Past Meetup

Special Chatsworth Historical Hike

This Meetup is past

17 people went

Location image of event venue


We'll be joining the leaders of Chatsworth Historical Society, Ann and Ray Vincent ( on an expedition to Browns Canyon Dam and Deer Lake Highlands. We will be joined by the President of the Twin Lakes POA Vanessa Waters (, and "Drifting Cowboy" Jerry England (

The primary purpose of our trip is to verify that what we refer to as Browns Canyon Dam is the one mentioned in a series of recently discovered plats, articles, drawings and court documents from late 19th and early 20th century.

Be sure to check in often for more pics and info: See

and our Facebook page:

According to these articles and court records, what we know as Browns Canyon Dam was built in 1888 as part of a series of dams for the irrigation of the San Fernando Valley. An article in a 1901 reservoir engineering periodical says

"Chatsworth Park Rock-fill Dam built 41 ft. high, 10 ft. wide at the top, length at top 159 ft. Two failures of earth dams had already failed at the same site, both having been overtopped and carried away by reason of insufficient spillway capacity. The specifications required the slopes to be laid up two feet in thickness as a dry wall of uncoursed rubble, but after two weeks of completion three fourths of the lower face-wall fell or slid down. A jury awarded judgment to the subcontractors, and the owner is obliged to reconstruct the dam. The rock used for fill was quarried on the line of the dam at one end, 500 ft away, and 75 to 100 ft higher than the top of the dam. The quarry face was 30 to 40 ft high. A light trestle was built on a sharp incline from the quarry to the top of the dam to carry loaded cars to the dam."

We'll also take this opportunity to explore the artifacts and ruins in Twin Lakes and Deer Lake Highlands.

From the Chatsworth Historical Society:

George Haight developed Twin Lakes in 1927. He homesteaded his acres below Newel Asay in 1918. Newel Asay’s marriage in San Francisco was witnessed by George Haight’s wife. Newel homesteaded his land in 1921. So George Haight and Newel Asay combined their lands and it became Twin Lakes. Tavner Myers on the other hand earned his homestead in 1917. So he must have lived up there somewhere as a homesteader, and was the first person to live in Deer Lake Highlands. In 1920 Tavner is a farmer/owner on Lurline in Chatsworth, and in 1930 he is 50 yrs old living on Santa Susana and is a real estate salesman. So maybe Tavner sold it to someone, maybe George Haight, or someone else who wanted to develop it, or did he keep it and develop it in the 40's?

See also page 40, 41 and 42 of this CHS Presentation (

More info to follow....

Note: This is not our usual hike. We'll be milling around and standing around in various places for a long time and moving slow. We'll even be taking measurements and documenting our finds. Because of the nature of this hike, I am limiting it to a handful of members who I know like this sort of thing. Hike will be about 4 miles with moderate elevation gain