This is part of the research into the history of the Newhall Ranch House that was performed by Jerry Reynolds, curator of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, in August 1990 when the
society obtained the structure from The Newhall Land and Farming Co.
It provides some insight into Reynolds' conculsion (which he terms "conclusion and speculation") that the "back portion" of the structure was built in the 1860s by Thomas Bard.
The entire 3-page document appears above; the summary (Page 3 only) is transcribed below.
Conclusion and Speculation
From the physical evidence, maps and written sources, it is fairly certain that the back portion of the Newhall Ranch House was built sometime before Henry Mayo Newhall acquired the property in 1875.
It is doubtful that the Del Valle family would have built it, as they were nearly impoverished and by all accounts living in the Milk House midway up the hillside.
Obviously, Fernald and Richards would not have built the house, as they, probably, were never there and never even paid their note on the place.
The most logical candidates would be William Wolfskill, who owned the Rancho San Francisco jointly with Ygnacio and Jose Del Valle (1860 to 1865); and Thomas Bard, Col. Scott's agent and nephew (1865 to1873).
Since some structure appears on the 1870 map and the bricks were made in the 1860s, we may conclude that this portion was put up between 1860 and 1870.
Bard was frequently at the Rancho and was primarily interested in its oil potential, even sinking some wells on the property. The corporate owner during this time was The Philadelphia and California Petroleum Co. Three wells drilled produced such poor kerosene that it was unsalable.
More than likely it was Thomas Bard who built the small house sometime between 1865 (when he bought the ranch) and 1870 (when the Cooper map was made).
The main house, of course, was built by Henry Gregory Newhall in 1893. It went through several alterations after that, mainly in 1971, after the February earthquake.
Jerry Reynolds, Curator
HS9032: Download individual pages and pdf here