View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Refining the Trumble mystery

Posted: April 5, 2011 2:54 p.m.
Updated: April 6, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Some people whisper that the ghost of Milton Trumble still haunts the Santa Clarita Valley. As part of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society's lecture series, on Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m., author Ann Mauer will present her research on the life of this secret inventor who left his mark here.

Admission costs $5 per person. Proceeds will benefit the 2011 SCVHS Capital Campaign. The talk and book signing will be held at the Saugus Train Station at Heritage Junction within William S. Hart Park, located at 24101 Newhall Ave. in Newhall.

Trumble achieved global acclaim patenting the first continuous oil refining process in the early part of the 20th century. He butted heads with William S. Hart when Hart was settling into his new mansion on the hill overlooking Newhall. Hart swore he would never allow a Trumble Refinery to be built within sight of his windows, and so began a struggle between the two millionaires before the LA County Board of Supervisors.

Selected by Trumble's granddaughters to search through private bins of documents, Mauer has traveled to follow clues and assemble facts. Trumble was reported to be a chemist, engineer and oil man with holdings in the US spanning tens of thousands of acres.

The story Mauer has uncovered involves intrigue that stretches from Santa Clarita to Baku Russia, from Brea to Signal Hill and Bakersfield, and as far east as Borneo, Trinidad, Japan, and Fushun, Manchuria.

Newspapers claimed Trumble was the first American to register patents in all 95 countries of the world. His process was used to design more refineries than any other entity in his time. His inventions cracking petroleum and oil shale involve the U.S. government and high-ranking men of secret societies in the U.S. and Europe.

While Trumble's methods are still being taught at universities today, during his time he knew his family lived in peril and ordered them to silence. His descendants obeyed for seven decades after his untimely death.

Ann Mauer's novel "The Magic Eye" is based on Trumble's life. Set during the 1920s in Los Angeles, much action takes place in a valley that could be none other than Santa Clarita. The suspense plot reveals how such inventors became entangled with industrial espionage while competing to perfect experimental metals and fuels. Their wives and children became, not casualties, but savvy survivors.

Mauer will answer questions and sign copies of her book, which can be purchased after the show. To preview the novel, search "The Magic Eye" by Ann Mauer at or visit the author's website at

This event is sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.

About Ann Mauer
Ann Mauer is a native of Southern California. She holds a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly, Pomona. Ann gained understanding of the Santa Clarita Valley both living here and providing many photo simulations of new projects in this area through her business, EnviroTechnical Imaging. Ann has also worked as Communications Coordinator for State Senator John Seymour and as an EIR writer at Sikand Engineering. She appears in a commercial for a new medical device called Active Alert by MeDesign. Her profile is posted on LinkedIn.


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...