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

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Rivendale: Tread Lightly but Allow Use for All | 02-24-2013
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
67°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 27
1876 - 223-foot Soledad train tunnel completed; last tunnel on line linking L.A. & S.F. [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Feb 24, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

The movie, “The Last Roundup,” had many scenes of Mentryville. I’ve watched it over and over and I still can’t quite identify those other places I see.

Just where was the outlaw’s cabin? Placerita? Towsley? Not quite sure – but I took a drive to Towsley Canyon in hopes some of the topography would look at all similar to the scenes in the film.

Well, the first big problem is that the major West Coast interstate highway blocks the wide view of what might have been. But there are a few features that slightly resemble those of the film.

You know, more than a few films have used Towsley Canyon as a location. It was near the main shooting spot for the “The Last Roundup,” and just like today, film production companies liked to save money. Take the wagon full of stuff down the road and turn right. Find the next canyon and start filming. Pretty easy. They didn’t have to post bright yellow signs with names and arrows pointing to the location. Just listen for the noise of the production … and the cows … and birds … and people and … you get the idea.

There is a ridgeback near the entrance to Towsley that sort of looks like it was in the movie, but I can’t be sure. I’ll keep looking.

rivendalesignThat ridgeback is really close to – or maybe even in – the section of the city of Santa Clarita called Rivendale. Annexed into the city, it is a little piece of land of about 60 acres that are within the city limits – and west of the interstate. Sixty acres that have been used for the arts for years with film, photography, paintings and theater all components of the artistic makeup of that place.

Today the Rivendale property provides inexpensive parking for folks using the trails in the canyon that are part of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority park system.

For a short time, along with the land my folks leased in Pico Canyon, we leased a small portion of Towsley from Standard Oil for additional grazing area for our herd. Like Pico, it, too, was very cheap to rent. About $ 75 a year.  So, for a year, we had a big spread – with a lot more fences to check.

There were barns and stables that are long-since gone. A simple gate kept the public out and the cattle in. There was never any talk of Shakespeare or native American gatherings or concerts. It was a quiet place with only the traffic from Highway 99 as a background noise producer.

Times have changed. The 60 acres of Santa Clarita are an area of open space with city limits, and that land might just fill the need for an outdoor amphitheater that could accommodate live theater (such as the Shakespeare Festival), native American gatherings (such as those of the Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians), various concerts and many other events.  Planning has started, and Santa Clarita needs the input of citizens to help in the decision process.

This coming Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. at Wiley Canyon School, there will be a meeting to discuss just that – what the Rivendale property might become and how it should be used. Come out and let the City know your thoughts.

In the past, various groups have indicated they’d like exclusive use of the area. Some yell for more sports fields for soccer and such. Others want a performing arts stage, and still others want their own spot in the SCV.

RivendaleOS-Outreach-Mtg-copy3-323x250I’m here to tell you that no one entity should get exclusive use. Not a one. It has to be useful to everyone in some way. Additional soccer fields would be nice, but many of us don’t play the sport. A place for a company of actors devoted to Shakespeare would also be nice, but what about others’ plays and concerts and pow-wows and maybe even the celebration of, well, anything?

Historically, the place was used for oil drilling. That wouldn’t fly today. But later it was used for filming, so theater is a natural fit. So are all of the other uses. Used by all, it would only add to one of the best places in our valley.

But in doing “whatever,” we must use the environment properly. Maybe parking lots need to remain of gravel but maintained. In many places, like where I lived in Virginia, folks park on the grass for such events. We can’t have vast lawns to park upon, but we do have gravel. The rain soaks in and doesn’t wash off a paved area carrying the oil and dirt from cars.

And if it is to be an amphitheater, it should blend into the environment. I’ve seen plays and concerts where the performers seemed to come from behind trees and large boulders to perform.  The benches could be as simple as possible, too.

Keeping it simple is the key to the thing. Nothing fancy. Use what is available and leave nature to do the rest.

The early film folks here in the SCV did just that. They used what was available and left the rest. Hope we have learned that lesson.

 

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. David Stears says:

    Thank you Darryl for such a rich portrait of Towsley. As the Executive Director of the Shakespeare Festival, I agree with you one hundred percent: balanced approach to any project in the space, incorporating the natural environment, and non-exclusive, shared use by residents and local groups. Shakespeare, other plays, concerts, celebrations, hiking groups, and many others can share the space. How wonderful would it be to have a new trailhead for hikers (with water, information, restroom, maybe an emergency phone). The City remains a wonderful project partner for local groups and residents. There is no need to have a an exclusive group be a master lease holder and control the site. Our residents need to speak up and make sure this beautiful park remains open and available to everyone.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section 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: LETTERS (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
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017
Much of the dramatic decline of the yellow-billed cuckoo in California has been directly attributed to breeding habitat loss and degradation from lands being converted to agricultural and other urban uses.
Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017
The Newhall Ranch project will create nearly 74,000 permanent jobs within the region and an estimated 130,000 construction jobs over the decades it will take to build the project, and it will provide a variety of housing types from apartments and starter homes to places to raise a family, from affordable housing to executive housing.
Friday, Jul 14, 2017
Medicare covers a variety of heath care services that you can get in the comfort and privacy of your home. These include intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy.
Tuesday, Jul 11, 2017
In their attempt to usurp the Division of State Architect's role in the reopening of Acton School, the Acton-Agua Dulce school board has exposed itself to possible penalties being levied against the district, or civil lawsuits against individual board members.
Sunday, Jul 9, 2017
Python hunters work in pairs. One is the puller and one is the “hole guy.” The hole guy crawls into the hole to face the python head-on. When he’s bitten and the snake is holding on tight, the puller pulls out the hole guy, and the snake comes out with him.
Wednesday, Jul 5, 2017
As the temperatures go up this week, a great way to cool off is to head to one of the City’s six pools, says Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1876 - 223-foot Soledad train tunnel completed; last tunnel on line linking L.A. & S.F. [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, puppies and pints abounded at fundraiser Tuesday evening. Plus, the passing of a local legend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Bob Danis, Korean War veteran, United States Air Force interpreter, singer, trumpet player and Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center band leader, died Tuesday in Valencia. He was 85.
Bob Danis, Korean War Veteran, Senior Center Star, Dies at 85
Legislation introduced by Representative Steve Knight (CA-25), known as the Securely Expediting Clearances through Reporting Transparency Act, H.R. 3210, or SECRET, passed the House today with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.
House Passes Knight’s ‘SECRET’ Act; Senate Next Stop
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the department would seek further legal clarity on its obligations to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brady decision.
Sheriff’s Department Seeks Clarity on Brady Decision
California Senator Scott Wilk will update the Santa Clarita Valley business community on state and local water projects at the SCV Chamber of Commerce's next "Good Morning SCV" breakfast on August 9.
August 9: Wilk Water Update at ‘Good Morning SCV’ Breakfast
CalArts alum Roger Holzberg (BFA 76), a cancer survivor and former creative director/VP at Walt Disney Imagineering, co-founded Reimagine Well, a revolutionary company that creates immersive healing experiences and builds custom virtual reality theaters in hospitals for pediatric and adolescent cancer patients.
CalArtians Collaborate on ‘Infusarium’ for Youth Cancer Patients
The monthly meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission will take place at the Metropolitan Water District office in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, July 27 starting at 9 a.m.
July 27: Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Meeting
Providence St. Joseph Health and Well Being Trust jointly announce the first round of $10 million in grants and contracts to mental health and wellness initiatives that will help vulnerable Californians.
Providence, Well Being Boost Mental Health Initiatives with $10 Million in Grants
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is partnering with Univision to host a mental health and immigration awareness telecast on Thursday, July 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on KMEX, Channel 34.
July 27: County, Univision Host Mental Health, Immigration Telecast
The FBI and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station warn of kidnapping scams and offer tips about what to do if you get one of those calls.
FBI, Sheriff’s Officials Warn of Virtual Kidnapping Scams
Garrett Hampson totaled four hits and the Lancaster JetHawks outhit the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes but lost, 11-4, on Tuesday night at LoanMart Field.
JetHawks Outhit, But Don’t Outscore Quakes Tuesday
Local singer-songwriter Savannah Burrows headlines a show also featuring country cover band Double Wide at Central Park on Saturday, July 29, at 7 p.m.
Savannah Burrows, Double Wide Bring Country to Central Park
Celebrate the benefits of vaccination during August, National Immunization Awareness Month.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Here's a list of the streets in Santa Clarita set for the city's Road Rehab Project from July 25 to August 4.
July 25-August 4: Santa Clarita Roads in Rehab
The California Highway Patrol's Newhall station will host a "Start Smart" driving class for teens at the station on Saturday, August 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
August 19: Newhall CHP ‘Start Smart’ Teen Driver Class
2002 - Hollywood premiere of Disney's "The Country Bears," filmed at Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon [story]
For 42 years Soroptimist International of Valencia has been committed to the Live Your Dream program awarding cash grants to disadvantaged women.
Aug. 1: Summer “Wine” Down to Raise Funds for Disadvantaged Women
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, A bear sighting was reported in Newhall Tuesday morning. Plus, the Child & Family Center and Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley are going forces and planning to merge. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, July 25, 2017
The California State University (CSU) has partnered with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to develop the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs.
CSU Receives Grant; Will Fund Workshops for Clean Energy Entrepreneurs
The largest-ever concert series devoted entirely to the music of renowned composer John Luther Adams (Music BFA 73) takes place this week (July 26-July 30). Hosted by SFJAZZ, the festival takes place in several venues in San Francisco, including the Miner Auditorium, Grace Cathedral and the Sutro Baths at Lands End in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Concert Series Devoted Entirely to CalARTS Alum
The Child & Family Center and Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley have announced their intention to join forces and merge into a single organization to better serve the needs of the growing Santa Clarita community.
DVC Merging Into Child & Family Center
Local artist Chrystal Walker presents a one-woman show at FastFrame Valencia, located at 24204 Valencia Blvd., during September.
Sept. 1: One-Woman Show on Printmaking by Local Artist
Santa Clarita deputies are investigating a report of a bank robbery at the Logix location on McBean Parkway.
Suspected Serial Bank Robber Hits Logix in Valencia
Santa Clarita’s night-time commuters might notice some slowing on the freeway in the coming weeks, due to some road construction projects, officials said Tuesday.
Officials Issue Travel Alert for LAX Commuters
Knowing that up to 70 percent of residential water is used for landscaping, it’s no surprise that conscientious homeowners are looking for efficient irrigation methods to minimize water waste, and lower household water bills.
Aug. 19: CSUN-al Offering Class on Water-Saving Methods for Home and Garden
CHP officers and Fish and Wildlife officials were unable to locate a bear reported near Calgrove Boulevard and Wiley Canyon Road, in Newhall on Tuesday morning.
Bear Sighting in Newhall
Despite robust closed escrow sales in June, California pending home sales slipped for the sixth consecutive month, suggesting an impending slowdown in the state's housing market as the peak homebuying season winds down, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
State Sees Downward Trend in June Home Sales
On Saturday, August 19, 2017, test your strength, stamina, and endurance at the 12th Annual Plane Pull fundraiser at the Long Beach Airport.
Aug. 19: Annual Plane Pull Benefiting Local Non-Profit
Trey Killian tossed seven shutout innings to lead the Lancaster JetHawks to a 3-0 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Monday night at LoanMart Field
Killian Gets 7th Win; Throws for Seven Shutout Innings
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in Santa Clarita Valley Tuesday.
Air Quality Advisory for Sensitive Individuals in SCV
Rep. Steve Knight’s (CA-25) bill, H.R. 2333, Small Business Investment Opportunity (SBIO) Act of 2017, passed the House Monday with unanimous support.
Knight Bill to Improve Small Business Investments Unanimously Passes House
1915 - Pioneer Juan Batista Suraco buried in a family graveyard, currently unmarked, in Bouquet Canyon near Benz Road [story]
The Los Angeles Dodgers Monday reinstated left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 10-day disabled list, put Clayton Kershaw on the DL with low back strain, among other roster moves.
Dodgers Roster Moves: Kershaw & McCarthy on DL, Ryu Reinstated
Sierra Bancorp, parent of Bank of the Sierra, today announced its unaudited financial results for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2017.
Sierra Bancorp Reports Earnings for First Half of 2017