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

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Year in Review: Here's our list of the Top 10 Iverson Movie Ranch and Chatsworth, Calif., movie history discoveries of 2017

Counting down the best discoveries of the past year related to movie history
on and around the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif. ...

No. 10

Secrets of the Saddlehorn Relay Station


"Ghost Valley Raiders" (1940): Saddlehorn Relay Station

We came a long way in 2017 toward understanding the mysterious origins and complicated early history of the Saddlehorn Relay Station, a building on the former Lower Iverson Movie Ranch that has been fascinating and confounding film historians for decades.

Two different locations for the relay station

Among the surprises, we pinpointed two different locations where the relay station once stood. We also got a better handle on why the relay station was built in the first place.

• Click here to see our initial post from January 2017 updating our research into the Saddlehorn Relay Station and rounding up the biggest questions that at the time were still unanswered.

• Click here for a follow-up post published in September 2017 in which we were able to report on resolving a number of the remaining mysteries about the relay station.

No. 9

Domed adobe building seen in the 1928 silent movie "Noah's Ark"

Domed building used in "Noah's Ark" (1928)

We finally got a good look at a small domed adobe dating from the silent era that stood in the Upper Gorge and appeared in the Darryl F. Zanuck/Michael Curtiz biblical epic "Noah's Ark."

Click here to read a post from back in January about "Noah's Ark" and this unusual silent-era building.

No. 8

Artifacts from the 1942 Republic serial "Perils of Nyoka"
hidden in the Bill Elliott serial "The Valley of Vanishing Men"

"The Valley of Vanishing Men" (1942): Bits and pieces left over from "Perils of Nyoka"

We took a detailed look at a number of quirky items found in the Columbia serial "The Valley of Vanishing Men," including an unusual blinker box and a ladder that once went up Nyoka Cliff ... and we did a double-take when we started spotting pieces of sets left over from the Republic serial "Perils of Nyoka."

• Click here to read about all the oddities that turn up in "The Valley of Vanishing Men."

No. 7

An origin story for the mysterious feature "the Mattress," which
appears to have first surfaced in John Ford's classic 1939 Western "Stagecoach"


"Ghost Valley Raiders" (1940): One of many sightings of the oddball feature "the Mattress"

We got the lowdown on a manmade feature that bounced around the Lower Iverson Ranch for a couple of decades and looked a lot like a mattress, but apparently was used as a hearth in "Stagecoach."

No. 6

Going back more than 100 years to unlock the secrets
contained in a circa 1915 Lillian Gish promotional photo


The incredible Lillian Gish promo shot, Chatsworth, Calif. (circa 1915-1917)

Taken in Chatsworth, Calif., this promotional still from the early days of Hollywood began spilling its secrets and wouldn't quit, eventually revealing that just about everything in the photo is still around — except, of course, Lillian Gish and her unknown artist friend.

No. 5

A set built in the Iverson Gorge in 1929, seen in the early soundie "The Green Goddess"

"The Green Goddess" (1930): A studio-like setting among the rocks of the Iverson Gorge

Most of this sequence in the George Arliss movie "The Green Goddess" looks as though it was filmed on a soundstage, but the appearance of a few key rocks reveals that the magic happened on location in the Iverson Gorge. Two versions of the movie were filmed — one silent, and one employing the new technology of sound.

No. 4

The hidden overlook featured by Roger Corman in his early Western "The Apache Woman"

"Apache Woman" (1955): Roger Corman utilizes a rarely seen clump of rocks

Roger Corman directed Westerns on the Iverson Ranch early in his career, proving himself to be the master at showcasing unused sections of the ranch — including a rocky overlook that went undiscovered until 2017.

Racy ad for "Apache Woman" featuring Joan Taylor (1955)

Corman also saw to it that Joan Taylor received her share of attention for her title role in "Apache Woman."

No. 3

Rin Tin Tin's silhouette rock from 1925 

"Clash of the Wolves" (1925) — Rin Tin Tin has no idea how hard it will be to find his rock

Efforts to find the rock on which the original Rin Tin Tin stood in 1925 were complicated by the fact that the rock was no longer there — but as it turned out, it hadn't wandered very far.

No. 2

The location of a fake arch, a hidden ledge and other artifacts
and shooting locations from the 1926 silent Western "The Devil Horse"

Site where a fake arch was built north of the Garden of the Gods in 1926 for "The Devil Horse"

Our examination of the 1926 Yakima Canutt movie "The Devil Horse" produced a series of intriguing finds in and around the Garden of the Gods, including the location where a fake arch was built for the silent Western.

"The Devil Horse" (1926): A strategically important manmade indentation in the rock

A carved foothold used in the 1926 movie remains at the site today and is easily accessible. Other shooting sites related to "The Devil Horse" — all of which can still be found today — include a once-prominent ledge that's now hidden inside a tree and locations where Yakima Canutt worked with the famed movie horse Rex.

No. 1

The "Jack and the Beanstalk" filming location from 1917


Promo shot for "Jack and the Beanstalk" (1917)

An old promo shot shows a sprawling walled city that was built 100 years ago for the Fox Kiddies production "Jack and the Beanstalk." The giant is roaming about in front of the city while a throng of children and extras lines the walls of the city. You may want to click on the nicely detailed photo above to see a larger version.

The same site 100 years later, in 2017

We were able to find the exact same spot, and found it virtually unchanged a century later — other than the disappearance long ago of the walled city. Today the site is part of the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park.

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 ...

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 2016

Top Iverson Movie Ranch finds of 2015

Top Iverson Movie Ranch finds of 2014


Unknown said...

Open up tour with horse back riding and a picnic area and box lunches and soda

Swami Nano said...

Sounds like a plan. For events at the Joel McCrea Ranch in Thousand Oaks they give away m&m's, Good & Plenty, Skittles, etc. Pretty much all you can eat. Needless to say, I was VERY appreciative. I did have a major sugar crash at the end, however.