A road of steppingstones, north of Garden of the Gods
A short distance north of the main sandstone towers of the Garden of the Gods, a strip of stones appears to have been assembled into a short road — which remains in place today.
"Perils of Nyoka" (Republic serial, 1942): The road glistens
The origin of the road is unknown, but it turns up on occasion in later productions that were filmed in the same area, such as the old Republic serial "Perils of Nyoka."
"Bonanza" episode "The Long Night" (premiered May 6, 1962)
The Cobblestone Road came up in a post I published earlier this year about James Coburn on the TV show "Bonanza." That post, which you can read by clicking here, includes a map showing how to find the road.
Tent city from unknown production, north of Garden of the Gods
Numerous tent cities came and went during the filming era at Iverson, and some of them remain mysteries. This one, possibly from the silent era, conveys a Middle Eastern or biblical theme.
"The King of Kings" (Cecil B. DeMille, 1927)
The Garden of the Gods tents are similar in design to tents seen in DeMille's biblical epic "The King of Kings," parts of which were in color. But on close examination, they do not appear to be the same tents.
Mystery military camp set on the Lower Iverson, circa 1918-1935
Another tent city, this one consistent with the style of U.S. military tents used in World War I, was part of another unknown production, probably from the silent era or the early 1930s.
Similar tents seen in "Draft 258" (not an Iverson production)
The style of the tents on the Iverson set matches this shot taken at a different location during filming of the 1917 silent movie "Draft 258." The photo turned up in a 1917 issue of the old trade magazine Motion Picture News.
Church Rock, which would later rise above the church that stood at the end of the Iverson Western street for a couple of years in the 1940s.
"Posada" set on the Iverson Ranch, circa 1931
A number of buildings have turned up in old photos of the Iverson Ranch that have never been identified. This one appears in a photo believed to be from about 1931, with a sign on the building that includes the Spanish word "Posada," or "inn." The people in the photo are unidentified.
Middle Eastern set at Sheep Flats — north side of the building
Undated photos show a substantial Middle Eastern set that was erected on Sheep Flats on the Lower Iverson Ranch. My guess is that it was in place in the early 1950s, but it could be earlier.
click here to read a 2016 post about Silverland, adjacent to Sheep Flats.
Eastern side of the set, including the garden
The set was quite elaborate, and included an ornate garden. I have yet to find the movie associated with this impressive set.
1959 aerial photo of the Upper Iverson Movie Ranch
One of the biggest mysteries I've encountered in my Iverson Movie Ranch research concerns a cluster of buildings that I first noticed in a 1959 aerial photograph of the Upper Iverson.
Upper Village," although the relatively uniform size and shape of the buildings suggests that they may have been used to depict an Army barracks or similar facility.
"The Golden Stallion" (Republic, 1949)
The Double Line of Trees can be spotted occasionally in the backgrounds of productions filmed on the Upper Iverson, as in this example from the Roy Rogers movie "The Golden Stallion."
Closeup of the Upper Village in the 1959 aerial
A good starting point for trying to find the origins of the Upper Village would be to take a look at war movies or military-themed TV series from circa 1957-1958.
A mysterious "Rip Van Winkle" photo from 1921
It may be ironic that a "Rip Van Winkle" photo has been keeping me up at night, but this colorized lobby card for the 1921 silent movie based on Washington Irving's hard-sleeping bearded wonder has been haunting me. The rocks are strongly reminiscent of the Iverson Ranch area, but so far I've been unable to place them.
"Lorna Doone" (1922): Madge Bellamy among the rocks
Another example of the "needle in a haystack" nature of these mysteries is this shot featuring early film siren Madge Bellamy looking fetching among some suspiciously Iverson-like rocks. It is unknown where this sequence was filmed, but it has long been suspected that "Lorna Doone" filmed at Iverson. I would love to find this spot.
"Bat Masterson" TV series: "Buffalo Kill" (1959)
Some rocks seem too big and unusual not to turn up at some point. Case in point, this beauty, which my gut tells me is somewhere along Cactus Hill.
"Buffalo Kill" — another interesting rock in the same episode
Another shot from "Bat Masterson" includes a similarly intriguing rock, whose whereabouts are also not known.
"Trigger Pals" (1939): Iverson ... or not Iverson?
The Cinemart/Grand National B-Western "Trigger Pals," starring Art Jarrett and Lee Powell, captures yet another mystery rock. The movie is mostly non-Iverson, so this thing could be anywhere — please give us a holler if you see it, whether it's in the real world or in a movie.
Popular Science Monthly (November 1935): Mystery buildings near the Garden of the Gods
A 1935 article about stuntmen featured this shot of some unknown buildings set up north of the Garden of the Gods, with the stuntman aboard the falling oil derrick identified as Matt Gilman. The buildings and the movie that featured the stunt remain mysteries.
"The Little Princess" (1917): Mystery rocks and fake rock wall
Here's a mystery that's 100 years old, even though it's one that we only recently ran across. It's a shot from the silent Mary Pickford movie "The Little Princess," from 1917.
"The Little Princess" (1917)
This shot from the movie provides a closer look at both the fake rock wall and the real rock on the right. These rocks look every bit the part of Iverson Movie Ranch rocks, but they have yet to be found.
The "assassins" in "Harum Scarum" (1965): Somewhere near the Garden of the Gods?
The Elvis Presley movie "Harum Scarum" has produced some cool sightings and rock matches, but it also presents its share of unsolved mysteries — including this shot of a group of assassins lurking among the rocks. I've been looking for these rocks for a few years, to no avail.
"Harum Scarum": The "ridge ride"
Another shot from "Harum Scarum" that has proved challenging is this "ridge ride." The rocks may not have survived, but if they did it seems as though they would be somewhere in the Gorge or the Garden of the Gods.
"Mystery Man" (1944): Iverson Ranch ... or Lone Pine?
The Garden of the Gods is also the focus of a lingering question involving the Hopalong Cassidy movie "Mystery Man." We found tons (literally) of key rocks from the movie a while back, but never did find these — and we're still unsure whether this shot is taken at Iverson or in Lone Pine, where much of the movie was filmed.
These are just a few of the countless mysteries that remain to be solved surrounding the Iverson Movie Ranch. If you spot any clues, please comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.