Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
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• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Mystery village on the Upper Iverson Movie Ranch: Have you seen this town set in the movies or on TV?

Upper Iverson Village — seen in a 1959 aerial photo

Sometime between 1952 and 1959 a small cluster of buildings, presumably a movie set, sprang up in an out-of-the-way corner of the Iverson Movie Ranch. I have never seen this set in any movie or TV show. The timeline comes from the two aerial photographs of Chatsworth, Calif., that have surfaced from the 1950s — the town set did not exist at the time of the 1952 aerial, but was in place by the time the 1959 aerial photo was taken, as seen above.

Here's the aerial photo from 1959 again with the Upper Iverson Village outlined. Little is known about this set, which appears to have consisted of as many as 12 buildings. The only known photos that have surfaced of it are aerial shots like this one.

1952 aerial photo of the same area

Here's the 1952 aerial showing the area of the Upper Iverson town set — with no town set in place at that time.

This version of the 1952 aerial pinpoints the location where the Upper Village would later be built. With the main Western street at Iverson being torn down in 1957, it's possible that the Upper Village was put up around that time — the idea being to replace the town set that had stood for about 12 years.

Upper Iverson Movie Ranch — 1959

A wider view of the 1959 aerial photo reveals a number of the sets that were in place on the Upper Iverson at the time. In addition to Upper Iverson Village, we can see the Fury Set and Midway House in this shot.

The three main sets that stood on this part of the Upper Iverson in 1959 are identified here. Another major set, known as the Middle Iverson Ranch Set, was also in place, a short distance to the east. It was a part of the Upper Iverson, but falls outside the frame in this shot. Please click here to read an earlier post all about the Middle Iverson Ranch Set.

Newhall-Malibu Fire, 1970 (Jack Gaunt/Los Angeles Times)

The Upper Village appears to have stood intact at least until the destructive Newhall-Malibu fire cut a swath through the Chatsworth hills in September 1970. That means it was in place throughout the 1960s — a period when "grown-up" Westerns flourished on television: "Bonanza," "The Virginian," "Gunsmoke," "The Big Valley." All of these shows are known to have shot at various times on the Iverson Movie Ranch. Maybe one or more of them set up shop in the Upper Village for a period of time. The search goes on ...

If you have info on the Upper Village, please comment here or email me at:

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