Newhall Refinery Historic Photos



This poor quality photo is probably the earliest one of the refinery. On the back is written Newhall Refining Co. 1931. The back also has a developer date of 12/16/1931. The view is toward the southeast and the road in front of the refinery must be Clampitt Road. The Newhall Refining Co. did not exist before 1942, so that must have been written after 1942 by someone who did not know the early history of the refinery.


Open letter from J.O. Moffett (Van Nuys News 8/20/1934)


Refined by the San Fernando Refining Co. (Van Nuys News 9/3/1934)


View toward the northeast. Photo from the 1940's

Photo used by permission of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society


Almost the same view a little more toward the northeast. Photo from the 1940's. These two photos were probably taken at the same time. They were donated to Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society in March 2003 by Rita Rippe. You can see the "tower" geologic feature in the background.

Photo used by permission of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society


Put them together and you get this

Photos used by permission of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society


8/12/1944 newspaper photo. Caption: "2,500,000 Gallons of Oil Go To Blazes - Newhall, Calif., Flames and smoke roll hundreds of feet into the night sky as 2,500,000 gallons of crude oil burn at the Newhall Refining Co., which was destroyed by the fire and explosions punctuating the blaze. Cause of the fire was said to have been ignition of naphtha fumes by a bunsen burner in a plant laboratory. Thirty families were evacuated from nearby homes and two men were seriously burned. At right foreground is the plant's cooler house, which collapsed immediately after this picture was taken." See here on the SCV History website for a British Pathe video that shows the fire.


Another 8/12/1944 newspaper photo. Caption: "Flames and smoke envelope a portion of the Newhall Refining Co., which was destroyed by a fire starting in a plant laboratory when naphtha fumes were ignited by a bunsen burner. Six large tank explosions punctuated the blazing of 2,500,000 gallons of crude oil."


Unknown date, but probably from the 1950's

Photo used by permission of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society


Unknown date, but probably also from the 1950's

Photo used by permission of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society


Photo dated August 17, 1956: This fire was caused after the navy shot a total of 208 rockets at an out-of-control F-6F Hellcat drone airplane. Photo caption says "Raging brush fire is shown minutes before it was halted in Newhall refinery area near Placerita Canyon and Highway 6. County firemen confined blaze to loss of six storage tanks and two oil sumps. Highway was closed for several hours when fire leaped pavement." From the Valley Times Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library.


From the Los Angeles Times of October 7, 1973


From the Gary Morton Collection comes this image of a San Fernando Refinery Company truck. Gary says that the truck is a late 1930's Sterling J model. See his website if you are interested in trucks. He has hundreds of images.

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain
and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of Gary Morton.