Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reel Cowgirls of the Santa Susanas -- Peggy Stewart


Peggy Stewart (1923- ) is an American actress who is best known for her roles in B-Westerns.  She married Republic studios actor Don 'Red' Barry in 1940, and was later signed by Republic Pictures make westerns and serials.  After making about 30 Westerns and serials for Republic she asked to be released, so she could make films other than Westerns.

Unfortunately for Peggy she had made so many Westerns at Republic she found it almost impossible to find work in any other genre.  She made a few films for Monogram, Allied Artists, PRC and other small studios in the late 1940s, and was eventually signed by Columbia to do serials. 

She did do some television work -- mostly westerns -- in the 1950s and 1960s, and is still working occasionally in both film and television.

Peggy Stewart's Santa Susana locations starring roles:

Silver City Kid (1944) starring Allan Lane, Peggy Stewart and Wally Vernon (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Stagecoach to Monterey (1944) starring Allan Lane, Peggy Stewart and Wally Vernon (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Oregon Trail (1945) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart and Frank Jaquet (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Bandits of the Badlands (1945) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart and Si Jenks (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Rough Riders of Cheyenne (1945) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart and Mira McKinney (Iverson Ranch) Republic (thanks to Bruce Hickey for the photo above)


The Phantom Rider (1946) [serial] starring Robert Kent, Peggy Stewart and LeRoy Mason (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Days of Buffalo Bill (1946) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart and Tom London (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Alias Billy the Kid (1946) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart and Tom London (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Red River Renegades (1946) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart and Richard Beavers (Iverson Ranch) Republic 


Son of Zorro (1947) [serial] starring George Turner, Peggy Stewart and Roy Barcroft (Iverson Ranch) Republic 


Trail to San Antone (1947) starring Gene Autry, Champion and Peggy Stewart (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Dead Man's Gold (1948) starring Lash La Rue, Al St. John and Peggy Stewart (Iverson Ranch) Western Adventures
Frontier Revenge (1948) starring Lash La Rue, Al St. John and Peggy Stewart (Iverson Ranch)(Corriganville) Western Adventures


Desert Vigilante (1949) starring Charles Starrett, Peggy Stewart and Tristram Coffin (Iverson Ranch) Columbia
The Black Lash (1952) starring Lash La Rue, Al St. John and Peggy Stewart (Iverson Ranch) Western Adventures
Kansas Territory (1952) starring Bill Elliott, House Peters Jr. and Peggy Stewart (Iverson Ranch) Monogram

Peggy Stewart's Santa Susana locations supporting roles:

Wells Fargo (1937) starring Joel McCrea, Bob Burns and Frances Dee (Iverson Ranch) Paramount


Tucson Raiders (1944) starring Bill Elliott, George 'Gabby' Hayes and Robert Blake (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Cheyenne Wildcat (1944) starring Bill Elliott, Robert Blake and Alice Fleming (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Sheriff of Las Vegas (1944) starring Bill Elliott, Robert Blake and Alice Fleming (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Utah (1945) starring Roy Rogers, Trigger and George 'Gabby' Hayes (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Marshal of Laredo (1945) starring Bill Elliott, Robert Blake and Alice Fleming (Iverson Ranch) Republic
California Gold Rush (1946) starring Bill Elliott, Robert Blake and Alice Fleming (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Sheriff of Redwood Valley (1946) starring Bill Elliott, Robert Blake and Bob Steele (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Stagecoach to Denver (1946) starring Allan Lane, Robert Blake and Martha Wentworth (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Conquest of Cheyenne (1946) starring Bill Elliott, Robert Blake and Alice Fleming (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Vigilantes of Boomtown (1947) starring Allan Lane, Robert Blake and Martha Wentworth (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Rustlers of Devil's Canyon (1947) starring Allan Lane, Robert Blake and Martha Wentworth (Iverson Ranch) Republic
Ride, Ryder, Ride! (1949) starring Jim Bannon, Don Reynolds and Emmett Lynn (Iverson Ranch) Equity Pictures
The Fighting Redhead (1949) starring Jim Bannon, Don Reynolds and Emmett Lynn (Iverson Ranch) Equity Pictures

Peggy Stewart's Santa Susana locations television appearances:

"The Gene Autry Show" (TV series) 1950
"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (TV series) 1951
"The Roy Rogers Show" (TV series) 1952
"The Range Rider" (TV series) 1953
"The Cisco Kid" (TV series) 1950-1953
"Yancy Derringer" (TV series) 1959
"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (TV series) 1958-1959
"Pony Express" (TV series) 1960
"Hotel de Paree" (TV series) 1960
"The Rebel" (TV series) 1961
"Have Gun - Will Travel" (TV series) 1957-1961
"The Fugitive" (TV series) 1964
"Gunsmoke" (TV series) 1959-1964
"Daniel Boone" (TV series) 1965

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit http://www.cowboyup.com/ and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Corriganville's Western Street -- Silvertown

Ray Corrigan welcomes fans to Corriganville

In an earlier post at http://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2012/07/corriganville-movie-ranch-overview.html I told you about Ray Corrigan's Movie Ranch known as Corriganville.

In this post I show you a few movie stills taken on Corriganville's Western Street (completed in 1943) which was called Silvertown.


An early movie still for Brand of the Devil (1944) looking east.


Publicity still for Gangsters of the Frontier (1944) -- starring Tex Ritter -- looking east.


Another still for Gangsters of the Frontier (1944).


An early 1950s fan photo of the parking area north of Silvertown looking toward the south.


Jock Mahoney drops in on a bad guy in "The Range Rider" TV Series (1951).


Jock Mahoney drops in on a bad guy in "The Range Rider" TV Series (1951).


Above is a promotional still for the Lone Ranger (1956) with Jay Silverheels and Scout.  The camera is pointed east.


A publicity still for Noose for a Gunman (1960).  Once again the camera is pointed east to capture the rock outcroppings at the end of the street.


A street brawl in a promotional still for Gambler Wore a Gun (1961)

In 1965, Corriganville became “Hopetown” when it was purchased by Bob Hope, and it was closed to the public in 1970. That same year, a wind-swept wildfire destroyed the majority of the Silvertown sets. In November 1979, an arson-set fire destroyed the remaining Silvertown sets. All that exists today are a few concrete pads and foundations.


My 2009 photo of the Silvertown location looking east.  The walls of the barn and sable are on the left side.


My 2009 photo of the Silvertown location looking west.

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit http://www.cowboyup.com/ and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Chatsworth Movies -- The Renegade Ranger (1938)


Directed by David Howard -- The Renegade Ranger (1938) -- is a first class George O'Brien Western that also features twenty year-old Rita Hayworth and newcomer Tim Holt.


Plot

Jack Steele (George O'Brien) is a Texas Ranger who has been sent to bring in Ranchero Judith Alvarez (Rita Hayworth) who is wanted for murder.

Judith Alvarez and her outlaw gang have been battling evil government officials who have cheated ranchers out of their land.

Larry Corwin (Tim Holt) is an ex-Ranger who rides for Alvarez, and things get dicey when he reveals the true identity of Jack Steele who is undercover.


Cast

George O'Brien as Captain Jack Steele
 
Rita Hayworth as Judith Alvarez
 
Tim Holt as Larry Corwin
 
Ray Whitley as Happy
 
Lucio Villegas as Don Juan Campielo
 
William Royle as Ben Sanderson
 
Cecilia Callejo as ToƱia Campielo
   
Neal Hart as Sheriff Joe Rawlings
 
Monte Montague as Monte
 
Bob Kortman as Idaho
 
Charles Stevens as Manuel
 
Jim Mason as Hank
 
Tom London as Red


For Iverson Movie Ranch aficionados there are plenty of scenes lensed in (and around) the famous Garden of the Gods pinnacles.


I recommend watching this action packed oater -- best of all you can watch it for free on archive.org.

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit http://www.cowboyup.com/ and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WWI Montana Military Mystery


As far as I know my granddad did not serve in the military during WWI.  I believe he was in Montana from 1910 to 1918, then he returned to Kendrick, Idaho where his father lived.  He married my grandmother in Kalispell in 1912.


I do have a WWI Draft Registration record for September 1918, and I have this photo (above) of him and his brother in uniform.  The photo clearly shows what are probably letters for the collar insignia, but not the round disc with the "US" one would expect to see on a US Army uniform.

Mom always said granddad was part of the 'Montana Militia,' but I can't find any record for a Montana Militia during WWI.  Could he have been in The National Guard of some other reserve organization?

Any help identifying the uniform and or organization would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Bob Baker


Bob Baker (1910–1975) was an American singing cowboy star.  Baker made an initial name for himself on radio.  He got a movie break with an audition for Universal (on the lookout for its own Gene Autry), beating out such other singing cowboy hopefuls as Roy Rogers.

Riding his paint horse Apache, he made nine oaters in 1938 and in 1939 was ranked in the "Top Ten Western Stars."  In 1939, Universal decided to form a movie trio partnering Baker with Johnny Mack Brown and Fuzzy Knight.  Baker's career started to fade in the early 1940s, and by 1942 he was appearing in supporting parts.  During his brief career he appeared in 25 titles.

Bob Baker's Santa Susana locations filmography:


Black Bandit (1938) starring Bob Baker, Marjorie Reynolds and Hal Taliaferro (Iverson Ranch)(Brandeis Ranch) Universal


Chip of the Flying U (1939) starring Johnny Mack Brown, Bob Baker and Fuzzy Knight (Iverson Ranch) Universal


Ghost Town Riders (1938) starring Bob Baker, Fay McKenzie and Hank Worden (Iverson Ranch)(Brandeis Ranch) Universal


Outlaw Express (1938) starring Bob Baker, Cecilia Callejo and Don Barclay (Iverson Ranch)  Universal (photo courtesy of Bruce Hickey)


West of Carson City (1940) - Johnny Mack Brown, Bob Baker and Fuzzy Knight (Iverson Ranch) Universal


Western Trails (1938) starring Bob Baker, Marjorie Reynolds and John Ridgely (Iverson Ranch)(Brandeis Ranch) Universal (photo courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

Supporting roles:

Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942) starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and Dick Foran (Iverson Ranch) Universal

Wild Horse Stampede (1943) starring Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson and Betty Miles (Corriganville) Monogram

Mystery Man (1944) starring William Boyd, Andy Clyde and Jimmy Rogers (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Oklahoma Raiders (1944) starring Tex Ritter, Fuzzy Knight and Dennis Moore (Iverson Ranch) Universal

'Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas' is a continuing series about "six-gun heroes that performed on movie location ranches in Chatsworth, California.  For more information about Chatsworth filming locations see http://www.cowboyup.com/ to find information about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland - 2010 and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas - 2008.

Index for 'Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas' -- Chatsworth's Six-Gun Heroes

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Corriganville Movie Ranch -- Overview


A 1950s aerial view of Corriganville (above) shows the Silvertown working movie street, lower left center. Fort Apache is directly north of Silvertown, center left. Lake Robin Hood is at the far right upper portion.

One of my favorite destinations as a child was a few miles west of Chatsworth: The beautiful rocky landscape of the Corriganville Movie Ranch in Simi Valley was the setting for hundreds of Western movies and TV shows filmed in the late 1930s through the ‘60s.

The property located alongside the Southern Pacific railroad tracks at the western end of the Santa Susana Pass that would eventually become the Corriganville Movie Ranch had been owned by a Los Angeles attorney named Jonathan R. Scott as early as the 1870s.

In 1937, cowboy movie star Ray “Crash” Corrigan purchased approximately 1,500 acres from Scott's estate for $11,354. Corrigan later purchased more land until the total acreage of Corriganville was 1,611 acres.


Soon after purchasing the property, Corrigan began the construction of insert roads and a barn. About 1943, the artificial Robin Hood Lake was added in an oak woodlands, which he had dubbed Robin Hood Forest.


He also began constructing a western town known as Silvertown.  A side street in Silvertown was the location of a Mexican village often used by the Lone Ranger TV Show.  Outlaw shacks, dugouts, stage stops, and ranch houses soon dotted Corriganville's many canyons.


On a plateau above Silvertown during the summer of 1947, 20th Century-Fox built a western fort for the movie Fort Apache (1948). The fort later became the set for the TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.  The set was demolished in 1967.

  

Corrigan opened his western-themed amusement park to the public in 1947. The park featured stuntmen shows, movie lots, a working western town, stagecoach rides, pony rides, and a weekend rodeo. It even had a trading post, where you could purchase anything from postcards to cowboy hats. It attracted thousands of people on the weekends, including my family.


Corrigan employed several of his movie pals at the ranch, including Max Terhune and his famous dummy Elmer, and the actor known as Chief Thundercloud.

When the Simi Valley Freeway was built in the 1960s, it cut through the huge ranch, just as it had done to the smaller Iverson Ranch.  In 1965, Corriganville became “Hopetown” when it was purchased by Bob Hope for several million dollars.  Hopetown was closed to the public in 1970.  That same year, a wind-swept wildfire destroyed the majority of the Silvertown sets.  In November 1979, an arson-set fire destroyed the remaining Silvertown sets. All that exists today are a few concrete pads and foundations.

In 1988, 200+ acres of land comprising the main working areas of the original Corriganville Ranch were purchased by the City of Simi Valley for use as a regional park.

In subsequent posts I'll share movie memorabilia featuring Silvertown, Fort Apache, and other areas of Corriganville.  Stay tuned...

For additional information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit http://www.cowboyup.com/ and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Best Chatsworth Movies -- The Trusted Outlaw (1937)


The Trusted Outlaw (1937) is a superior Bob Steele oater directed by Robert N. Bradbury, starring Bob Steele, Lois January and Joan Barclay.  


Plot:

Dan Ward, the last of a well known outlaw family, returns to his hometown to marry his girl Molly, and prove he can go straight.  He meets Molly outside town, and while they are talking, Dan's name is called out by Ted Wells, a henchmen for Jim Swain -- Dan's long time enemy. 

Dan beats Wells to the draw and kills him.  Molly disappears while Dan is examining Wells's body.  Now suspicious, Dan goes into town, and delivers the corpse to sheriff Larimer.  Sheriff Larimer stops Swain from picking a fight with Dan, and later explains to Dan that while he was away, Molly fell in love with Bert Gilmore, one of Swain's gang, so they plotted to ambush him. 

Dan takes on a risky job for mine owner Pember.  Dan must get the $10,000 payroll through a narrow pass-- controlled by Swain's gang -- to Pember's mine. 

Dan out wits and out shoots Swain's henchmen, and gets through to the mine.  When he delivers the payroll, Pember's daughter Betty sneaks off to go to town, despite Dan's warnings, and is captured by Gilmore.

A jealous Molly tells Dan about the kidnapping and leads him to Gilmore's hideout.  Molly shoots Gilmore, while Dan battles Swain.  In the end the miners join in and corral the rest of the outlaw gang. 

Dan and Betty return to town.  Pember gives Dan -- who has proven he can be trusted -- a job and permission to marry his daughter.


Cast:
 
Bob Steele as Dan Ward
 
Lois January as Molly Clark
 
Joan Barclay as Betty Pember
 
Earl Dwire as Jim Swain
 
Charles King as Bert Gilmore
 
Richard Cramer as Rogan, lead hostile miner
 
Hal Price as Mr. Pember
 
Frank Ball as Sheriff Bob Larimer
 
Budd Buster as Adler, lead friendly miner


For the Iverson Movie Ranch researcher this one of the better films.  There are excellent scenes lensed on the lower ranch gorge and Indian Hills.  Rock Stars featured include Devil's Doorway, Potato Rock, Crown Rock, the Grove, Sheep Flats, and Hole in the Wall.


See a clip from the Grove ambush...

See a clip at 'The Wall' (Potato and Crown Rocks) and Devil's Doorway...


I highly recommend this topnotch B-Western.

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit http://www.cowboyup.com/ and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just whittlin' or cowboy wood carvings


I've been told there's difference between whittlin' and wood carving.  A whittler -- they say -- uses a pocket knife while the more refined wood carver uses a variety of wood working tools including an assortment of knives, chisels, gouges, mallets and (gasp) power carving tools.

I suspect the stereotypical ol' timer sittin' on a cracker barrel next to a pile of shavings was a whittler.  

Over the years there have been some mighty fine cowboy artists who have turned-out whimsical, colorful, and humorous carvings. 



Last year I sold a collection of carvings created by a carver named Bud Odell.  The collection was pretty pricey (even after I discounted it 20%) -- and still the dinero from that sale bought hay for my horses for several months.  Bud Odell was the stepson of Andy Anderson (who taught him his craft) and Andy Anderson was -- arguably -- the most famous cowboy wood carver ever.  Andy carved whimsical characters for the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower in the 1940s and 1950s.


Even cowboy star Gene Autry was a fan of Andy's -- as you can see by the photo above taken in his home about 1949 (photo courtesy of Bruce Hickey).  

Recently the good folks that produce the High Noon Western Americana Show (cowboy antique show and auction) acquired and auctioned a wonderful Andy Anderson collection. 


Fortunately -- for most of us -- the owners of High Noon photographed the collection and published a marvelous book (above) of Andy's work available on their website at http://www.highnoon.com/hnbooks.htm  I have one, and I can tell you it has wonderful examples of Andy's best work.  The color photos are outstanding, and the book itself is a work of art.


Andy's work inspired generations of wood carvers including yours truly.  The photo above was my attempt to carve my old palomino horse 'Sunup.' 


I used Andy's -- scarce and very collectible -- book "How to Carve Characters in Wood" as a guide to carve 'Sunup.'

During my 25 years of collecting Old West antiques and building 'Cowboy Chic' furniture I had an opportunity to meet many outstanding wood carvers.  A few -- of the most notable -- include John H. Kittelson (Cody, Wyoming), LD Burke (Santa Fe, New Mexico), descendants of Blackfoot carver John Clarke (Glacier Park, Montana), and Andy's stepson Bud Odell.

In the early 1990s I took some carving lessons from another talented artist named Barry Lysaght (aka the Topanga woodcarver), but I've lost contact with him in resent years.  I learned a lot from Barry, and as a result I added relief carvings to many pieces of the furniture I crafted between 1989 and 2002.


I even carved a humorous cigar humidor in the shape of a coffin.  Cigars in a secret compartment share the coffin with 'Ol' Pete' -- a cowboy who had partaken of one too many stogies.  I figured it took guts to keep your cigars in a coffin shaped humidor :)

I don't carve anymore because it takes strong hands and good eyes -- neither of which I have any longer.  

In an earlier posts I told you about my carvings in…

The inspiration behind my first wood carving (Indians in a canoe) http://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2011/12/if-you-cant-buy-museums-treasure-make.html

My relief-carved mirrors and hat racks

My Cowboy Chic desks

My cowboy folk art

Don't forget to checkout the book, "The World of Andy Anderson," by High Noon Western Americana, (68 pages), $34.95 -- it's terrific!

Update 2017:

Antiques Roadshow clip... http://www.pbssocal.org/programs/antiques-roadshow/s21-ep16-appraisal-andy-anderson-carving-ca-1950_clip/