Originally a sleepy little town surrounded by a few large ranches, Saugus grew and expanded in the late 1940s when many in post–World War II America moved west. The community, still dedicated to family living, has developed around Bouquet Canyon Road, which extends through picturesque hills all the way to the Antelope Valley. Recently a residents’ survey showed that 70 percent of homeowners want Saugus to remain a bedroom community rather becoming a business-oriented area.
Saugus’s many amenities include the Saugus Speedway and Swap Meet, one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in SoCal, Castaic Lake Water Agency’s filtration plant and education center, a Metrolink station, and the Mountasia Family Fun Center, which offers an arcade, roller skating rink, go-kart racing, miniature golf, and a batting cage. The community’s recreational offerings include the 40-acre Central Park with lighted sports fields, walkways, and over 500 trees; the 5-acre Circle J Ranch Park with a picnic area, walkways, trails, and children’s play area; and the city-operated Santa Clarita Sports Complex with basketball, volleyball, and racquetball courts, an outdoor skate park, teen center, arts and crafts room, dance room, and various multipurpose rooms.
Like Newhall, Saugus has a long history. In 1887—the same year the famous Saugus Café opened—the Southern Pacific Railroad established a train stop in the area and named it Saugus after Henry Mayo Newhall’s birthplace in Massachusetts. Bringing actors William S. Hart, Tom Mix, and Gene Autry to the area, Hollywood frequently used Newhall and Saugus for filming westerns, and the area’s rugged wilderness came to define the classic western scenery. In fact, Saugus was the real-life setting for one of the West’s last nonfictional train robberies in 1929 performed by “Buffalo” Tom Vernon.
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