"Bonanza" episode "The Long Night" (May 6, 1962): James Coburn at Overhang Rock
Even as the Iverson Movie Ranch was beginning to wind down operations in the 1960s, one major TV show that continued to bring its location business to the ranch was "Bonanza."
James Coburn on the Lower Iverson in "Bonanza"
In March 1962, when James Coburn arrived at Iverson to shoot the season three episode "The Long Night," "Bonanza" was still filming regularly on both the Lower Iverson and the Upper Iverson.
A behind-the-scenes shot that surfaced from filming on the Iverson Ranch for the Roger Corman movie "Deathsport" in 1978 again shows the scale of Headstone Rock, which towers over the people and vehicles.
Sticky Bun as it appears today, behind the condos
Sticky Bun is still easy to spot on a visit to the Chatsworth, Calif., site, and can be seen even without getting out of the car as one drives along Redmesa Road, north of Santa Susana Pass Road.
Surviving fragments of Rock Island, just off Redmesa Road
Rock Island is still intact too — in a way. The rocks remain in place but were largely buried during grading for the Cal West Townhomes. I talked about this in detail in a previous post that you can see by clicking here.
"Wyoming Roundup" (1952): Overhang Rock, on the Lower Iverson
Here's a nice shot of Overhang Rock about a decade earlier, from the Whip Wilson B-Western "Wyoming Roundup." This shot reveals the overhanging ledge that gave the rock its name.
"Colorado Ambush" (1951): Johnny Mack Brown at Overhang Rock
Johnny Mack Brown peeked out from behind the same rock — but the other end of it — in the Monogram B-Western "Colorado Ambush."
"The Oklahoma Kid": James Cagney, with Overhang Rock and Cagney Rock
Another famous actor who stood in the shade of Overhang Rock was James Cagney, who posed beneath the rock in a well-known promo still for "The Oklahoma Kid" in 1939.
So many rocks, so little time. In another shot from the "Bonanza" episode, Coburn, playing an escaped convict, puts his leg up on a rock in an attempt to break his prison chains. I have yet to identify this particular rock.
Adam scampers past Cleft Rock in "The Long Night"
The "Bonanza" episode contains tons of great rocks — and as I like to point out, when we're talking about the giant sandstone boulders of the Iverson Ranch, we can use the word "tons" literally.
The Cobblestone Road in modern times
This photo from 2009 shows what the Cobblestone Road looks like today. It's not nearly as fully formed as it was during the "Bonanza" shoot more than a half-century ago, but that's it in the lower left corner of the frame.
How to find Cleft Rock and the Cobblestone Road
Here's a map to some of the features mentioned above. Start by finding Redmesa Road in Chatsworth. Park below the condos, then follow the map. (You may want to click on the map to see a larger version.)