Sunday, August 17, 2014

Great Granddad Was A Prince Edward Island Fisherman

In 1806, the "Spencer" a ship full of Scottish immigrants from Colonsay, Scotland, was bound for Prince Edward Island where the Earl of Selkirk offered them shelter, provisions and land. 

With heavy hearts and high expectations, these Colonsay pioneers crossed the Atlantic with their extended families, and on 22 September 1806, the "Spencer" landed in Pinette Harbour, Prince Edward Island.

The Colonsay settlers spent the winter at Pinette, with provisions and quarters provided by Selkirk. The following spring, 1807, they moved to the Wood Islands area of Lot 62 to begin their new lives in a New World.

My ancestors aboard the "Spencer" were

Duncan Munn -- my 5x great grandfather -- who was born 1746 in Colonsay and died 1821 in Wood Islands, PEI; and his wife Flora Brown who was born 1748 in Colonsay.

Angus Munn -- my 4x great grandfather -- (Duncan's son) born about 1774 in Colonsay, and died 27 JUL 1837 in Woods Island, PEI; his wife Margaret McNeill born about 1784 in Colonsay, and died 21 Feb 1871 in Little Sands, PEI; and their infant daughter Catherine Munn born 1806 in Colonsay.  

Catherine Munn -- my 3x great grandmother -- eventually married Angus McDonald who was born about 1810 in Colonsay, but was not a passenger on the "Spencer."

Also on the "Spencer" were Malcolm McNeill -- my 5x great grandfather -- (Margaret McNeill Munn's father) born about 1755 in Colonsay; and his wife Mary Livingston born about 1755 in Colonsay.

Other extended kin -- in my family tree -- arriving on the "Spencer" included McMillans, McDuffs, and additional McNeills

Angus McDonald settled on Lot 64 -- Cape Bear -- PEI and became a fisherman

While living at Cape Bear Angus McDonald -- my 3x great grandfather -- was engaged in both farming and fishing.  Angus and his family lived between Cape Bear and Murray River, and no doubt kept their boats at Murray Harbour.  

Being located at Cape Bear -- on the east end of the island -- gave them the ability to travel north to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, or go to the south side -- literally their backyard -- to the Northumberland Strait depending on the weather and fishing conditions.

Fishing was a "Island way of life" for many on PEI

Angus McDonald and other island fishermen worked mainly "inshore" and relied on small boats -- often built themselves -- such as a 12' to 18' dory,  A dory is usually rowed by one or two fishermen -- but sometimes a mast was attached so it could be sailed.
While hundreds of species of fish thrived in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait only a few dozen had of any commercial value.  Primary species harvested included herring, mackerel, tuna, trout, salmon, and smelt.  

Island rivers were abundant with excellent trout, flounders, sturgeons, mackerel and salmon.

Groundfish found near the coast included cod, hake, ocean perch (redfish), and flounder.  Shellfish and crustaceans that abound include oysters, mussels, clams, crab, and lobster.

Irish moss (a seaweed) was harvested by pulling a special horse-drawn rake along the rocks or on the sea floor.

Occasionally walrus would to frequent the shores in large numbers, and were a source of considerable profit.  Harbor seals and harp seals floated on the ice towards the north shore in large numbers.  

Wild geese, wild pigeons, wild ducks, and Brant were also very plentiful in their seasons.

The McDonald children born at Cape Bear

Angus and Catherine (Munn) McDonald had the following children: Margaret McDonald born 1832, John McDonald born 1834, James McDonald born 1836, Angus McDonald born 1838 and Catharine McDonald born 1840.

Sometime before 1871, Angus removed to Stanley, Huron South, Ontario where he was still occupied as a fisherman.  Angus died sometime around 1876 in Ontario, Canada, and Catherine after 1881 in Goderich, Huron, Ontario, Canada.

The McNeils in Ontario

Angus and Catherine's eldest daughter Margaret McDonald -- my 2x great grandmother -- who was born 25 Sep 1832 in Cape Bear (lot 64) Prince Edward Island, married about 1850 to Duncan McNeil born 1821 in Scotland, and they had nine children.

The McNeil children -- all born in Ontario -- were Duncan McNeil born about 1855, Angus McNeil born about 1857, Mary McNeil born about 1859, Catherine McNeil born about 1860 in Paisley, Allen McNeil born about 1865 in Goderich, Annie McNeil born about 1866 in Goderich, Ellen McNeil born about 1868 in Goderich, John McNeil born about 1870 in Goderich, and Neil McNeil born about 1877 in Goderich.

Margaret died in 1881 from consumption (Pulmonary tuberculosis) which also killed many of her children.  No record for Duncan is found after 1882, so it is likely he also succumbed to TB.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Reb Russell

Reb Russell (1905-1978) was a star football player for the University of Nebraska and later at Northwestern University, where he was named an All-American in 1930.

Because of his athletic fame he was courted by Hollywood, and eventually became a B-Western cowboy star during the mid 1930s.

Russell's Santa Susana locations filmography includes:

Fighting Through (1934) - Reb Russell, his horse Rebel, Lucille Lund and Yakima Canutt (Chatsworth) Willis Kent

Range Warfare (1934) - Reb Russell, his horse Rebel, Lucille Lund (Brandeis Ranch) States Rights  

Blazing Guns (1935) - Reb Russell, Marion Shilling, Lafe McKee (Brandeis Ranch) States Rights

Monday, August 4, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson (1921–2003) was an American born film and television actor  He was best known for his roles in Westerns and action films.  

During the 1950s he performed mostly in B-Western supporting roles, but by the 1960s he was starring in films such as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, and The Great Escape.

Bronson's Santa Susana locations filmography includes:

"Roy Rogers Show, The" (1951) TV Series

Riding Shotgun (1954) - Randolph Scott, Wayne Morris, Joan Weldon (Bell Ranch) Warner Bros.

Apache (1954) - Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire (Corriganville)(Burro Flats) United Artists

Drum Beat (1954) - Alan Ladd, Audrey Dalton, Marisa Pavan (Iverson Ranch) Warner Bros. 

"Wire Service" (1956) TV Series

"Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957) TV Series

"Gunsmoke" (1955) TV Series

"U.S. Marshal" (1958) TV Series

"Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957) TV Series

"Bonanza" (1959) TV Series

"Big Valley, The" (1965) TV Series

"Legend of Jesse James, The" (1965) TV Series

"Fugitive, The" (1963) TV Series

"Virginian, The" (1962) TV Series

Monday, July 28, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. He is number 23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time.  His best known Santa Susana locations film is probably his film noir role in "The Big Steal" (1949).

Robert Mitchum Santa Susana locations filmography includes:

Lone Star Trail (1943) starring Johnny Mack Brown, Tex Ritter and Fuzzy Knight - Universal

Beyond the Last Frontier (1943) starring Eddie Dew, Smiley Burnette and Lorraine Miller (Iverson Ranch)(Corriganville) Republic

Story of G.I. Joe (1945) starring Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum and Freddie Steele (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Blood on the Moon (1948) starring Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes and Robert Preston (Iverson Ranch) RKO

The Big Steal (1949) starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix (Iverson Ranch) RKO

Man with the Gun (1955) starring Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling and Karen Sharpe - United Artists

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- James Garner

James Garner (1928-2014) was an American film and television actor. He starred in several television series over more than five decades.  

He is perhaps best known for his role as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series "Maverick."

His Santa Susana locations filmography includes

"Zane Grey Theater" TV Series (1956)

"Maverick" TV Series (1957–1962) (Bell Ranch)

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957) supporting Randolph Scott, James Craig, Angie Dickinson (Corriganville) Warner Bros.

Alias Jesse James (1959) supporting Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming and Wendell Corey (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) starring James Garner, Walter Brennan, Jack Elam (Iverson Ranch) UA

Sunset (1988) starring Bruce Willis, James Garner, Malcolm McDowell (Bell Ranch) TriStar Pict.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chatsworth's Road to Movie Magic -- Part Two

Garden of the Gods

Arizona Cowboy (1950)
Belle Starr (1941)
Bengal Brigade (1954)
The Big Steal (1949)
Black Bart (1948)
China (1943) 
Dallas (1950)
Dead Man's Gold (1948)
Desert Gold (1936)
Desert of Lost Men (1951) 
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951)
Escort West (1958)
The Fighting Seabees (1944) 
The Fighting Sheriff (1931) 
Fighting with Kit Carson (1933) 
The Flying Deuces (1939) 
Follow Me Boys (1966) 
The Gallant Legion (1948) 
The Gay Amigo (1949) 
Hands Across the Rockies (1941) 
The Harvey Girls (1946) 
Heldorado (1946) 
Hidden Valley (1932) 
King Richard And The Crusaders (1954) 
Law of the Canyon (1947)  
Little Big Horn (1951) 
Lucky Cisco Kid (1940) 
Lumberjack (1944) 
The Man from Colorado (1948) 
The Miracle Rider (1935) 
Mountain Rhythm (1939) 
My Pal Trigger (1946) 
Old Los Angeles (1948) 
The Paleface (1922) 
Pals of the Saddle (1938) 
The Perils of Nyoka (1942) 
The Phantom Plainsmen (1942) 
Phantom Valley (1948) 
The Renegade Ranger (1938) 
Return of the Badmen (1947) 
Riders of Death Valley (1941) 
Riders of the Rio Grande (1943) 
Rimfire (1949) 
Rio Grande Patrol (1950) 
Rocky Mountain Rangers (1940) 
Romance of the West (1946) 
Rough Riders of Cheyenne (1945) 
The San Antonio Kid (1944) 
The Silver Treasure (1926) 
Son of a Badman (1949) 
South of the Rio Grande (1932) 
Snake River Desperadoes (1951) 
Spoilers of the Plains (1951) 
Stagecoach (1939) 
Sun Valley Cyclone (1946) 
The Taming of the West (1939) 
Tell It To The Marines (1926)
Tennessee's Partner (1955)
The Terror of Tiny Town (1938)
They Died with Their Boots On (1941)
The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
Trailin' West (1936) 
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Unknown Valley (1933)
Utah (1945) starring Roy Rogers
The Valley of Vanishing Men (1942)
Wagon Wheels Westward (1945)
Wall Street Cowboy (1939)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937) 
Whistling Hills (1951)
White Eagle (1941)
Zorro Rides Again (1937)
Zorro's Black Whip (1944) 
Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)

Saddle Rock (photo above) is southwest of Bathtub Rock and can be used to climb it.

Buster Keaton's Bathtub

Three Ages (1923)
Escort West (1958) 
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951)
The Miracle Rider (1935)

Overlook Point (and camera mount) See Iverson Gorge in Part One

Batman Rock (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

Batman and Robin (1949)
In Old Cheyenne (1941)
The Plunderers (1948) 
Stagecoach (1939)
Heldorado (1946)
The Avenging Rider (1943)
Three Ages (1923)
Haunted Harbor (1944)

Saddlehorn Rock (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

Adventures of Frank and Jesse James (1948)
The Fighting Buckaroo (1943) 
Stagecoach Express (1942) 
The Miracle Rider (1935)
Guns in the Dark (1937)
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)
Young Daniel Boone (1950)

Stoney Point -- Chatworth's iconic logo

Stoney Point wasn't actually located on the Iverson Ranch, but it showed up in plenty of background scenes.

Riding Wild (1935)
Ghost Patrol (1936)
Desert Gold (1936)
Phantom Ranger (1938)
Great Stagecoach Robbery (1945)
The Crimson Ghost (1946)
Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)
King of the Bullwhip (1950)

A passion for American cowboy movies

Jerry England is a movie historian, cowboy folk artist, and photographer who, for the past dozen years, has researched and collected memorabilia associated with the movie locations in Chatsworth's Santa Susana Mountains. 

After making a 2007, guest appearance on the ReelzChannel Dailies program titled "Hollywood Was Here - The Iverson Movie Ranch" (Chris Meagher, Producer; Scott Conley, Host; Tracy Birdsell Photographer), he was urged to share his research and knowledge. 

Using movie stills, screenshots, and his own photographs he documented the unique landscape features that attracted filmmakers to Chatsworth a century ago, and has published two books about Chatsworth's filming locations:  Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas (2008) and Boulder Pass - Hollywood's Fantasyland (2010)

Jerry says, "Preserving the legacy of movie-making in the valley is one way of reminding folks of the indelible hoofprints horses have left on our landscape."

Chatsworth's Road to Movie Magic -- Part One

This still from Grapes of Wrath (1940) is the approx. location of today's Redmesa Road

Redmesa Road in the northwest corner of Chatsworth leads to one of the most recognizable areas of the former historic Iverson Movie Location Ranch -- The Garden of the Gods -- a twenty three-acre park site acquired by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 1987. 

It's the only part of the Iverson Ranch that still has public access.  The Garden of the Gods Park is perched just south of the 118 freeway along both sides of Redmesa Road a little north of Santa Susana Pass Road, and just a little west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. 

Until a few years ago many younger visitors to the park had little knowledge of the significance of the rock formations that line both sides of Redmesa Road.  

In 2000, the Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization (ECHO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of horses in Chatsworth recognized that horses had always been a vital part of the collective movie experience of Chatsworth, and are a living link to the history of Chatsworth -- especially filmmaking -- "without horses," ECHO said, "the economy, history, and character of Chatsworth would be profoundly different."

In 2009, ECHO's board members voted to dissolve the organization, and to donate its remaining funds to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy for the purchase of a plaque paying homage to movie cowboys and their horses.  In March 2013, a 28” by 18” bronze plaque was installed on the trail leading to the Garden of the Gods rock formations.

Eastside Rock Stars:

There are many historically important rock formations in the park.  I call them "Rock Stars."  There are no trails on the east side of Redmesa Road, so access to rock formations is difficult at best.  

In earlier posts I've attempted to show recent photographs and older movie stills that one might become acquainted with Iverson Ranch Rock Stars.  Follow the links below to those earlier posts for additional information.

The following is accompanied by a partial list of film titles lensed in the vicinity of each Rock Star.

Nyoka Cliff

Wee Willie Winkie (1937)
Three Ages (1923) 
The Perils of Nyoka (1942)
Old Los Angeles (1948)
The Daltons' Women (1950)

Nyoka Summit

The Real Glory (1939)
The Perils of Nyoka (1942) 
Zorro's Black Whip (1944)
The San Antonio Kid (1944)
The Fighting Seabees (1944)
The Crimson Ghost (1946) 
Blazing Across the Pecos (1948)
Gunmen of Abilene (1950)

Iverson Gorge

Law of the Range (1941)
The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938) 
Buffalo Bill Rides Again (1947) 
Bullet Code (1940) 
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) 
Cowboy Holiday (1935)
Custer's Last Stand (1936)
Desert Gold (1936)
The Desert Horseman (1946)
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951) 
Fighting Redhead (1949) 
The Fighting Seabees (1944) 
The Gallant Legion (1948) 
The Gambling Terror (1937) 
Gunfight at Comanche Creek (1963) 
Junior Army (1942) 
Land Beyond the Law (1937)  
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) 
Man with the Steel Whip (1954) 
The Marauders (1947) 
Mexican Hayride (1948) 
The Miracle Rider (1935) 
The Oklahoma Kid (1939)  
Old Los Angeles (1948) 
Overland Stage Raiders (1938) 
Pack Train (1953) 
Sheriff of Cimarron (1945) 
Son of Paleface (1952) 
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) 
Three Ages (1923) 
The Trusted Outlaw (1937) 
Under Arizona Skies (1946) 
Undercover Man (1942) 
Wee Willie Winkie (1937) 

Lone Ranger Rock

"Lone Ranger" TV series (1949)
The Narrow Trail (1917)
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Zorro Rides Again (1937)
Land Beyond the Law (1937)
The Oklahoma Kid (1939)
Wall Street Cowboy (1939) 
Perils of Nyoka (1942)

Three Ages Rock

Three Ages (1923)
Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)
Tarzan the Fearless (1933)
Ghost Town Gold (1936)
Land Beyond the Law (1937)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
Rough Riders' Round-up (1939)
Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1941)
They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Crown Rock (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

The Big Show (1936)
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
The Bold Caballero (1936)
The Old Corral (1936)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
Roarin' Lead (1936)
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)
The Gambling Terror (1937)
The Old Wyoming Trail (1937)
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

Devil's Doorway (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

The Narrow Trail (1917)
Three Ages (1923)
Unknown Valley (1933)
The Outlaw Deputy (1935)
Oh, Susanna! (1936)
Land Beyond the Law (1937) 
The Old Wyoming Trail (1937) 
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Rough Riders' Round-up (1939)
Days of Jesse James (1939)
Fugitive Valley (1941)
Border Feud (1947)  
Outlaw Country (1949)
Arizona Cowboy (1950) 
Ghost of Zorro ( 1959)

1950s publicity still for Guy Madison

Hole in the wall (visible from private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

California Mail (1936)
Trailin' West (1936)
Prairie Thunder (1937)
The Arizona Kid (1939)
Bullet Code (1940)
"Stories of the Century" TV series (1954)

Zorro's Cave (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

"Lone Ranger" TV series (1949)
"Zorro" (1957) Disney TV series 
California (1963)
Belle Starr (1941)
King Of The Rocket Men (1949)
The Perils of Nyoka (1942)
Under Arizona Skies (1946)

Chatsworth's Road to Movie Magic -- Part Two (westside of Redmesa Road)