Saturday, May 04, 2013

Corriganville Movie Ranch, August 1960

From 1949 until 1965, fans of the Old West could drive to Simi Valley, California to visit the Corriganville Movie Ranch. Named after owner Ray "Crash" Corrigan (B-movie actor and stuntman), the property included caves, lakes, mountainous terrain, and lots and lots of boulders to jump off, fall off, or hide behind. I regularly drive on the 118 Freeway right where Corriganville used to be, and those rocky hills look much the same today.

This first photo is a great shot looking down the main drag of the western town. It was only a small part of the approximately 2000-acre property. There was also area called "Fort Apache", a "Corsican Village", a "Mexican Village", and "Robin Hood Lake", to name but a few of the features found there.

Looks like they had a pretty good crowd, considering the fact that Simi Valley was a bit off the beaten path. Notice the sign for 5¢ "salamy" sandwiches. Can't you just picture the Lone Ranger riding into this town?

You've got to have daily gunfights at a Western town, and here is the terrible aftermath. I see at least three corpses, so the public definitely go their money's worth! In 1965, Crash Corrigan sold his movie ranch to Bob Hope (reportedly for millions); Bob changed the name to "Hopetown" in 1966. 


Nanook said...

I love a good daily gunfight. That's just what Disneyland needs-!

"Hopetown", eh-? You wonder what 'ol Bob did with the property. After all, he had huge real estate holdings in and around the San Fernando Valley, which helped contribute to his fabulous wealth.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Hey Corrigan man! For some reason I can't open the pics. Only text comes up.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Bob Hope developed part of the property. In the 70's several fires destroyed all of the structures, and now the remaining undeveloped land belongs to the city of Simi Valley, and is used as a regional park.

K. Martinez, now that I am checking, I have the same problem. And I have NO idea why it is happening... I composed this one just like all the others. I'll see if I can figure out what is going on, but I will say that Photobucket has been making some changes that I am not happy about.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, looks like it is fixed! I redid the whole post, and even though I don't think I did anything different, it seems to work OK now.

K. Martinez said...

Major - Thanka for fixing the pics. Now that I see them better, I love the hills in the background of these images. Especially in the second one.

As always, I appreciate the work you put into your blog. Thank you again.

JG said...

I had no idea this place existed until you told us.

I recall those hills well, my Dad's cousin moved to Simi Valley right about this time, we went there every year after Disneyland.

Maybe it was late enough that this park had closed.

I sure wish our family had held on to the 35 acre ranch right in Moorpark, I would be writing this post from my corner office in a highrise tower while surveying my vast domain.

Thanks for the look back, Major.


Eric said...

I love this park and go hiking there quite regularly.
Half of the property was sold off to developers and houses were built. The track of homes is called Hopetown, funny enough.
The other half is owned by the city and saved as a park. These pictures are of the land the city saved and the foundations to all those buildings are still there. The concrete lake is also there where they did underwater scenes. The vast majority of land they filmed on is still there as a park. Most of the homes were built on the public entrance/parking/dual rodeo lots.
Really a neat place to visit! Thanks for sharing these pics! I love looking at them.