6 a.m.   The resident saud a car was wedged between the power pole at the left of the photo and the fence to the right.

These incidents tend to come in bunches with lulls in between.  This one appears to have happened last night.


The location is eastbound on Carbon Canyon Road on the S-curve between Azurite Drive and Old Carbon Canyon Road.


It's another common place for cars to depart the roadway on a steep curved downhill.


The skid marks began a ways out before the vehicle rode up the embankment.


Note that a utility box was crushed and deposited atop the embankment.

16 January 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #s 19674, 19728, 19802

The latest trio of traffic travails of note have taken place on Carbon Canyon Road within the last few weeks.

They all took place on familiar and frequent locations for errant driving and, while rain may (or may not) have been a factor, that's a far cry for an excuse.


In any case, two took place in the vicinity of the old La Vida Mineral Springs property on the Brea side, in which guardrails on the westbound side were crumpled, crushed and crinkled.  In the case of the one just after the former Manely Friends property, a section of chain link fencing was also battered.


A little further down, where the old entrance to the La Vida motel was located, a section of guardrail that has repeatedly been damaged and replaced has, again, been hit.


The third area is at the entrance to the Carriage Hills development at the S-curve and summit on the Chino Hills portion and involved an eastbound vehicle veering off the highway and tearing out some portions of turf there, just narrowly missing a power pole.


There have been other incidents, including one at the east end of Sleepy Hollow, where fluid residue has been visible on the roadway, and an accident between Canon Lane and Canyon Hills Road, within the same general time period.

14 January 2017

City of industry To Offer $100 Million for Tres Hermanos Ranch

According to yesterday's Pasadena Star-News, the City of Industry has upped its offer to purchase the 2,500-acre Tres Hermanos Ranch, which the city acquired forty years ago through its now-defunct redevelopment agency, to $100 million.

This was done after the regular council meeting Thursday included a closed session discussion after which the matter was to be resumed in two weeks.  However, a special meeting was called for yesterday afternoon, at which the decision was made to make the offer.

Industry city attorney Jamie Casso stated that the special meeting was called, with 24 hours notice as required by law, because the city had to make its offer ten days in advance of the next meeting of the successor agency to the city's redevelopment agency.

The article paraphrased Industry city manager Paul Philips' statement that "the City Council wants the land preserved for open space, public uses and public facilities" but did not offer details when contacted by the reporter, saying, "It's a work in progress."

Tres Hermanos Ranch as seen from the south, March 2016.
The land, which became subject to the disposition under the successor agency, was eyed by developers, with an Irvine firm, GH America, making a $101 million offer.  The city had an appraisal done that valued the land at less than half that amount and offered just over $40 million for the ranch, but is obviously willing to match the private offer.

The successor agency will consider Industry's latest offer at its next meeting on the 23rd.

The Star-News pointed out that the $100 million would come from Industry's general fund and that the city has a $264 million budget and some $800 million as surplus, amounts that far exceed what other municipalities have.

Chino Hills' mayor Ray Marquez, who is also a realtor, offered his views on the latest developments with Tres Hermanos, stating that residents prefer preservation of open space to high-density housing, but questioned why Industry would put up that kind of money, noting "there is a reason for it" and asking "what value is it to them?"

For more on this story, click here.

08 January 2017

Carbon Canyon in "The Old Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Orange County", 1952

Sixty-five years ago this month, in January 1952, the Title Insurance and Trust Company, which did a massive business in greater Los Angeles real estate for many decades, issued a pamphlet, "The Old Spanish and Mexican Rancho of Orange County,"

Ticor Title, as it is now known today, began life in 1894 due to the merger of two firms dealing with title abstracts (summary histories of real estate properties) and title insurance (established to cover issues with legal defects in a property).  The Los Angeles area had been through the massive Boom of the 1880s, in which tens of thousands of settlers flocked to the small city and many more in the region.  It was during that boom that William H. Bailey came to the area, purchased some former public land northeast of Anaheim and established the Olinda Ranch at the west end of the Carbon Canyon area.

In 1894, the local economy was in a downturn, drought was a frequent occurrence in the decade, and a national depression broke out the prior year.  Yet, the Los Angeles oil field was, two years before, brought into existence by Charles Canfield and Edward Doheny and Doheny soon explored on Bailey's ranch, five years before incorporated into the new County of Orange during the boom, and located a spot to explore for a new well.

In 1897, the first producing well at the Olinda (first called Fullerton, then Olinda or Brea-Olinda) field was brought in by Doheny, who partnered with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, which was converting its locomotives to oil, the new industry standard.  The history of northeast Orange County became intertwined with that of the new "black gold" followed by the rapid growth of citrus farming.

This is a partial detail of a large foldout map from a 1952 publication by Title Insurance and Trust Company (TICOR) of Los Angeles about the Spanish and Mexican era ranchos of Orange County.  Click on any image to see them expanded in a separate window.
The pamphlet was written by company executive William W. Robinson, who wrote a great many works of greater Los Angeles history, and what he noted was that,
as late as March 11, 1889, when Governor [Robert] Waterman signed the bill forming the new county of Orange out of the south=eastern part of Los Angeles County, the land was still largely "rancho."  Valleys and grazing plains, crossed by the Santa Ana River, and a number of creeks or streams, predominated—the sort of country that has been the first choice of rancheros in Spanish and Mexican days when cattle raising was California's chief industry.
Robinson pointed out that there was only one established settlement before the founding of the German colony of Anaheim in 1857, this being the mission town of San Juan Capistrano.  But, flood and drought catastrophically hit the region in the early to mid 1860s, destroying the cattle industry.  What followed was the foreclosure or sale and then subdivision of much of the land in the area, with small farms, vineyards and orchards predominating in many cases.

As the author noted, during the region's first growth boom, which extended from the late 1860s through the mid 1870s, a raft of new towns and settlements sprung up during that first boom, including Garden Grove, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Westminster.  Though Robinson didn't mention it, the growth period spectacular came to an end in 1875-76, when a bust in San Francisco enveloped Los Angeles, and stagnation resulted for a decade.

Then, the 1885 arrival of the Santa Fe from the east bringing a direct transcontinental link to greater Los Angeles ushered in that great "Boom of the Eighties."  Robinson lists new boom towns like Buena Park, El Modena [now part of Orange], Fullerton, and Olive [also in Orange].

Yet, what he left out was the fact that huge swaths of land in the southern part of the county remained open ranching and farming areas under the ownership of the family of James Irvine, who hit the jackpot when he bought former ranchos in the mid-1860s during the worst days of that decade's drought.

By 1952, the Irvine Company was still in possession of most of these holdings and most of that was still agricultural.  Those days, however, were soon to come to an end.  The early 1950s was the onset of another great boom in the region, as post-World War II Orange County became suburbia on steroids.  Tract houses, shopping centers, schools, a network of streets and freeways, and other elements totally transformed the county, though most of that was in concept and planning when the pamphlet was published.

There were some twenty Spanish and Mexican era ranchos that were fully or partially in Orange County.  This blog has mentioned many times before that the Carbon Canyon area was actually part of public lands set aside (wisely) under Spanish rule to provide common livestock grazing areas, so that ranchers would not overgraze their dominions.

Another detail takes in the northeastern reaches of Orange County to the borders with Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  Carbon Canyon and nearby areas are at the top, just left of center.  The white area there represented public land, held in common use for the neighboring ranches for additional livestock grazing land.
A large color foldout map pasted to the inside back cover of the pamphlet provides the location of the neighboring ranchos overlaid onto the grid of streets, rail lines and other elements that existed in 1946, just as the war ended and on the verge of the boom that would follow.  It is a particularly interesting and valuable map to show the convergence of history and "modern" development waiting to happen.

As to the relevant ranchos in the general Carbon Canyon area, there was, to the west, "San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana," which the pamphlet stated
extends from the northwest bank of the Santa Ana River to Ranchos La Habra and Los Coyotes on the north and west.  The cities of Anaheim, Fullerton, Placentia, and Brea have arisen on this rancho.
San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana was granted in 1837 by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado to Juan Pacifico Ontiveros and totaled just under 36,000 acres.

To the south was the "Cañon de Santa Ana", described as
this rancho of rolling foothills and small canyons lies near the boundary line between Orange and San Bernardino counties and along and north of the curving Santa Ana River.  The town of Yorba is within this rancho, also a portion of Yorba Linda [both were combined very shortly after publication].
The ranch was granted by Governor José Figueroa to Bernardo Yorba in 1834 and totaled just a shade over 13,300 acres.  Yorba was a remarkable figure and also obtained the ranchos Sierra and Rincon in what is now Riverside County adjoining the Santa Ana River and inherited part of the Santiago de Santa Ana ranch from his father.  As Robinson observed, this allowed Yorba "to run his herds of cattle from the Riverside area to Newport Bay."

A tiny sliver of a ranch, in comparison, to the northwest of Carbon Canyon was "Rincon de la Brea."  Naturally, the name of the area came from brea, or tar, deposits of which were found in the canyon named for the material used to cover house roofs and for other purposes.  It also indicated part of where future deposits of oil were to be located in a belt running from modern Montebello into Brea.

Robinson recorded that the ranch, a little less than 4,500 acres, was granted in early 1841 by Governor Alvarado to Gil Ybarra, a well-known Los Angeles resident and office holder.  Most of Rincon de la Brea falls within Los Angeles County, with just the southern tip extending through Brea Canyon into Orange County just north of the City of Brea.

Honing in on the Carbon Canyon area, this detail shows it, as well as Soquel and Telepgraph canyons moving east from the Olinda oil town towards the county line with San Bernardino.  "La Vida Hot Springs," technically "La Vida Mineral Springs" is shown, as well.
The first detail of the map shown here gives a perspective from Seal Beach, Santa Ana, and Tustin on the south to the northern border of Orange County and from the San Gabriel River area on the west to the eastern reachers of Santa Ana Canyon on the east.

The three aforementioned ranches are in blue, green and pink, respectively, while the public lands adjacent and available to those properties are in white with a narrow strip rising from the Santa Ana River in what is now Anaheim, Placentia, Brea and Yorba Linda up to the widened area that principally includes what is now Chino Hills State Park, Carbon Canyon, the Chino Hills above the canyon.

A second detail shows more of the eastern reaches of the map, including where the county lines of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino meet and where the canyons of Telegraph, Soquel, and Carbon extend towards Chino.

Finally, the last detail takes in those three canyons, the oil town of Olinda, the short-lived boomtown of Carlton on the southern portion of the Olinda Ranch, and the streets as laid out in 1946.  Note Valencia Avenue extended north from Imperial Highway and then curved east (right) into Carbon Canyon Road--the old asphalt path still exists in an oil field east of modern Valencia and south of today's Carbon Canyon.  Lambert Road was a ways off into the future and Brea-Olinda Boulevard was later renamed Birch Street (for Brea Canyon oil magnate A. Otis Birch, who grew up in Santa Ana.)

The thick black line near the center coming up through the old Carlton area was the spur railroad line of the Santa Fe emanating from Atwood (Placentia) to take shipments of crude from the Olinda fields out to refining.  The only marked entity within Carbon Canyon was the La Vida Hot [actually, Mineral} Springs resort, a few decaying ruins of which still exist on the Brea side of the canyon.  It is also worth pointing that the historic Brea Canyon, as shown on this map and many others, is actually today's Tonner Canyon!