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Taking a trip back in time

‘Wild West Days’ fundraiser continues Sunday

Posted: June 30, 2012 3:08 p.m.
Updated: June 30, 2012 3:08 p.m.

Caitlyn Jones (8), left, and brother Brady (10) of Valencia hitch a ride in a replica 1800's stage coach at the inaugural SCV Wild West Days at Heritage Junction in Newhall on Saturday.

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Tracy Everett sat in a horse-drawn stagecoach and held on tightly as the coach’s large metal wheels bumped down a dusty dirt road behind the Santa Clarita Valley Heritage Junction.

A cowboy riding horseback rode up next to the stagecoach, and Everett whipped out her iPhone to take his picture.

“I live here (in Santa Clarita),” said the 53-year-old Newhall resident, “so I feel like it’s important to learn its history.”

Everett got a taste of history at Saturday’s “Wild West Days” fundraiser for the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. The event featured live country music, a stagecoach ride, gold panning and western re-enactment shows.

The historical society preserves and showcases the history of the Santa Clarita Valley. The society is raising money to finish and open a history center at the Heritage Junction next to William S. Hart Park.

“We used to have more saloons than churches in this valley,” said Ed Marg, vice president of the historical society.

Marg said he wants the younger generation of Santa Clarita Valley residents to understand and appreciate the valley’s history — even the colorful parts.

“During prohibition we had moonshine stills all over the place in the hills,” Marg said. “We had our own hillbillies.”

The Santa Clarita Valley also had its own gold rush, along with mining and oil drilling, said Marg, adding that the ranchers and miners didn’t always get along.

Marg first became interested in the valley’s history when his 20-year-old daughter could not explain the historical significance of the locomotive.

After that, he said, he became determined to learn more about the valley and share its history with others.

On the stagecoach ride Saturday, Everett’s 7-year-old daughter, Adelynn, said she didn’t flinch a bit when gun-totting bandits stopped the coach and demanded money.

“I wasn’t scared,” she said. “I knew it was fake.”

Wild West Days continue Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 Click here for more photos.


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