Before the Iverson family became full-time movie location operators, they were farmers. Even after the location business started to take off, they kept various farming operations going — and they had this amazing tractor.
Field hands display the Iversons' potato crop in the early farming years
The rugged terrain that would become the Iverson Movie Ranch wasn't particularly fertile, especially with all those rocks. So the Iversons also farmed down in the flatlands, where it's said they produced one of the best potato crops in the San Fernando Valley.
Early watermelon crop on the Iverson farm
The family also farmed watermelon, among other crops. And they had at least a couple of tractors. The one seen here on the left is a Fordson, which was the nameplate Henry Ford set up when he went into producing tractors back in 1917. (The brand name was a contracted form of "Ford and Son.")
The Iversons' Fordson tractor (photo from 1930)
Here's a good look at the old Fordson. It's unclear who the woman is who's showing off the machine.
Iva Iverson and guest with the grader (photo circa 1951)
Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of photos of Joe's other tractor — which it might be more accurate to call a grader, or even a crawler. This is one of only two photos of it that I've seen. Joe's second wife, Iva, is on the left, framed by the machine's steering wheel and grader blade controls.
Wider shot of Joe on his crawler/grader
The photo at the top of this post was cropped from this wider shot. The big reveal here — and my other favorite thing about the picture, besides the grader itself — is the guy standing in the field with a rifle.
When the farm transitioned into a full-time movie ranch, the heavy machinery still had work to do. Here's Joe using one of his tractors — I think it's the old Fordson — to haul rocks as he puts in a road through the Gorge, probably in the early 1930s. Nyoka Cliff looms in the background.