1940s publicity still of Charles Starrett and his horse Raider in Chatsworth's Garden of the Gods
In 2000, the Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization (ECHO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of horses in Chatsworth--a suburb of Los Angeles, California--was founded.
ECHO recognized that horses had always been a vital part of the collective experience of Chatsworth, and are a living link to the history of Chatsworth; without horses, the economy, history, and character of Chatsworth would be profoundly different.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Jerry England Chatsworth ECHO founder (2005)
In 2003, the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's Equestrian Committee was formed with the same mission as ECHO, so in 2009 ECHO's board members voted to dissolve the organization, and to donate its remaining funds (to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC)) for the purchase of a plaque paying homage to movie cowboys and their horses. Asking that the plaque to be installed at Chatsworth's Garden of the Gods park (managed by the MRCA).
The installation of the plaque is planned for the summer of 2012. The 28” by 18” bronze plaque will read as follows:
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods was part of the Iverson Movie Location Ranch which flourished from 1912 until the late 1960s, the golden era of the "B" Western movies, and was known as the "most shot up location in movie history."
Hollywood cowboys Rex Allen, Gene Autry, William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy), Johnny Mack Brown, Sunset Carson, Gary Cooper, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Eddie Dean, "Wild" Bill Elliott, William S. Hart, Hoot Gibson, Buck Jones, Allan "Rocky" Lane, Lash LaRue, Robert Livingston, Ken Maynard, Tim McCoy, Tom Mix, Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger), George O'Brien, Roy Rogers, Randolph Scott, Charles Starrett (the Durango Kid), Bob Steele, and John Wayne, are a few of the hundreds who rode here with their trusted horses, and left indelible hoof prints on these trails.
We pay homage to those six-gun heroes and their gallant horses. Thank you for the memories.
Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization
In cooperation with Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy & Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority
More about Chatsworth's movie history
Jerry England - photo courtesy of Jelena Csanyi and the Chatsworth Historical Society (2010)
Movie historian and author Jerry England (publisher of this blog)(photo above) has written several blog posts about movie locations and B-Western stars who worked in Chatsworth.
To read them on this blog search "Meanwhile back at the ranch," and "Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas" in the search box at the top left of this page.
To learn more about Jerry's books see:
Rendezvous at Boulder Pass - Hollywood's Fantasyland
by Jerry England, published 2010, Echo Press
All new expanded study of historical Chatsworth, California movie location Ranches -- A primer on the Iverson Movie Ranch, and other filming locations in the Western San Fernando Valley -- Photos of your favorite silver-screen and six-gun heroes in action
Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas
by Jerry England, published 2008, Echo Press
A photographic study of the historical Chatsworth, California movie location Ranches -- Iverson Movie Ranch, Brandeis Ranch, Corriganville, Bell Location Ranch, Burro Flats, Spahn Ranch, Chatsworth Lake, and the Chatsworth Railroad Depot