The area was the ancestral homeland of the Tataviam people for over five hundred years, and other tribes before then, such as the Tongva, Kitanemuk, and Serrano people. After the Spanish invasion, the valley first became grazing lands of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España around 1790. In 1834, after Mexican Independence, it became part of the Rancho San Francisco land grant centered on the confluence of the Santa Clara River and Castaic Creek.
In the 1880s the rancho become the Newhall Ranch empire of Henry Newhall, now the present day Newhall Land and Farming Company. In 1928 the St. Francis Dam collapsed, suddenly flooding and washing away settlements and people along the Santa Clara River section of present-day Santa Clarita not including Canyon Country. Canyon Country was originally to be called Solemint. It later absorbed the community to the west called Honby. In the 1960s and 1970s the Newhall Land company’s suburban developments transformed Canyon Country and the surrounding towns into a focused residential and cultural city.
The house of The Crandall family used in the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead is located in this town. The hit ABC shows Wipeout, Winter Wipeout, and Spring Wipeout are all filmed here.
The Canyon Country area was a mecca for show business personalities like Cliffe Stone of Home Town Jamboree, singer Gene Vincent, Hall of Fame Guitarist Bill Aken (aka Zane Ashton), actress Linda Gray, rock and roll legend Del Shannon, among others. The William S. Hart ranch was a well known tourist attraction along with Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch.