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, July 4, 2009

Welcome to the obsession: The Iverson Movie Ranch

"Silver Treasure" (Fox Film Corp., 1926)

I discovered it in summer 2008 and have been hooked on it ever since — the rugged landscape in Chatsworth, Calif., that marks the site of the former Iverson Movie Ranch. 

Tower Rock, left, and Sphinx in modern times

With its striking sandstone rock formations, this remote corner of the San Fernando Valley on the outskirts of Los Angeles was an important hub of the movie business from the earliest days of Hollywood well into the 1960s, gaining a reputation as the most widely filmed outdoor location in the world.

"20 Million Miles to Earth" (Columbia, 1957)

An ideal setting for Westerns, the 500-acre Iverson Movie Ranch also found its calling in science-fiction movies, war epics and tales of distant lands such as Africa, India and the Middle East.
The Phantom: Located on public land in the Garden of the Gods

It is the site where Republic Pictures made almost all of its serials and B-Westerns, and where countless outdoor action sequences were filmed by crews from Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., Columbia, 20th Century-Fox, RKO, Monogram and just about every major production company of Hollywood's Golden Age.
"Little Big Horn" (Lloyd Bridges and John Ireland, 1951)

An estimated 3,500 films and TV episodes were filmed on the site, dating back to the 1910s.

"Jaunty Sailor"

While B-Westerns and early TV shows provided much of Iverson's business, the sprawling ranch also took a bow in major features such as John Ford's epic Western "Stagecoach" (1939) and his classic Depression saga "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). 

"Along Came Jones" (RKO, 1945): Gary Cooper and William Demarest
on Cooper's newly minted Iverson Western street

Gary Cooper was a frequent visitor to the Iverson Ranch and built a Western town on the site for the 1945 RKO Western "Along Came Jones," the only movie Cooper produced himself. 

"The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" (Paramount, 1935): Climactic battle sequence
filmed in the Iverson Gorge

Cooper's "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" was among the major war movies filmed on the Iverson Ranch, along with John Wayne's "The Fighting Seabees" (1944) and Errol Flynn's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936).


All the cowboy movie heroes worked at Iverson — Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Audie Murphy, Randolph Scott, Tom Mix, William S. Hart and the rest. So did major movie stars from Barbara Stanwyck to James Cagney to Judy Garland to Henry Fonda to Shirley Temple. 

"Three Ages" (Buster Keaton in Bathtub Rock, 1923)

Bob Hope, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges were among the comedy stars to film at Iverson. Pioneering stuntman Yakima Canutt perfected many of his trademark stagecoach stunts on Iverson's well-traveled chase roads, while superheroes including Superman and Batman donned their capes at the ranch. 

Opening to "The Lone Ranger": Clayton Moore on Silver
at the Iverson Ranch's famed "Lone Ranger Rock"

Early TV Westerns such as "The Lone Ranger" and "The Cisco Kid" filmed regularly on the ranch, paving the way for the next generation of bigger, better TV productions — "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke," "The Virginian," "The Big Valley" and many others, all of which shot on the Iverson Ranch.

Woolly Mammoth

Iverson's charismatic rock "characters" — Lone Ranger Rock, Batman Rock, Tower Rock and Sphinx, Nyoka Cliff and hundreds of others — coexist today with the condominiums, mobile homes, mansions and apartments that took over the land as the heyday of the B-Western, the cliffhanger serial and early TV faded into history. 

"The Grapes of Wrath" (1940): The Joad family surveys the San Fernando Valley,
including Chatsworth's Stoney Point, from Iverson's Overlook Point

While a number of Iverson's distinctive and widely filmed movie rocks have been bulldozed or blown up to pave the way for progress, most have survived — even if in many cases they now lie forgotten in back yards, hidden behind locked gates or buried under a half-century of natural overgrowth.

Hangover Rock in 2008: African hut in place for the NBC series "Heroes"

Meanwhile, some Iverson landmarks remain at risk of being demolished for future development, opening the door for debate as to whether these silent stars are cultural artifacts that deserve to be protected.

"Chinless Wonder"

On the screen or in person, Iverson's unique giant boulders have so much personality that they seem to be living creatures. The charismatic stone figures that populate this intriguing corner of the world have become almost like family to me.

"Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932): Iverson's lost, lamented rock feature "The Wall"

I'm learning more about the Iverson Movie Ranch all the time, but it is a rich and complicated place, and one reason I love it is I know it holds mysteries I will never solve. 

Material is being added to the blog on a regular basis, as time permits. If you would like to be placed on my mailing list, to be notified about new entries as they're posted, please send me an email at

This blog contains a lot of information and photos. If you need help navigating, I suggest using the links along the right side of the page, including the "RECOMMENDED BLOG POSTS" section near the top and the long (and daunting) "LABELS" section below that, which indexes the blog entries by rock name, movie title, TV show title, actors and actresses, directors and other key elements. The blog's word search feature, which you should be able to find in the top left corner, also seems to work well and might help you find what you're looking for.

Please leave comments, and please feel free to email me for any reason.

Below are links to DVDs of just a few of the many movies filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch. Please support efforts to research and preserve the history of the Iverson Ranch by clicking on the links to shop for these DVDs on Amazon ...


Man from Moqui said...

I have never been to Iverson, but I have been to Sedona, which was also the scene of many Westerns from that same era. I'll be following the blog with interest!

Swami Nano said...

Good to hear from you, Man from Moqui. I've never been to Sedona, but it does show up a lot in the old Westerns. Looks like a great place. I'll try to make it there soon. I know other parts of Arizona are amazing.
-Electric Dylan Lad

Lori Jean said...

We were married at Iverson Movie Ranch in July 1996. It's a legendary place and I love that you're documenting its history.

Swami Nano said...

That's really cool, Lori Jean. I'd love to hear more — how did you decide on Iverson, and where at the ranch did the ceremony take place? I know the place already looks quite a bit different from how it looked in 1996. Wedding photos?

Bob from New Hampshire said...

I stomped around Iverson's in 1999, searching for theSphinx-like rock that I had grown up with. (Eagle Beak). Found seeing an old friend. Now I'm stomping around your 1952 aerial photo and comparing it to the current Google map. I always thought that the church at the south end of town might be a false front. Never seen a side view, just straight on.Thanks for being there. Glad to see there are other people who have rocks for friends.

Swami Nano said...

Hi Bob ...

Thanks for your comments. Sorry it took me so long to reply. The church was a real building, that's for sure. If you haven't seen it, the Hopalong Cassidy movie "The Marauders," aka "King of the Range" (mentioned elsewhere in the blog in an entry on the church), is a spectacular showcase for the church — probably the best I've seen. The movie features closeups of the front and at least one side of the building, and it's one of only a few productions where it's possible the interiors were also shot at the site. The church was only around for a couple of years (1947-1949), making it a mysterious presence that has been a source of confusion for plenty of Iverson enthusiasts.

I'm jealous of your 1999 Iverson visit — that was almost 10 years before I discovered it. I think Tinsley Yarbrough was there in 1998 and got some of the last photos of certain buildings. Hangover Shack was still partially standing at that time and I think I've seen shots of a pile of rubble that was probably the Grove Relay Station. Do you recall seeing any signs of construction?

Mom in Denver said...

I often drove on the 118 freeway as a child and my mother/aunts/friends parents would say this is where the westerns were filmed. I thought it a shame that they built the condos and the apartments around those beautiful rocks, no offense meant to anyone. I live out of state now and wish I had taken the time to wander around a bit. What a wonderful blog you have. Thanks for all your efforts. It's all an important part of history. My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed browsing.

1C1313 said...

I am saddened at the loss of so many landmarks of time. This one too, has been taken over by "progress". Fascinating to have a glimpse of what it once was. When you get a chance to visit the sites of those movies that were on the big screen when you were a child it kinda brings that goosebump feeling in pleasant spiritual way. Thanks for the the work on preserving the memory in such a splendid way.

Swami Nano said...

My pleasure! Thanks for checking it out.

1C1313 said...

By the way, my sister's ex-husband worked for Mr. Iverson as a clean up boy. Mr. Iverson asked him, "Hey,Richard how would you like to be a mechanic?" and helped Richard go to school. Richard became a successful mechanic.

lemonwaxer said...

Great Blog,I discovered Iverson the same year late 2008 while off work for 6 weeks from a sickness, lots of down time watching the western channel and online.Discovered I lived 20 minutes away from Corriganville and Iverson.Went to visit them both, been hooked ever since.Thanks to the DVR,my routine is to scan this western channel through a whole week and record all B-Westerns and anything else filmed before 1966.Its great,you can stop the movie and forward frame by frame,great way to study the terrain.Most recently scored on what looks like an A-Western,color movie filmed almost entierly at Corriganville and Iverson,the movie was Wild Stallion.Great color shots of Fort Apache and my first glimps of Iversons Rock Island.

the rebel said...

I can't thank you enough this is downright fantastic!

Unknown said...

Great blog. Id like to share a little about my Western obsession. Born in Chicago in 1963 and seeing John Wayne movies and reruns on Lone Ranger and Cisco Kid on Sundays, I've always liked Westerns, and have been drawn to the West, living in San Diego and Seattle in the late 80's, and in the burbs East of Phoenix AZ since '97. I visited Monument Valley in '98. I've been down to Old Tucson studios some 3 times, and have been to Rawhide Western town in North Scottsdale, as well as it's new location down in Chandler. I never made it over to Apacheland in Apache Junction, but it's gone now unfortunately. I've been up to Sedona a couple of times. Johnny Guitar was filmed there. People comment that many movies were shot up there. Several certainly, but I'm not so sure there were really that many. If so, I haven't seen them. People confuse Sedona with Monument Valley. There are similarities, but I think you can tell by the trees. Sedona has a lot more trees. I watch the Westerns Channel a lot and eventually started googling for info on locations other than Old Tucson. Vasquez Rocks is one I kept seeing and finally identified and learned about. Melody Ranch, in Newall CA, is one I've heard of and would like to visit. I even have a 1942 Harmony Supertone Gene Autry Melody Ranch cowboy guitar now, something I didn't even know existed till recently. Corriganville, Spahn and Kanab UT are ones I've read about. So I just got J. Schneider's book; 'Western Movie Making Locations' and am learning about Iverson Movie Ranch. I feel kind of dumb not knowing this was the main place until now, but yeah, it's cool and I envy the people living around Chatsworth who can just cruise over there. The quality of Mr. Schneider's book is disappointing. Thin paper &blurry black & white pictures. But that's OK, it's full of good info, and I can prolly pick up others which are better illustrated. Anyway, thanks for the great blog. It's helping fill in some areas not covered by Mr. Schneider's volume.

Swami Nano said...

Thanks for your comment, Bob. I'm fortunate to live in L.A., where I have access to plenty of the old movie sites. But even so I've visited only a handful of the classic Western locations. Chatsworth and Newhall both have more than their share -- I've become most familiar with Chatsworth (and Simi Valley -- Corriganville), and I haven't had much luck finding anything in Newhall. Other good ones in California include Red Rock Canyon, Bronson Canyon and Lone Pine.

I made the decision some time ago to focus my research on Iverson because it is such a big job all by itself that it needs someone to focus exclusively on it to try to do it justice -- and because I just became hooked on the place and all its mysteries. I do get interested in the others as well, as they always come up when I'm looking for Iverson in the movies. Lately I've been trying to figure out what I can about Jauregui Ranch, Walker Ranch, the old Monogram Ranch and a few others. The only clues we have left, in most cases, are whatever we can find in the movies.

I'm planning my first visit to Pioneertown in the near future -- one of the few movie Western towns still standing.

If you're interested in visiting Melody Ranch, which has been rebuilt since the vintage filming era but supposedly was designed to look just like the old town, it's open to the public once a year, in April, for the Cowboy Music and Poetry Festival. I'm hoping to make my first visit there in April 2013 -- the main goal being to see Champion's Barn. It's one of the few original buildings still in place, the barn where Gene Autry's horse spent his last many years ... and I've only recently figured out how to spot it in the movies -- it's in a lot of old Westerns.

Corriganville is worth a visit too, but it only has the foundations left from the Western town -- Silvertown. It also has "interpretive signs" at a few key spots, as it has been turned into a park -- one of the conditions the developers had to meet when they converted much of the land into condos. Some familiar rocks can be seen too, if you're deep enough into it that you might recognize rocks.

Check out the Rock Face entry (in the index at the right) ... or this link:

to see a post about how the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society got messed up between Vasquez Rocks and Corriganville.

Jerry Schneider has done some terrific location research. I often use his material as a starting point. Of course, there's always more that needs to be done.

Thanks again for your input, and happy hunting. Maybe we'll meet up out on the trail. Look me up if you come to L.A.


Swami Nano said...

You're welcome, Reb. Thanks for your comment.


Swami Nano said...

I had a similar experience as a kid, only it was before the 118 was built and we were probably on Santa Susana Pass Road -- like when we went out to Corriganville. My mom said the same thing as we went through Chatsworth: They shot a lot of the old Westerns in these rocks. Little did I realize that decades later I would become obsessed with those rocks.

I've spent plenty of time lamenting those darn condos and the loss of historic movie rocks. But I try to find something positive about it, and I realize that it adds to the intrigue about Iverson that some of the old features are gone while others survived. Sometimes it's a lot of fun to try to find something, not knowing whether it still exists.

Given my druthers, I wish all of it could be saved. Unfortunately, some features remain at risk today. I think the movie rocks should be treated as historic monuments, like a building that is declared untouchable. Fortunately, a fair number of them have in fact been preserved in a park. But plenty of good ones have been lost, and others may still be destroyed if the remaining undeveloped portion of Iverson is ever developed.

If you ever make your way back to L.A., the old Iverson is still "wanderable" to some extent, so you can make a point of stopping by to see what you missed last time around.

Thanks for commenting ...

Swami Nano said...


I'd be doing the same thing if I had a DVR. I'm still in the previous century in that regard. The other problem is I don't get Encore Westerns anymore. TCM still comes through occasionally, but mostly I'm buying DVDs and searching online. Wild Stallion has been a hard one to find.

I still have at least 500 old movies I'm looking for. It's an ongoing process -- something to do with "all my free time" (not!).

Thanks for your feedback, and happy hunting!


Anonymous said...

I've always loved the old westerns, but had no idea about the filming locations until I stumbled upon the web sites telling about them. I read all the web sites, and had a burning to see them. I knew I was going to LA this past summer, and was hoping I'd at least get time to see the "Lone Ranger Rock". One day, I visited Apple Valley and Victorville, and had some time left, so I swung by Chatsworth, and found the LR rock. I was so excited. I spent a long time there. I almost exploded thinking about all the stars that spent time on the very ground I was standing on. I could look around the Garden of the Gods, at all the trails, and just stand in amazement at all that had happened there. I couldn't get over it. I knew then, I'd have to go back. I live in GA, so getting back is going to be tricky, but I have to do it. I'm hooked on Iverson's. I just finished reading Robert Sherman's "Quiet on the Set", and thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing the things I saw on my trip, meant so much to me. Seeing the places my childhood heros spent time was quite an experience for me. Sky King was one of my favorites, and while in Apple Valley, with the help from google earth, I found the old Apple Valley Airport ramp and runways. But climbing around the rocks at Iversons was the highlight of my trip. I had so much fun, all I needed was a cap gun and someone to shoot at. I think it's a shame that all the history of that place is lost to the folks who live there. There's people in the condos that don't have a clue of what happened there. Please, someone spark interest in preserving what's left. You're right, the rocks have personalities. Beinging around them is almost erie. Like being in a grave yard, with everything silent around them. The stories they could tell! Next time I want to be better prepared, and have a plan. But I will go back, Lord willing. I tried putting my name here, but I can't figure out the comment as block. My name is Tommy from GA

Anonymous said...

By the way, while I was wandering around, I was curious about snakes. I figured I'd see some, but never did. Was I lucky, or are they not around? Tommy

Swami Nano said...

Tommy ...

I've enjoyed your comments ... thanks. The place definitely has snakes. I've only seen one, don't know what kind ... but it was what I would consider big and it popped up kinda suddenly, as they do. I hear the site does have rattlers, so I would advise being prepared for that.

Swami Nano said...


This is a great post! Thank you so much. I liked Sky King a lot too, and now that my interests have evolved, I like it as a source of insights into Iverson.

If you make it back out, get in touch with me. I'd enjoy showing you around Iverson.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the invite. You bet I'll get in touch when I come back out. I'm hoping for this summer, but we'll see. Love this site!

Tommy from GA

Anonymous said...

Great 'site you have here.
I was born in the San Fernando Valley and spent a lot of time hiking and generally playing in the rocks around Chatsworth/ Santa Susana pass. I even remember going there a few times with the YMCA 'Indian Guides' when James Doohan (Star Trek's 'Scottie') was one of the dads in our group.
There were some riding stables nearby where you could rent old glue nags (likely film veterans themselves) by the hour and ride into Simi through the pass. Great times.
If you'd like to find a treasure trove of location shoots on a budget check out a 24 disc, 100 film DVD set from Mill Creek Entertainment called Greatest Gunslinger Classics (2012). I found it recently at Costco for 15 dollars American. The UPC is 6 83904 89074 0 .
I have watched over 40 of the flicks so far, and most have extensive scenes from the Santa Susana pass area.
Are you also aware of Beale's Cut and other locations near Saugus/ Newhall?


Swami Nano said...

Thanks for your comment, Rothhammer, and thanks for the tip about the new Mill Creek set. I hadn't seen that set yet.

I just checked it out, and it's a nice set -- and the price is right. It appears to be mostly (possibly all) repackages of earlier Mill Creek releases, as Mill Creek tends to do. I've looked at a lot of Mill Creek material, and found a ton of rocks in it. (Probably literally much more than a ton, but I think you get what I mean.) They're not known for their quality, but they have a good low-cost business model (all public domain material, no royalties or permissions needed), and they put a lot of material in circulation.

This set contains all 50 of the movies released earlier as "Cowboys and Bandits," along with much of another 50-movie set that was called "Gunslinger Classics," with a few additional titles in the mix, most of which are a bit later than the peak U.S. B-movie period, and in some cases foreign movies.

Here's a list of some of the movies I can recommend on this set that are known to be shot at Iverson:

Billy the Kid Returns
Code of the Cactus
Code of the Fearless
Days of Jesse James
The Feud Maker
The Feud of the Trail
Ghost Patrol
Homesteaders of Paradise Valley
I Killed Wild Bill Hickok
Man From Music Mountain
Romance on the Range
Son of the Renegade
Stormy Trails
Texas Trouble Shooters
Thunder in the Desert
The Trusted Outlaw
Valley of Terror
West of Cimarron

... enjoy!


Jeff Shannon said...

You have a great site! I've been to Iverson once last year and really enjoyed it. My question to you is where is Wrench Rock? I'm thinking it is in the Upper Iverson area in which case would make it difficult to get to.

Swami Nano said...

Hi Jeff:

Thanks a lot for your comment. Wrench Rock is indeed on the old Upper Iverson. Access to it is complicated, but might still be doable. Email me privately ( and we can talk about it in more detail.

It's a beauty, even with the big tree that's now attached to its eastern side.


Unknown said...

I grew up in Chatsworth, I remember riding in the car coming own the 118 freeway and looking down over the Ranch before the condos. I always told my mom someday I was going to get on that ranch. Well about 12 years later, after the condos and after High School, about 1990, it turned out that one of my friends was the secretary for the owner of the Ranch, Mr. Bob Sherman. After I meet Mr. Sherman a few times he and I became friends, we still talk a few times a year. I worked at the ranch doing every thing from security, set building, parking cars for events, road grading, lawn mowing..... I eventuality moved up the the ranch and lived there for about 6 months. I even met my wife there. Mr. Sherman would have loved to keep filming at the Ranch but the freeway and the condos were so problematic that it became unprofitable for both the filming industry and the Ranch leading Mr. Sherman to sell. I have read several places that as soon as Mr. Sherman bought the Ranch from his uncle, Joe Iverson, he started selling off property. This is not true. Joe Iverson had already sold everything but the three parcels he sold to Mr. Sherman, the main house (6 acres); the hillside, between the house and the Santa Susana Pass Road, with the house on the hill that burned in the last fire (16 acres); and the reservoir, north of the 118 with the old water wells (1+ acre). I have always been obsessed with old filming locations and feel privileged to have worked and lived at the ranch even though it was not what it had been. Thanks for keeping the memory and past life of the Ranch alive.

Swami Nano said...


Thanks a lot for your comment. I'd love to hear more about your time at Iverson.

I had a similar experience to yours, but years earlier, riding in the car as we went over the Santa Susana Pass toward Simi Valley, back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. (Corriganville was often our destination.) This was before the 118 was built, and we would drive over Santa Susana Pass Road. Mom would point to the rocks in the hills above Chatsworth and say, "They shoot Western movies out there," and of course I'd get excited. But I had no idea how significant those rocks would become to me many years later.

Matt, we should try to catch up. Please email me if you can:

Otherwise, give my best to Mr. Sherman. I appreciate the effort he has put into Iverson, including his work to try to document its legacy. I hope he knows there are a few of us around who are trying to keep up that kind of work.

Thanks -- I hope to hear from you.

-Electric Dylan Lad (now Swami Nano, thanks to a Google glitch)

Jeff Shannon said...

Just read your entry - Iverson after the brutal Southern California wildfires of fall 1970.
Another excellent piece of information on the area. I look forward to your new post and cannot get enough of the Iverson history. Please keep it up.
Thanks again,
Jeff Shannon

Unknown said...

I am related to Joseph Iverson. Grew up in LA and spent time on the ranch in the sixties. Now I live in a small town in Ohio. There is a 86 year old gentleman here who is related to Louise Coffey who marriwd Joesph Iverson! Small world afterall. Will be reading this site often from now on. Thanks, Kathy Peterson Downer

Unknown said...

Shirley temple passed away yesterday. The older gentleman I spoke of in my first post watched Shirley film Wee Willie Winkie on the Iverson ranch, as did my dad when he was a kid. Still a small world! Kathy

Swami Nano said...

Hi Kathy:

Thank you for your two recent comments. I wanted to reply to the first one but got a little busy for a few days. I would love to keep the conversation going, so I hope you will email me at:

I would like to follow up about Joseph Iverson and your 86-year-old eyewitness to movie history. Wow, what a great coincidence.

Also, I wanted to let you know that I have put up a new post as a tribute to Shirley Temple Black, with info about "Wee Willie Winkie" and an update on Shirley Temple Rock. You should be able to find it on the home page, as it's the most current post, for now. It also includes links to a number of earlier posts about Shirley Temple, Shirley Temple Rock and "Wee Willie Winkie."

Shirley was an important figure in the history of the Iverson Movie Ranch (not to mention her huge role in the evolution of modern culture!). I was really sorry to hear about her death.

Thank you for posting — I hope to hear from you.

-edl / swami nano

Andy L. said...

I started watching The Lone Ranger on Cozi TV a few months ago. I hadn't seen these TV show episodes since I watched them (as reruns) in the late 50s, early 60s. Credits in the later episodes say filmed on location at "Lone Ranger Ranch" and Corriganville. As a transplant to So. California in the late 1970s, I was totally unaware of Corriganville's (or Iverson Ranch's) existence or history. I started searching online and was soon hooked. In May, with my Labrador along for the adventure, I viewed Lone Ranger Rock close-up, followed by a short drive and long walk all around Corriganville Park. Sad that all that's left of the movie set are concrete slabs and a few short stone walls. But it's a great, relatively serene place to visit, especially on a weekday---and your dog, on leash, can accompany you. :-)

Swami Nano said...

Thanks for your comment, Andy.

I believe for a period of time the producers of the TV series "The Lone Ranger" had an arrangement with Corriganville to call the site "Lone Ranger Ranch" in the show's credits. While the series shot heavily at Iverson — especially in seasons one and five — it also used significant footage shot at Corriganville, particularly in the Western town, which has always been known as "Silvertown." Whether the name has to do with the Lone Ranger's horse, I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised.

Those concrete slabs are precious, that's for sure. Corriganville's lucky to have as many foundations as it does. They're scarce at Iverson. The Miner's Cabin is pretty much the only real movie foundation left.

Season five of "The Lone Ranger," which is great for Iverson sightings, is also the only season of the show that's in color. The series shot a total of 221 episodes, and went all over the place. Besides Iverson and Corriganville, you can find some pretty good work at Ingram Ranch, Bronson Canyon, Lone Pine, Melody Ranch ... a number of sites.

My experience is that dogs, at least of a certain size, tend to take a liking to hiking, including exploring old movie ranches. It can be a terrific meeting of the minds when a dog owner gets into hiking the old locations. I miss my dog — I had a Lab too, and boy did he love to hike. Unfortunately, he wasn't around anymore by the time I discovered Iverson. You really have to appreciate them in the short time they're around.

Keep rockin' ...


Anonymous said...

Hi there.What a great blog about iverson's such a great location,i would always know if a western was shot at iverson because of the garden of the gods and the lone ranger rock and other rocks,but i never new if they were on the upper middle or lower iverson.ive learned so much about the iverson ranch since i found the blog.i would love to visit it somtime in the near future.the only interst i have in location in ireland is the quite man location that i go and see every 2 years.thanks again for this wonderful blog,


Swami Nano said...

Thanks for commenting, Steve. I really appreciate the feedback.

I'd love to see those "Quiet Man" locations too. Looks like they're mostly in County Galway, based on a check of IMDb. I'll be sure to put that on my intinerary for the trip to Ireland and Scotland that's still in the long-range planning stages.

Be sure to look me up if you find your way to Southern California. You can always reach me through the blog.

Maybe we'll meet up, on one side of the world or the other.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply swami,yea most of the quiet man location is in co.galway.the main town was done in cong co.mayo.some other location work was done in co.mayo.if you ever get to ireland send me an e-mail.


Unknown said...

Dear Swami,
Wow! This blog is absolutely amazing! I have never seen so much information regarding one particular location than your blog on the iverson movie ranch. I am totally hooked on every single piece of information regarding the rock names and locations, the movies that were filmed here (and other locations), the old pictures of yesterday and today, the old aerial photography and much, much more!
I have recently been watching the old Lone Ranger and Roy Roger TV shows on the FE TV channel. I just love the terrain of the areas they filmed those tv shows. I know there are other shows that have been filmed there, but these 2 are the ones that I've been watching recently. The sandstone rocks are absolutely beautiful to look at and the surrounding terrain is absolutely magnificent! Just reading everybody's comments about your blog is so amazing. I bet there would be a huge amount of interest if we all could get together and meet with you at the iverson movie ranch and/or the corriganville park for some kind of tour / hike. I know I would be one to show up! Have you ever thought of organizing a group of people for a hike or tour of these movie locations?
Thanks again for all the treasured facts about these movie locations!
Signed, A huge fan!!!

Swami Nano said...

Thanks for the feedback, Doug!

I'll keep doing it as long as people get something out of it, so it's always good to hear that it's appreciated.

"Lone Ranger" and "Roy Rogers" are a good place to start — they both have a huge amount of Iverson content.

The idea of possible tours at Iverson is a bit tricky because much of the land is private property. However, small groups going into the preserved areas — Garden of the Gods on the west side of Redmesa Road and the Gorge on the east side — are a realistic idea. I am open to getting together for something like that when schedules permit.

Tours of the former site of Corriganville take place on a regular basis, conducted by Corriganville expert Gregg Anderson. You can find more information about that in this earlier blog post:

Contact me offline at my email address if you would like to follow up about a meetup.

-Swami Nano

Mira Shelton said...

The best site ever! Such amazing attention to detail! You're really both documenting and creating history at the same time--and I hope it's satisying for you! I just found this site, and will be spending a lot of my time here. I was drawn to live in Chatsworth by the rocks. I almost hate to admit that I live in a townhouse at Rockpointe. My kids gre up exploring and making films in the same rocks as John Ford. We're all writers and filmmakers--so this site is a wondrous find. I'm delighted to have found you and the other rock junkies here, Swa,I!
Cynthia Cirile

Swami Nano said...

Thank you, Cynthia, for your great words of encouragement. I do get a lot of satisfaction out of my Iverson research, albeit sometimes at the price of neglecting other things I'm supposed to be doing. The best part is when I hear that people are getting something out of it, so thanks again for everything you said. I'll keep at it!

Tommy said...

I've been watching the Cisco Kid reruns, and have noticed from the 11 shooting locations for the show, seems a lot of it was at Iverson's. What a great place!

Unknown said...

On second thought, if you pay attention, almost all of Eddie Dean's movies were shot on Iverson's, along with Charles Starrett and Tim McCoy, along with others. Once you start learning some of the scenery, it's easy to pick up on the movies. I've noticed that on Cisco Kid, some of the scenes were shot on the backside of the normal camera shots, like on the 'other' side of the rocks.

Swami Nano said...

Thanks for your comments, Tommy. Yeah, The Cisco Kid made good use of Iverson. If you haven't already checked out these two blog posts about Cisco Kid shoots at Iverson, you'll want to see these:


I don't think I can put links in the comments, or at least I can't figure out how to do it, so you'll have to copy and paste.

Have fun!


Anonymous said...

Some more interesting historical trivia about a portion of the Iverson ranch. In the mid to late 1960s, Ray Croc (of McDonald's fame) bought 210 acres of land here with a vision of building an amusement park to rival Disneyland. I have seen artist's conceptions of the park and an aerial photo marked with the border of the 210 acres. For whatever reason(s) this never came to pass of course...

Unknown said...

Just booked a few spring break nights in Calabasas so am totally stoked to finally be going to visit GoG and Vasquez. I wish I new the landmarks & stories better to make the most of it, but am studying this blog more to be as prepared as possible. I expect to go up GoG trail, past Hawk rock, Tower, Sphinx and climb on Tom Mix rock. Also expect to visit Lone Ranger rock as well as the trails he rode up and back down towards Stage Coach road. I'll hike around as much as possible but won't really know what rocks are what. Also want to look for Devils Doorway which I realize is between condos now. Also would like to visit the pool at Indian Hills and make sense of the rocks around it, but not sure if people are allowed in there. Well, thanks for all the great Iverson info.

Unknown said...

My visit to Iverson went well & I got pics of Lash LaRue Arch, Lone Ranger, Doglips, Old Man of the Gorge, Nyoka Cliff, Hawk, Devil's Doorway, Rock Island, Batman, Saddle Horn, Tower, Sphinx, Phantom, Phantom Cave, Tom Mix, Glenn Strange, Rhonda Fleming, Saddle, Boots, Bathtub, Cleft, Harem Scarum cluster, Mitchell & Moray & Overlook Point. Also got into upper Iverson to see Wrench, Turtle & Slates before going out to Vasquez. Thanks Iverson Blogspot.

jimmo said...

Your blog dedicated to the Iverson Movie Ranch is, one may see, a real labor of love. I wish I lived in or near ere California, would like to see some of these locations. But it dos seem that real estate development has ruined a once great piece of turf.

How much (percentage-wise) of the original Iverson Ranch would you say remains intact, undisturbed by development?

I love that some of "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Fury" (two of my favorite television series') were filmed at Iverson. Was much of the outdoor location for "The Rifleman" also filmed at Iverson?

It is a shame most of Iverson Ranch and another great piece of Hollywood real estate, the old RKO/Desilu "Forty Acres Lot" (where the "Tara" mansion in "Gone with the Wind" was filmed, as well as what served as exterior shooting locales of "Mayberry" in "The Andy Griffith Show," and the Marine barracks in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.") were not named National Historic Landmarks, so they would have been spared from the wrecking ball and development.

Anonymous said...

We used to go hiking up in Chatsworth and off SantaSusanna pass up Rocky peak road before all the developement like 1973 it was beautiful and I loved going to s cave we called the finger in all those beautiful rock formations, a highlight of my younger hiking days I also have a sister who lived by Vasquez rocks so I enjoyed that area as well Randy J

Unknown said...

Thks so much for all this interesting information about the Iverson Ranch. I "discovered" your website while researching the Swedish emigrants from Fornåsa parish in Sweden. Augusta Wågman emigrated 12 years after her older sister who had married and lived on a farm in Chatsworth. Newspaper articles fill in the blanks of how she proceeded to homestead the rocks and meadows that "looked like home" with her new husband Iverson.

Last weekend, was the first time my 'snowbird family' and I took to the trails and the rocks to see close up the beauty that is the Iverson Ranch. It is majestic! Being members of the 'senior set' made the trek to the Lone Ranger rock a challenge but the lady who lives at the end of Sierra Pass was so nice in pointing out a little less challenging route off the end of that street. She also warned of the presence of poison oak. Is there any organized effort to clean up the woody brush that has grown up in places hindering access?

Again thank you for sharing your love of this place. I have a number of old B/W Roy Roger DVD's and you have peeked my interest in now paying attention to the background of the outdoor film shots. Kind of exciting.

Dal Breithaupt said...

This is probably a very dumb question, but I'll ask anyway. I have seen the term "movie rocks" used in different things that I have read about the Iverson movie ranch. Are "movie rocks" real, natural rocks, or does the term movie rock mean that they are man-made props that look like real rocks?


Dal Breithaupt
Gretna, Louisiana

Swami Nano said...

Not a dumb question at all, Dal. You make the point that some of us may be taking things for granted when we use terms like "movie rocks." It can mean different things in different context, but when I use it in connection with the Iverson Movie Ranch, I almost always mean one thing: real, natural rocks that are found on the movie ranch and were used in the movies or on TV.

But as I said, it depends on the context. I know there have been times when I said something like, "Those aren't real rocks, they're movie rocks." In that context, I would be referring to manmade props, typically made out of "movie foam," which is along the lines of Styrofoam. But again, I think it would be clear from the context that in this case I'm not talking about real rocks.

Thanks for your question.