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Owensmouth may refer to:

1920 Sherman Way in downtown Owensmouth, with Los Angeles Pacific Railroad lines
Buildings in Owensmouth 1914.

Owensmouth, California was a town founded in 1912 in the Western part of the San Fernando Valley. Owensmouth joined the city of Los Angeles in 1917, and was renamed Canoga Park on March 1, 1931. Owensmouth was named for the 1913 Owens River aqueduct's terminus in current Canoga Park. The town was started by the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company as part of an extraordinary real estate development in Southern California.[1] Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company was owned by a syndicate of rich Los Angeles investors, developers, and speculators: including Harrison Gray Otis, Harry Chandler, Moses Sherman, Hobart Johnstone Whitley, and others.[2] On April 2, 1915 H. J. Whitley purchased the Suburban Home Company so that he would have complete control for finishing the development. [3] It anticipated possible connections to but was planned independent of the soon to be completed (1913) Los Angeles Aqueduct from the Owens River watershed to the City of Los Angeles through the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.The newly built Sherman Way double drive and the Pacific Electric street cars, opened on December 7, 1912, gave new access to the town and to the other new towns in the valley Van Nuys (1911) and Marion (now Reseda); At the time the new road and streetcar seemed like route to an open agricultural fields at the end of the line — but was a necessity to promote development. Sherman Way was a paved boulevard with lush landscaping and no speed limit where one might get up to 35 mph, there was a separate dirt road for farm wagons/equipment, and telegraph lines.[2]

The new town had its problems, not till 1913 did electricity get installed. In 1916 there were only 200 residents. The town and orchards did not get any aqueduct water till 1917, when City of Los Angeles annexed Owensmouth. The street, Owensmouth Avenue that runs north-west through the Valley, is one of the few reminders of the 1910s.[4]

  • The community's name was changed to Canoga Park in 1931.
  • Current West Hills, Los Angeles, was part of Owensmouth from 1912 to 1931. In 1987 West Hills was formed from a homeowners break way from Canoga Park forming the new community.
  • Owensmouth Ave, a street running north and south through the San Fernando Valley just east of Topanga Canyon Blvd, from just south of the CA 118 to just north of CA 101.
1917 map of the San Fernando Valley by the Automobile Club of Southern California, showing the town of Owensmouth in the current location of Canoga Park and West Hills
Southern Pacific Railroad Owensmout Depot 1915
Los Angeles Aqueduct. Spectators wait for the first water swelling down the open part of the aqueduct in 1913
1912 photo of the Knapp home at Owensmouth Avenue and Cohasset Street in Owensmouth (now Canoga Park). View looking north west. Frank Joseph Knapp (1875–1952)
  • State Bank of Owensmouth, was in Owensmouth, its President was H.J. Whitley.[12]
  • Owensmouth High School in Canoga Park, California opened October 4, 1914, it is now called Canoga High School, the oldest High School in the west San Fernando Valley.[13]
  • Owensmouth Continuation high school is in Canoga Park.[14]

See alsoEdit

Owensmouth Elementary School 1915, The school faced south on Valerio Street, Topanga West and Chatsworth mountains behind are to the north.


  1. ^ a b "Pacific Electric and the Growth of the San Fernando Valley"; by David Coscia; Shade Tree Books; ©2011; ISBN 1-57864-735-5.
  2. ^ a b c "The Owensmouth Baby"; by Catherine Mulholland; Santa Susana Press (CSUN—California State University, Northridge); ©1987; ISBN 0-937048-42-9.
  3. ^ Special Collections-URL UCLA Library, Retrieved December 20, 1990, box 7.
  4. ^ KCET, Canoga Park at 100: A Brief History of the Birth of Owensmouth
  5. ^ Electric Railway Heritage Association
  6. ^ Electric Railway Heritage Association, San Fernando Valley Line
  7. ^ Southern Pacific Railroads’s Owensmouth Depot
  8. ^ LoC-HABS: Escorpion (1937); p. 2
  9. ^ LoC-HABS: Leonis (1963); p.3
  10. ^ Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park (SSPSHP); Ethnohistory Archived 2010-03-14 at the Wayback Machine; p. 46.
  11. ^, A hundred years ago, Van Nuys was founded in a strategic land rush, By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer, 02/20/11
  12. ^ [1] Early Los Angeles Historical Buildings (1900 - 1925) Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles
  13. ^ CANOGA high school
  14. ^, Owensmouth Continuation High School

Coordinates: 34°12′04″N 118°35′50″W / 34.20111°N 118.59722°W / 34.20111; -118.59722

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