Iverson Movie Ranch, California

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    • Iverson Movie Ranch, California

      Santa Susanna Mountains, Chatsworth,California

      Scenes from
      Overland Stage Raiders
      The Fighting Seebees
      were filmed here

      The 'Garden of Gods' Location
      Stagecoach, Apache Wells

      The super-imposed image of Noak's Ark

      The world famous Iverson Movie Ranch
      is the most photographed location ranch in motion picture history.
      Situtated in the Santa Susanna Mountains in the northwest corner of
      Chatsworth, California, it has been used to simulate the terrains of Asia,
      Africa, the South Seas, the old west, and any other locale the studios could wish for.

      Literally thousands of motion pictures and television shows
      have used the Iverson Movie Ranch for some or all of the scenes in the picture.
      This location ranch is probably the most recognizable site to movie viewers of all ages,
      whether it is the Garden of Gods site on the Lower Iverson
      (see pictures above and below) or the chase roads on the Upper Iverson.


      On the Lower Iverson, all through the different rock formations
      on this part of the ranch, was where the majority of the standing sets were,
      whether it was a native Indian village, an outlaw hideout, a stagecoach stop,
      false cave mouth, or whatever the movie company wished for.
      Because of the rock formations, this is the most easily recognized area of the ranch.

      The Upper Iverson was used mainly for stagecoach and horse chase scenes,
      for war scenes such as in The Fighting Seabees with John Wayne,
      and similar wideopen shots.

      The stars who have lensed here is a virtual who's who of Hollywood,
      including Shirley Temple in Wee Willie Winkie, Laurel & Hardy in The Flying Dueces,
      John Wayne in The Fighting Seabees, Gary Cooper in Lives of the Bengal Lancers,
      and Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe,
      Lex Barker and Gordon Scott as Tarzan in various films.

      The history of the ranch began in 1880 when Miss Augustus Wagman
      homesteaded 160 acres of rocky land which eventually grew to a few thousand acres.
      In October 1888, she married Karl Iverson, and from that union five children were born:
      Joe, Sena, Isaac, Anna, and Aaron.

      In 1912 the California Aqueduct opened, bringing water (and people)
      to Los Angeles and the first film at Iverson was shot.
      The name of this first film has been reported as being The Squaw Man,
      but this is probably incorrect. Unfortunately, because of several fires,
      the ranch records have been lost

      The management of the ranch during the early years was handled by
      Karl, Augustus, and Joe.
      Around 1927, the ownership of the ranch was given to two of the sons,
      Joe and Aaron (the other children having moved away),
      but the profits were divided in thirds (the parents receiving one-third,
      Joe and Aaron receiving one-third each).
      By 1962, the ownership of the ranch was already divided into two sections:
      Joe owning the Lower Iverson, and Aaron owning the Upper Iverson

      In the 1962 edition of the Studio Blu-Book Directory on page 36
      is the following ad: "Aaron Iverson Ranch,
      Motion Picture & TV Location at the Upper (North) Section of Iverson Ranch,
      Consisting of Seven Location with Every Kind of Scenery
      including Miles of Scenic Roads and Insert Roads.
      There are many new improvements being made such as Western Street,
      Ranch Village, Lake, Pools, Bulldog Hills, Graves."
      Unfortunately, most of these improvements appear not to have been started.

      In 1966, the State of California began construction on the Simi Valley Freeway (118).
      This major thoroughfare cut the Iverson ranch in half,
      being built through the northern edge of the Lower Iverson.
      This freeway all but doomed the ranch as a viable movie location
      because of the high decibel sound levels caused by the traffic
      passing through the Santa Susanna Mountains.

      In 1982, Joe Iverson sold the Lower Iverson to Robert G. Sherman,
      who almost immediately began subdividing most of the property.
      By 1998, Sherman had sold the ranch to a family
      which will keep the remaining acreage intact.

      During the late 1980's, most of the ranch was subdivided into three portions:
      the Upper Iverson is now Indian Springs/Indian Falls,
      an exclusive gated community of 1 to 4 acre homesites,
      many of which have homes the size of mansions;
      the Lower Iverson is California West, a private residential condominium community;
      and the Middle Iverson is Summerset Village,
      consisting of luxury rental apartments.

      ...............Cliffs of Nyoka

      Even though paved roadways now sit on many of the Upper Iverson's chase roads
      and another roadway traverses the canyon between the Garden of the Gods
      and the Cliffs of Nyoka (Photo above)
      the major rock formations and terrains still remain intact.

      More of the Garden of Gods, and the railway track in the distance.(Click on photo to enlarge)


      Garden of Gods

      The Lone Ranger Rock


      The Lone Ranger Rock, as it is now, just to the
      centre, note the camera mount in the foreground.(Click on the two Photos above for enlargements)

      Close ups and many more photographs here:-
      Iverson Movie Ranch-Location

      In its days of glory, besides the magnificent rock outcroppings
      and general landscape, the ranch had a complete Western street,(above)
      a three-sided ranch house with accompanying barn,
      and many small buildings that usually were used as outlaw shacks,
      stagecoach stops, and the like.

      Prior to the 1950's, there was only one major setting up there
      that I am sure of, an artificial cave opening next to an outlaw shack
      (this shack was used in the Lone Ranger t.v. series as the entrance
      to the hidden silver mine of the Ranger).

      As of 1993, all that remained of this set was the stone foundation.
      In 1990, portions of this section of the ranch were used in the
      Jack Nicholson movie Two Jakes.

      The Middle Iverson at one time had what is referred to as the three-sided house.
      The west, south, and east sides of the building could be filmed from different angles
      and made to appear to be different houses.
      A barn and outbuilding also were at this site.

      Information and Copyright by Jerry L. Schneider
      except for a select number of photographs
      and/or images which are copyrighted by their
      respective owners.

      For more information:-
      Iverson Movie Ranch- Wikipedia

      For more information
      Studios, Backlots and Ranches
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 98 times, last by ethanedwards ().