Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization's Parting Gift

This plaque located on the old Iverson Movie Ranch at the Garden of the Gods filming location pays homage to six-gun heroes and their gallant horses…

"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"

When we created the "Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization" in 2000, we wrote the following mission statement designed to fight for horse-keeping rights and to preserve the history and culture of horses in Chatsworth:


The Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization (Chatsworth ECHO) is a grass roots group of horse owners, horse enthusiasts, and property owners in Chatsworth, that has discovered a need for a public voice to protect horse-keeping zoning, to protect our trails, to keep them safe, and to create a public awareness for equine safety. We believe we may be the last of a rich equine culture that has existed in Chatsworth for more than a hundred years. We are a 501(C)(3) not for profit, educational organization that is dedicated to advocating for Chatsworth's equestrian lifestyle.

Our primary goals are:

To protect and preserve horses as a vital part of the collective experience of Chatsworth. Horses are a living link to the history of Chatsworth; without horses, the economy, history, and character of Chatsworth would be profoundly different.

To protect horse-keeping zoning and property rights.
To protect and preserve Chatworth's equestrian culture.
To protect and preserve existing equestrian trails, easements, and access to equestrian trails.
To establish a voice in public affairs, such as planning commission meetings, city council meetings, and other governmental hearings that may affect equestrian trails, easements, and access to equestrian trails.
To ensure that new equestrian trails are constructed as mandated by subdivision map approval, by community plan, or by proposed state, city, or federal park criteria.
To protect and conserve the local environment around the existing equestrian trails of the Chatsworth community.
To keep equestrian trails safe from dumping of hazardous waste and trash.
To keep riders safe from undesirable individuals who are loitering or camping in and around equestrian trails.
To establish a public awareness of equestrian - vehicle safety.

Then a few years later, in 2003, when I established the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's first Equestrian Committee I used the exact same language for its mission statement. 

That being done there was no need to continue ECHO, and in 2009, we agreed to disband. The board members voted to use the remaining bank balance to work with the Santa Monica Conservancy to put up a plaque in the Garden of the Gods as a way to remember the legacy of movie horses and cowboy stars that made Chatsworth the Western icon that it will always be.

As a cowboy activist I've worked for many years to protect horse-keeping in Chatsworth. Here are a few links that reflect that history...

Vaqueros at San Fernando Valley Roundup by James Walker 1870s

To learn more about Western movie locations in Chatsworth and their filmography, go to Chatsworth Rock Stars

About the Iverson Movie Ranch...

In the San Fernando Valley's backyard, there remains a fantasyland that was forever made famous by Hollywood…

A place where Superman once captured the evil Luthor in his hidden Stoney Point cave, where Batman wrestled a criminal on top of a speeding locomotive, where Tarzan the Ape Man found an ancient elephant graveyard, and where John Wayne's fighting Seabees pushed a Japanese tank off the same cliff that Nyoka used to escape Vultura’s killer ape.

The place is Boulder Pass. It was the jungles of India and Africa, the sands of the Sahara, the Khyber Pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the plains of Montana, and the High Sierras and the Rocky Mountains all rolled into one. It was the scene of stagecoach holdups, posses chasing outlaws on owlhoot (outlaw) trails, Indians attacking white settlers in remote cabins, flying rocket men, and unearthly spaceship landings. It was a land for make-believe. It could be anything a Hollywood director fancied.

Boulder Pass is a fictitious name borrowed from an old B-Western movie. The real place is the Santa Susana Pass in Chatsworth, California. For nearly three-quarters of a century, the Santa Susana Pass was home to the granddaddy of all movie location ranches--the Iverson Movie Ranch.

Here's a chronological link to hundreds of film titles lensed in Chatsworth...

To learn more about Jerry England and his books visit

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