Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Acton Post Office

75th Anniversary Postal Cover

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Postal cover from May 5, 1962, commemorating the 75th anniversary, more or less, of the founding of the Acton Post Office in 1887. This example is counterstamped at Riverside on May 7. The addressee ("Langdon" in San Bernardino) has been erased.

Sometime in late 1887 Richard E. Nickel, then 31, moved the old Soledad Post Office, as it was known by locals, from Ravenna to the general store that he built in Acton (with his home above) in November of that year. Nickel officially became Acton's first postmaster on Jan. 24, 1888. Nickel would become the leading citizen of Acton (he had been its second permanent resident). Nickel built the Acton Hotel, lauched the area's first water company and, in 1891, started the Santa Clarita Valley's first newspaper, the Acton Rooster. It came out on the 15th of every month for the next 22 years, keeping the town's sparse but growing population apprised of the local mining activity, events at the Acton community church, and such things.

Of course, the former Soledad Post Office wasn't actually the Soledad Post Office. In 1868, folks in the little mining camp of "Soledad City," which had finally "landed" about four miles southwest of the future community of Acton after moving around from one ore strike to the next, petitioned the United States Postal Service for a post office. The USPS rejected the name "Soledad" because there already was a Soledad, California, so the miners decided to rename their town after one of their most important and influential people — Manuel Ravenna, the saloonkeeper. Thus, on June 12, 1868, was the town of Ravenna officially born, and a few months later, on Oct. 8, the townsfolk got their post office. George Gleason, head of the area's Gleason Mining District, was Ravenna's first postmaster.

As if all that wasn't confusing enough, your webmaster has no idea what "Hi Canyon Country" is supposed to mean. It isn't some sort of strange shout-out to a neighboring Santa Clarita Valley community, because Canyon Country wasn't called "Canyon Country" until about 1971, a decade after this cover was printed. One supposes it could refer to "high" canyons, as Acton is higher in elevation than the rest of the Santa Clarita Valley to the southwest, or the Mojave Desert to the northeast.

LW2056: 9600 dpi jpeg; original postal cover purchased 2019 by Leon Worden.


Meryl Adams Lecture (Audio 1977)


February 1957


Post Office
75th Anniversary


November 1970

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