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!

No comments: