Los Angeles Herald | October 20, 1910.
The Castaic Oil company is down 1,700 feet with a wildcat well in Castaic canyon, six miles from any producing well. The well is west of Saugus in the northern end of Los Angeles county.
Try Castaic Canyon for Wildcat Well.
Bakersfield Californian | August 12, 1925.
W.W. Stabler is rigging up to start drilling his new wildcat well in Castaic canyon. He stated yesterday that he expected to get the drill started in about 10 days.
This test will be drilled near the Ridge route, about five miles north of Saugus, where Mr. Stabler has about 1,200 acres under lease. The well will be known as Jenkins No. 1.
According to field reports several test holes have been drilled in the canyon during the last 10 or 15 years, and all of them are said to have found oil or gas, or both. Their failure to obtain oil in paying quantities is attributed by Mr. Stabler to the fact that the drillers either didn’t have proper mechanical facilities or lacked experience.
Holes have been drilled there as deep as 3,300 feet, it is reported, and Mr. Stabler expects to go at least that deep.
Unforgettable Bee Thieves
Exploratory Oil Well at Castaic High School Site
Map from the Castaic High School Draft Environmental Impact Report (July 2012), showing the abandoned Devil’s Canyon No. 1 oil location. According to the DEIR, Devil’s Canyon No. 1 was drilled to 7,657 feet in 1946 and abandoned in 1947; it was a dry hole. It remains on the books of the ChevronTexaco Exploration & Production Co.

Conceptual Site Plan, Castaic High School
Conceptual site plan for Castaic High School, from the Castaic High School Draft Environmental Impact Report (July 2012).
Jackson & Winkler Homesteads
Boundaries of the Francis C. Jackson and Norman C. Winkler homesteads in Romero Canyon, superimposed over a 2017 Google Maps image of the William S. Hart Union High School District’s freshly graded Castaic High School site.
Francis C. Jackson (light blue on map) was granted two patents to 200 acres of land on April 17, 1922, under the Homestead Act of 1862 as follows: the northwest quarter of Section 27 of Township 5 North, Range 17 West, constituting 160 acres (the bigger square); and the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 28 of Township 5 North, Range 17 West, constituting 40 acres. (A section is 640 acres.) The federal government retained oil and gas rights.
Norman C. Winkler (light orange on map) was granted a patent to 160 acres of land on Dec. 18, 1922, under the Homestead Act of 1862 as follows: the southwest quarter of Section 22 of Township 5 North, Range 17 West. (The government did not retain oil and gas rights.) A chicken rancher, Winkler had filed for a stock-raising patent in 1916 and then filed a homestead entry on Aug. 9, 1920. He built his home(s) on this parcel and patented nine additional parcels farther up Romero Canyon for his livestock operation.

Built in 1962, this was the second cabin on the land in Romero Canyon homesteaded in the early 1920s by Norman C. Winkler. It burned to the ground in the 2,183 acre Castaic fire of Aug. 27, 2001.
Patent notice filed in 1922 by Norman C. Winkler, homesteader in Romero Canyon.
Homesteaders had five years to “prove up” their claims with a dwelling and crops or livestock. Winkler filed on the property in 1920, built a cabin in 1921, planted trees and raised chickens. By this notice Winkler was saying he would complete all of the homestead requirements within another three years (1925).
The patent filing was witnessed by some of Castaic’s prominent early citizens, namely Lee Romero and Robert Sloan. The notice ran in The Newhall Signal on Jan. 12, 1922.
Residents of the Newhall-Saugus Area (Santa Clarita Valley) voted April 24, 1962, to connect to the State Water Project, necessitating the formation of the Upper Santa Clara Valley Water Agency to wholesale the water to the local water retailers. The entity was renamed Castaic Lake Water Agency in 1970 as plans were in the works to build a reservoir to hold the water in Castaic. Construction on the dam started in 1967 and was completed in April 1972. The Castaic Reservoir, colloquially known as Castaic Lake — not to be confused with the original, natural Castaic (aka Castac) Lake in Lebec — opened for recreational use in phases: the afterbay (lower lake) on May 22, followed by the upper (main) lake on June 26. (Note: A date of June 3 was previously recorded for the opening of Castaic Lake, but nothing actually happened on that date.)