Haines Canyon Avenue

Who put the Haines in Haines Canyon? The answer is a mystery within a mystery. The first mention I found of the canyon was in an 1886 San Francisco Chronicle article about “water grabbers” in Los Angeles County. One D.J. Haines was listed as its owner; I believe this was Daniel Jenkins Haines (1843-?). Born on Cape Cod, Haines either came to the San Jose area with his family in 1861 or fought in the Civil War and arrived later. Voter registration records showed him in Santa Clara County in 1866 and in Los Angeles in 1879. An 1885 land assessment record had him owning 160 acres – presumably in this area, but it’s not clear. The only public attention Haines received was when he was a witness at the 1894 trial over a daring train robbery near the Roscoe depot. He was identified as a wood hauler who was camping nearby when the crime occurred; this jibes with local historian Mike Lawler’s theory that Haines Canyon was named for “one of those early woodcutters” who harvested the Douglas fir trees that once grew here “and then moved on.” Moved on indeed: in 1898, a year after Haines’s brother Nathaniel fell to his death at his winery south of San Jose, another brother, Prince Albert(!) Haines, placed ads in newspapers seeking his whereabouts, as he was entitled to a third of Nathaniel’s $50,000 estate. Yet it seems Daniel J. Haines simply vanished, never to turn up again.