site: 123 North 10th Street
Century 21 bldg.

completed: 2001










click any area of mural for detail

Discovering Black Gold in Santa Paula, 1860s-1950s
As a result of the Civil War, shipments of oil and kerosene from the east declined and interest rose in finding a source of oil in California. Shown here are Lyman Stewart and Wallace Hardison who discovered oil in this area and formed Hardison & Stewart Oil Company in 1883. It became Union Oil in 1890. William W. Orcutt grew up in Santa Paula and worked at odd jobs for the Union Oil refinery until going to Stanford University, and graduating in 1895. Hired by Union Oil in 1899, he made the first geological maps of California's most important oil fields. Shown in oval is Josiah Stanford's early inventive effort at tunneling for oil in the 1860s. Mirrors reflected the sun's rays to light up the tunnel; petroleum flowed by gravity out of the tunnels. This view is from the South Mountain oil fields, looking north to Santa Paula in the distance.



Jim Fahnestock, muralist
Jim Fahnestock's style of painting is photo realistic which comes from his formal training as a pictorial artist. Fahnestock has produced large wall graphics for the outdoor advertising industry and many large pictorials and murals for the motion picture industry including working with Ralph Valencia on a full color ad for the movie Planet of the Apes. Valencia and Fahnestock worked together to create Virtual Reality an exterior wall mural in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida.

He was hired as Creative Consultant by Megamedia, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1988 to introduce American technology in the production of large hand painted wall graphics to local Malaysian artists.

Visit the artist's web site at







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Santa Paula Murals Project, Copyright 2004
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Tel: 805.525.2824 

All photographs used in this website taken by Larry Holt, copyright 2004
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