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Photo courtesy of the City of Santa Clarita.

Pioneer Oil Refinery In Newhall Named Historic Site

The Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall, which was the first successful such refinery built and operated in California, has been named a Historic Site in the National Register of Historic Places.

On Tuesday, officials with the City of Santa Clarita announced that the refinery had been added as a Historic Site in the National Register of Historic Places, and had also been listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.

 “Built in the 19th century, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall played a pivotal role in the early development of the Santa Clarita Valley,” an official statement issued by the City Tuesday reads. “Chevron donated the Pioneer Oil Refinery site to the City of Santa Clarita in 1997, and since then, the City Council has worked to preserve and restore this one-of-a-kind piece of American history.”

While the site is not open to the public as of this writing, the Santa Clarita City Council recently approved more than $250,000 to stabilize and restore the structures located there, with future plans to create an educational park to “share the history of the refinery with residents and visitors of all ages.”

See Related: City Officials Provide Update On Canyon Country Community Center

The Pioneer Oil Refinery itself was originally built by California Star Oil Works, which would go on to become Chevron, in 1876. It was used to process oil discovered in Pico Canyon for its first dozen years of operation.

Then, in 1888, the refinery was changed to provide water to the nearby oil drilling operation at Pico Number 4 in Mentryville.

Just over 40 years after that in 1930, the site was officially recognized as California’s first commercial oil refinery. Then, in 1975, the refinery was identified as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

To learn more about the Pioneer Oil Refinery, contact Lance O’Keefe, Recreation and Community Services Manager, at (661) 250-3716.

Residents can view the National Register of Historic Places by clicking here.

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Pioneer Oil Refinery In Newhall Named Historic Site

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About Michael Brown

Michael Brown has lived in Santa Clarita his whole life. Graduating from Saugus High School in 2016, he continued to stay local by attending The Master’s University, where he achieved a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. Michael joined KHTS in January of 2018 as a news intern, and has since gone on to become the News Director for the KHTS Newsroom. Since joining KHTS, Michael has covered many breaking news stories (both on scene and on air), interviewed dozens of prominent state and federal political figures, and interacted with hundreds of residents from Santa Clarita. When he is not working, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, as well as reading any comic book he can get his hands on.