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.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave comments on any of the posts.
• To find specific rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "LABELS" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
• To join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• 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).
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
• Readers can email the webmaster at

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Year in Review: Top 10 Iverson Movie Ranch finds of 2016

"Code of the Secret Service" (1939): Iverson Gorge

Here's a Top 10 list counting down the best Iverson Movie Ranch discoveries of the past year ...

No. 10

Joe Iverson's incredible old tractor


Joe Iverson rides one of the greatest tractors ever

Joe Iverson, who ran all or part of the Iverson Movie Ranch for 60-plus years, had a lot of cool toys, and his vintage grader/crawler was one of the coolest.

Click here to see the original post about Joe's tractor, from July 2016.

No. 9

The Roy Rogers rock on top of Cactus Hill

"The Roy Rogers Show" (1952)

An episode of "The Roy Rogers Show" features an unusual rock, which was recently spotted at the east end of Cactus Hill — despite having changed its appearance over the years. The site also has a few things to say about the history of filming in that area.

Click here to see the original post about Roy's encounter with the rock on Cactus Hill, published in August 2016.

No. 8

The former location of the Hangman's Tree

The Hangman's Tree on the Lower Iverson (from "An Ambush of Ghosts")

While the Hangman's Tree itself did not survive, we were able to determine the exact location where it once stood — and we did find the nearby Hangman's Tree Rock.

• Click here to see the original post about the Hangman's Tree, published in October 2016.

No. 7

Where Jesus walked in Silverland 


"The Living Bible" (1952) — Jesus comes to the Iverson Movie Ranch

Jesus and two Lone Rangers — the original, from the 1930s Republic serials, and the more famous one from the 1950s TV series — all made their way to Silverland on the Lower Iverson. But the biggest Silverland find of 2016 may have been the discovery of an important saucer-shaped movie rock.

Saucer, left, and Mushroom Rock in "The Man From Colorado" (1948)

We took a "long, strange trip through Silverland" early in the year and were able to unlock a number of its mysteries by decoding clues contained in its few surviving rocks. One of the biggest surprises was the discovery that the widely filmed rock "Saucer" can still be found.

• Click here to revisit the adventures of Jesus and two Lone Rangers among the fascinating rocks of Silverland — along with the discovery that the Saucer has survived — from April 2016.

No. 6

An amazing Iverson Movie Ranch sequence in "Montana Moon," the first singing cowboy movie 


Johnny Mack Brown in "Montana Moon" (1930)

The era of talking in movies had just begun, and when "Montana Moon" came out in 1930, it launched the era of the singing cowboy. The movie includes a great sequence filmed along the western edge of Garden of the Gods overlooking Santa Susana Pass Road — not to mention one of the best buttressing shots ever filmed at Iverson.

• Click here to see the original post about the remarkable Iverson Movie Ranch sequence in "Montana Moon," from October 2016.

No. 5

Joe Iverson's butterfly collection, hunting trophies and other prize possessions are captured on film

Kelly Sullivan in "Death by Dialogue" (1988), with a few of Joe's butterflies

Joe Iverson's museum is on display in the movie "Death by Dialogue." The trophy room alone elevates this low-budget thriller into a unique artifact of movie history.

• Click here to see the original post about "Death by Dialogue" and Joe's vast collections, from June 2016.

No. 4

The "Muffin" rock behind the Grove Cabin has popped its muffin

"Bells of Rosarita" (1945): giant muffin-shaped rock behind cabin

A muffin-shaped rock once stood directly behind the little building known as the Grove Cabin. The rock is still there but it no longer looks like a muffin — and we found out why.

• Click here to see the original post about what became of the giant muffin, from earlier this month — December 2016.

No. 3

The "kill rock" from the Hopalong Cassidy movie "Mystery Man"

"Mystery Man" (1944): Hoppy's gun casts a shadow on the Kill Rock

The Kill Rock in the Hopalong Cassidy movie "Mystery Man" took multiple expeditions to find, encompassing both Lone Pine and the Iverson Ranch. Between me and Don Kelsen, we eventually found the thing hiding in plain sight.

• Click here to see the original post about the "Mystery Man" Kill Rock, from September 2016.

No. 2

A film shoot inside Karl and Augusta Iverson's house in 1935 

"The Outlaw Deputy" (1935) — the view from the Iversons' house on the hill

Film historian Tinsley E. Yarbrough spotted this scene filmed inside the home of Iverson Movie Ranch founders Karl and Augusta Iverson in the Western "The Outlaw Deputy." It may be the only time anyone filmed in the house on the hill.

 • Click here to see the original post about the 1935 shoot inside Karl and Augusta's house, from October 2016.

No. 1

The "grassy knoll" — a mystery from "Little Big Horn" that took 65 years to solve

"Little Big Horn" (1951): Sheb Wooley's sad fate on the grassy knoll

The location where Sheb Wooley's character met his grisly demise in the classic Western "Little Big Horn" has long perplexed movie historians — but a couple of us put our heads together early this year and, thanks to the sharp eye of veteran location researcher Eddie Henn, we finally solved the mystery.

• Click here to see the original post about the discovery of the "grassy knoll" of "Little Big Horn" infamy, from February 2016.

Here are a few finds from the past year that didn't quite make it into the Top 10 — click on the text to be linked to the original blog items ...

• The rediscovery of an old movie road on the north side of Cactus Hill

• Promo stills from the John Wayne movie "The Fighting Seabees" with surprising details hidden way in the background

• The crack where the Japanese sniper was stationed in "The Fighting Seabees"

• Some overlooked rock survivors found in the Iverson Gorge

To catch up on additional discoveries on the Iverson Movie Ranch in recent years, here are links to past "Year in Review" posts ...

Top Iverson Movie Ranch finds of 2015

• Click here to review the major discoveries of 2015, when an Elvis Presley filming location, a fake cave house from the silent era, Burgess Meredith's "Siedry-Bert" inscription, a wonderland of old movie footholds and the location of the Chinese Bridge from the 1926 movie "Tell It to the Marines" all made the list.

Top Iverson Movie Ranch finds of 2014

• Click here for a look back at 2014, a year in which Bear Tree, the Hobbit House, the remains of Freddie Frog, the Charles Bronson Hanging Tree and Tom Mix's bootholes from the 1935 Mascot serial "The Miracle Rider" were among the year's biggest discoveries.


Cliff said...

We had a great year exploring as many area's of the ranch as we could. I look forward to many more discoveries in the coming year.

Mark Sherman said...

Thank you for all your research... Your last name should be Iverson! Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year from your biggest fan!

Swami Nano said...

Thanks, guys — 2017 is shaping up to be a good one!

Mark, your name is about halfway to Iverson — "Sherman" was synonymous with the Iverson Ranch in the '80s and '90s ... though I understand you're no relation to Bob.

I appreciate everyone's support in 2016 — this research is elevated by everyone who comments or shoots an email my way, and I've picked up a ton of leads from blog readers in the past year.

Happy Holidays, y'all ...

Mark Sherman said...

Always a pleasure to see this post in my inbox! I always comment on the post but this time I had to search for where to post a comment. I found it in "archives" Thanks again for all your research! The puzzle was a trip!