[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Forgotten Facts of Mentryville Revealed in ‘The Last Roundup’ | 02-17-2013
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
86°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 9
1971, 6:01 a.m. - Sylmar/San Fernando Earthquake centered in Iron Canyon/Sand Canyon [WATCH FILM]


Then and Now in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Feb 17, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

See all of the revealing screenshots from the 1929 film [here].

 

I’ve done a fair amount of wranglin’ in my days – moving a few cows around Pico Canyon, and once even wranglin’ some sheep. Cats are the worst critters to wrangle. People are worse. Suckin’ dust on the south end of a northbound trail ride of teenagers is about the worst wrangling job I ever had the misfortune of having.

Until I saw what may be the worst wranglin’ job ever: rattlesnake wrangler.  It looks like a very skillful job that I want to be as far away from as I can get.

But there he was on a little filming set the other day between the Pico Cottage and the Felton School. Eight folks standing around the wrangler as he was trying to coax the snake to bite a cowboy boot. Don’t know the film company or what it was all about.

There were some other stunt actors there who had spent some time rolling off of the porch roof and the roof of the chicken house onto some really neat air mats.

I, too, rolled off those roofs, only I didn’t have the mats. It may explain why I spent all those years in and around submarines – but that is a whole new story.

It is going to be good to see the Pico Cottage or “Big House” in another movie. The chicken house will be in a movie again, too. But these are not scenes new to cinematic history.

Just the other day I watched a 1929 silent three-reel Western called “The Last Roundup.” It was mostly filmed in Mentryville.

Hazel Mills enters through the gate in the white picket fence in front of the Pico Cottage (aka Big House) while cameraman Hap Depew gives us a view of the front door and porch in this screenshot from "The Last Roundup" (1929).

Hazel Mills enters through the gate in the white picket fence in front of the Pico Cottage (aka Big House) while cameraman Hap Depew gives us a view of the front door and porch in this screenshot from “The Last Roundup” (1929).

Do any of you remember the stars of “The Last Roundup”? Bob Custer was the hero. Hazel Mills was the schoolmarm, or teacher. There was an actor named Cliff Lyons, too, but no relation to Lyons Avenue. Their name was Lyon.

Anyway, it is a great little flick about a ranch foreman who has to save the schoolmarm and catch the cattle rustlers and arsonists. Yep, the movie even has the wonderful Southern California event, the brush fire. One scene must have been a very large fire filmed someplace and put in the film. It looks like the fire may have been in the Hollywood Hills. I can’t really tell.

Scenes filmed in the movie include some details of the buildings that I hadn’t known before – little details that folks have wondered about for a long time.

Now, since it is not a movie in color, we don’t know what color the buildings were painted at the time. They all look to be the same. I can state here and now that the barn and school were not red.

It is in those little details that I had to concede I was wrong about the fence in front of the cottage. I said for years that it was a two-board fence painted white. Well … it turns out it was a white picket fence, as has been (re)constructed in the past few years.

Fight scene in front of the chicken house (at left), which has a lean-to on its right (west) side; and the tin garage, which has a double-hung window on its left (east) side. The tin garage is long gone.

Fight scene in front of the chicken house (at left), which has a lean-to on its right (west) side; and the tin garage, which has a double-hung window on its left (east) side. The tin garage is long gone.

It also shows the eucalyptus trees growing in front of the house and around the Felton School. They appear to be pretty mature trees, about 30 years old.

One scene has the hero and the schoolmarm in front of the barn. They kiss. (I got a kiss there once.) But it also has a view of the suspected doors that opened to the coral to allow access to the milking area. We had heard of those doors, but by the 1960’s when I lived there, they had been replaced with the siding you now see.

These details might mean little to many, but they are important to folks who want to know about them. At least both of us do.

Felton schoolyard with eucalyptus trees and what might be an exercise apparatus.

Felton schoolyard with eucalyptus trees and what might be an exercise apparatus.

There are a couple of great views of Felton School. Both sides. Little details like the woven lattice screens that block the view of the interior of the boys restroom or outhouse. In that same frame of film we can see a column supporting part of the long-gone community center building. I didn’t know about that detail before I saw this flick.

There are also some shots of the chicken house that show a “lean-to” roof off the side. Never knew about that, either.

The Santa Clarita Valley is unique in that while we may lack a concise, written history of many parts of the valley, we have films that show huge chunks of it. Many of us argue about that history only to find that what we thought and what we had been told is not what these old movies show. We know for sure that filming has been going on in our valley since 1910.

I’m looking for an old Tom Mix movie filmed in Mentryville in 1927 named “Outlaws of Red River.” Anyone have a copy?

“The Last Roundup” has several scenes outside of Mentryville. Beale’s Cut, Placerita Canyon, and some places that today defy efforts to identify them. One place may be the Walker Cabin in Placerita. Can’t tell. So the next installment will be about the rest of the movie.

I will write a little about Towsley Canyon – how it ties into Mentryville and Pico and how it is today. I may dabble a little in local politics again. Stand by for next week.

I can tell you one thing I won’t be doing until then: wranglin’ rattlers!

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Don’t forget that a lot of things were added and built just for the movies and then torn down again afterwards just like they do today and have always done. :-) It’s hard to trust what it shows in the movies because of that. We had so much built and torn down by movies and TV production companies in the 29 years our family lived in Mentryville. We sure wished we could have kept some of those things because some were well built and strong. We did keep the little bell tower, though, and the front set of the garage my dad built (the yellow “house”. Most everything had to be torn down. Afterwards, another production company would build something in the same place…and on and on.

Leave a Comment


Commentary Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: INFO (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016
I’ve been on such trains in Europe. After the fast ride, I couldn’t figure out why I had spent so much money to watch France speed by my window at 200 mph. Had to rent a car and see what I went to see. Haven’t been on one since then.
Monday, Feb 8, 2016
I’m confident the city of Santa Clarita can manage to build a parking structure and get us a movie theater in downtown Newhall. I’m sure if the City Council of Santa Clarita had authority over the high-speed rail, it would get done properly and within budget.
Sunday, Feb 7, 2016
As the sunrise awakened the upper Central Valley, a low fog hugged the ground waiting to be dispersed by the warming rays. Glorious morning. Near cloudless sky. Hot cup of coffee in hand. Fantastic.
Sunday, Feb 7, 2016
To own a quality YiXing teapot is to own a piece of history, a work of art and a valuable tea brewing vessel. What makes them truly special is the zisha clay, found only in the Jiangsu province of China, and the highly skilled craftspeople commissioned to create the pots.
Friday, Feb 5, 2016
The proposed Laemmle Theatre project will serve as the nexus for the next wave of redevelopment in Old Town Newhall. It is estimated to draw between 150,000 and 200,000 people per year to the district, which will bring additional consumer activity and be a catalyst for new development in the area - resulting in a substantial increase in sales and property tax revenue for the city.
Friday, Feb 5, 2016
On the flat and vast areas of the Central Valley floor, it would appear that not much is in the way of the proposed train route - only the lives and property of some folks who may have worked years or even generations to have a home, business, farm or ranch make a small profit so that maybe, just maybe, their children will have it a little bit better than they had it.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
After a multi-agency, collaborative effort and numerous tips from the public, alleged murder suspect Steven Lawrence Wright was taken into custody at a hotel in Boulder City, Nevada.
Wrongly Freed Murder Suspect Back in Custody; No Add’l Charges
Bank of Santa Clarita today announced record earnings for 2015, as it earned $1.22 million, representing an increase of 19 percent over 2014 earnings.
Bank of Santa Clarita Posts Record Earnings, Deposit Growth
University chancellor's office says the announced strike "should not interfere with students being able to complete their semester and quarter courses and graduate on time."
CSU Campuses Girding for Possible Faculty Strike
U.S. Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, introduced legislation Monday that would allow the Federal Aviation Administration to continue and expand upon its research, engineering, and development programs through 2019.
Knight Bill Would Advance Drone Development, Strengthen Cyber Defenses, more
Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, a Princess Cruises Land & Sea Vacation destination, has been named one of the top-12 resorts in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for 2015 by Condé Nast Traveler.
Princess Cruises Wilderness Lodge Named Top Resort by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine
"Every 15 Minutes" is a powerful event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol, reckless driving and life choices. It also challenges students to think about the severe dangers associated with speed contests and texting while driving.
‘Every 15 Minutes’ Coming to Valencia High Wed.-Thurs.
The Newhall Refinery will host the folk, pop and country-blended stylings of the Women on the Move Trio Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for free.
Thursdays at Newhall to Feature Women on the Move Trio
Organizers for the Los Angeles SummerFEST are announcing an open call for musicians and bands for its 2016 season.
LA SummerFEST 2016 Announces Open Call for Musicians
The 5th Annual Bunco for Hope event will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Activities Center to raise money and awareness for the cancer support non-profit Circle of Hope, Inc.
5th Annual Bunco for Hope for Cancer Patients
Echoing its recent message to the U.N. climate talks in Paris – that California’s economic growth and strong climate policy are not mutually exclusive – two Senate committees met jointly last week to explore how California can continue its leadership in building a clean energy economy.
Pavley: Hearings Highlight Vitality of Clean Energy Economy
I’ve been on such trains in Europe. After the fast ride, I couldn’t figure out why I had spent so much money to watch France speed by my window at 200 mph. Had to rent a car and see what I went to see. Haven’t been on one since then.
High-Speed Rationale
1971, 6:01 a.m. - Sylmar/San Fernando Earthquake centered in Iron Canyon/Sand Canyon [WATCH FILM]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, deputies respond to an attempted home break in. Plus, ad advocate for the End of Life option Act died Saturday after battling cancer.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, February 8, 2016
A local chapter of the historical society Sons of the American Revolution will hold its annual "Massing of the Colors" event Sunday, Feb. 14, marking the 34th anniversary of this special educational event honoring George Washington and saluting U.S. Armed Forces.
Feb. 14: Armed Forces Honored at Forest Lawn for Washington’s Birthday
Local attorneys in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys will be present at SBDC's "Legal Day" to provide legal information and meet personally with small business owners.
COC to Host Free Legal Workshop for Small Businesses
Texas-based Waste Connections Inc., operator of 44 landfills including Chiquita Canyon in the Santa Clarita Valley, reported first-quarter adjusted earnings Monday of 49 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations of 47 cents. For the full year ending Dec. 31, the company posted a loss of $95.8 million, or 78 cents per share
Chiquita Landfill Owner to Merge; Posts 1Q Gain, Full-Year Loss
A celebration of life for Frank Kleeman will be held Thursday, Feb. 11, at 5 p.m. at the Child & Family Center.
Service for Frank Kleeman Set for Thursday
Christy O’Donnell, an advocate for the End of Life Option Act, died after a years-long battle with cancer on Feb. 6, her sister confirmed in a Facebook post Monday.
Aid-in-Dying Activist Loses Battle with Cancer
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies are responding to a report of a person armed with a knife who allegedly attempted to break into a home in the Newhall area and slashed a vehicle’s tires. The incident was reported near Lyons Avenue and Wiley Canyon Road at 4:11 p.m., said Sgt. Brian Allen.
Three Suspects in Custody After Attempted Newhall Break In
Canyon High School will host the 11th Annual Santa Clarita Valley Track & Field Invitational Saturday, March 5, 2016.
2016 SCV Track and Field Invitational Seeking Local Business Support
A therapeutic riding ranch in Agua Dulce that helps kids and young adults overcome their disabilities intends to raise $50,000 in the next 21 days through its annual "Carousel Wishes and Valentines Kisses" campaign.
Carousel Ranch Aims to Raise 50K in 21 Days
CEO Mark E. Ellis will receive up to $6.9 million this year in cash bonuses and other executives will receive millions if they stay through the coming restructuring of their oil company - LINN Energy, the Houston-based owner of the company that operates the Placerita Oil Field.
Millions in Store for Oil Company Execs If They Stay
USMC Col. Jay R. Vargas (ret.), who received the Medal of Honor in 1970 from President Richard Nixon for his bravery in battle in Vietnam in 1968 will speak Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Golden Valley High School.
Medal of Honor Recipient to Speak at Golden Valley High
This week's events and activities from the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.
SCV Chamber This Week (2-8-2016)
The SCV Education Foundation announces the hiring of Jackie Hartmann as the Foundation’s executive director.
SCV Education Fdn. Has a New Executive Director
Two members of the College of the Canyons women's soccer team signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, as sophomore forward Marissa Kneisel and sophomore midfielder Astrid Perez will both continue their playing careers at four-year schools in the fall.
2 COC Women’s Soccer Players Sign National Letters of Intent
our days after narrowly falling to No. 2 Westmont 66-59 on Bross Court, The Master’s College women’s basketball team rebounded on Saturday by beating Arizona Christian University 71-63 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Lady Mustangs Get Hot And Down Firestorm
The Master’s College men’s basketball team’s 2015-16 record moved to 4-15 and 1-10 in Golden State Athletic Conference play after falling to No. 22 Arizona Christian University 62-81 on Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona.
TMC Men Fall to Arizona Christian
UC San Diego capitalized on errors in the opener and used a walk-off single in the nightcap to take two from The Master's College Saturday, edging the Mustangs 3-2 and 4-3 in 10 innings.
Mustangs Baseball Swept by UCSD
College of the Canyons freshman outside hitter and 2015 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) First Team All-American Emily Bible will head north for her sophomore season after committing to continue her playing career at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.
COC Freshman All-American Bible Signs With Saint Mary’s College