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He purchased a number of the old Spanish and Mexican land grants in the state for a total of 143,000 acres (58,000 ha) between Monterey and Los Angeles counties.

The most significant portion was the 46,460 acres (18,800 ha) Rancho San Francisco in northern Los Angeles County, which he purchased for /acre, and which became known as Newhall Ranch after Newhall's death.

In time, "little Santa Clara" became "Santa Clarita." In 1842, Francisco Lopez made the first "documented" discovery of gold in California. The discovery was made in Placerita Canyon, an area later used as Hollywood's original back lot.

The event is memorialized in an 1842 mining claim issued by Gov. The community of Newhall is named after Henry Newhall, a businessman who made his fortune during the California Gold Rush after opening up the H. Newhall & Company, a successful auction house in San Francisco. He invested in rail companies that would connect San Francisco to other cities and became president of the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad.

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Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park and Stevenson Ranch are both commonly associated with Santa Clarita, but are located just outside the city limits.The Santa Clara River was named by Spanish explorers for Clare of Assisi.The valley and the settlement later became known as "little Santa Clara" in deference to the Northern California mission and city of Santa Clara, California.In 1870, he and his partners sold the company to Southern Pacific Railroad, on whose board of directors he then sat.After railroads, Newhall turned to real estate and ranching.

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