Back to the list

Pioneer Oil Refinery (Old Town Newhall)

Pine St Santa Clarita CA

Old Town Newhall

The Pioneer Oil Refinery on Pine Street in Newhall dates to mid-1876. Andrew Kazinski's brand-new stagecoach stop at the mouth of Railroad Canyon made the ideal location for a new refinery. Not only did it have a bountiful supply of water for refining operations, but it sat right next to the train tracks producing mostly kerosenes but also benzene, a fire-test safety illuminating oil, and lubricants. Each of the two largest stills had a capacity of 150 barrels a day. The Pioneer Oil Refinery formed the foundation for the oil industry on the West Coast.

The refinery served the western market for some fifteen years. It was the first commercially successful oil refinery in the Western United States and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world. The City of Santa Clarita acquired the Pioneer Oil Refinery property as a gift from Chevron USA in 1997 and plans include restoration and to turn the area into a public park.