Aerial photo of Chatsworth, Calif., circa 1920s
I found an old bird's-eye view of Chatsworth, Calif., at the library, and while it's low-res by today's Bing and Google Earth standards, it's also an important shot from a film history standpoint. The photo provides a number of insights into the area surrounding the Iverson Movie Ranch when it was first getting up to speed as a filming location back in the silent movie era. I'll point out a few of the highlights in the shots that follow, and I recommend that you click on these photos to see larger versions of them.
The Mayan Gate, marking the entrance to the Twin Lakes development
The above view of the gate looks south, and would be the view visitors would get when leaving the Twin Lakes area. I know of one occasion when the Mayan Gate appeared in an old movie — the James Cagney feature "White Heat," which I discussed in this earlier blog entry.
The Twin Lakes development area as it appears in a modern aerial shot
Here's a modern aerial photo showing the area of the proposed Twin Lakes development. The neighborhood now known as Twin Lakes, which appears at the bottom of the photo, is filled with residential housing that I do not believe had anything to do with the original development, even though the original Mayan Drive still winds through the neighborhood. Meanwhile, many of the roads that were carved out in the 1920s were never used for housing, and remain etched into the hills above the northwest San Fernando Valley — as can be seen toward the top of the photo.
"Go West, Young Lady" (1941) — Road Up the Hill
Here's an example of a movie appearance by Road Up the Hill, in Columbia's musical-comedy Western "Go West, Young Lady," which starred Glenn Ford, Penny Singleton and Ann Miller. This shot is taken on the Upper Iverson, and Road Up the Hill can be seen in the top right corner. I'll point out some of the key features in the next photo.
"Johnny Concho" (1956)
Here's another look at Road Up the Hill, from the Frank Sinatra Western "Johnny Concho." Road Up the Hill appears near the top left corner, and this shot also features Bear Tree — a photogenic Upper Iverson oak tree that still survives today.
this earlier blog post.
Frank Sinatra and Phyllis Kirk in "Johnny Concho"