Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Swall Hotel
Newhall, California

Click image to enlarge

Albert C. Swall built and opened this two-story brick hotel at the southwest corner of Market Street and Spruce Street (now called Main Street) in 1914 after William Mayhue raised the rent on the general store Swall ran at Market and Railroad. Many of Newhall's merchants followed Swall's lead to Spruce Street, making it Newhall's new main street — including the operators of the businesses on the ground floor of Swall's new hotel (from left): the meat market/grocery store, hardware store and pharmacy. The building also houses the Newhall post office.

The "Drugs" sign that hangs out over the Market Street sidewalk (far right) is big enough to be seen by train passengers at the SPRR Newhall depot, a block behind the photographer.

In later decades, Ralph Williams bought the property and ran the pharmacy, complete with soda fountain. The upstairs became attorneys' offices (rented by Adrian Adams, Jim Lowder, Dan Hon). The bricks came tumbling down in the earthquake of Feb. 9, 1971; the building was rebuilt and refinished in stucco. As of 2013 the corner space is Work Boots.

According to property owner Susan Davy (pers. comm. 1-26-2017), daughter of Newhall pharmacist Ralph Williams, the pharmacy building was completely torn down after the earthquake, the soil was compacted, and the structure was "rebuilt from scratch."

"The months prior — about 1 year — to the earthquake, my husband and I spent remodeling the pharmacy building and all the store fronts beginning with 24263-65-67-69-71-73-75 San Fernando Road."

"The night before the earthquake, we took some of the subcontractors out to Tip's to celebrate the finish of the pharmacy remodeling. You can imagine how everyone felt the morning of February 9, 1971."

About this photograph, Perkins writes:

The Swall Block — Market & Spruce Sts — pictured in 1920. Standing, left to right: August Ferrier, Ed Abbott, Philip Rivera, Robert Ball, Albert Swall.

This two-story brick block was built in 1914, and, locally, was a 7 day wonder having electric lights, bricks, and two stories. Robert Ball was druggist and proprietor of the Newhall Pharmacy. Next tenancy was the Meat Market & Grocery, Abbott the proprietor. Rivera cut meat there. Then the lobby of Swall's Hotel, and beyond that, the postoffice, A.C. Swall, postmaster.

AP1523: 19200 dpi jpeg from copy print | Same as AP0116

• Swall Family
• Swall-Gulley Store


1915 Calendar




Medicine Bottle 1920s-30s

Jones Family Proprietors 1920s-60s


Snow 1931


July 1948


Snow 1949


~1952 x2


Pharmacy (Int/Ext) 1952 x3

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