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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
92°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]


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


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...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Aug 2, 2018
City Manager Ken Striplin notes that a lot has changed in Santa Clarita since the 1970s, except the SCV Sheriff's Station, which opened 46 years ago and will finally be replaced by a brand-new 46,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, centrally located Sheriff’s Station on Golden Valley Road.
Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018
​There are many things that make our City the unique and special place it is.
Monday, Jul 2, 2018
In her July message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, and recaps a bit of local history.
Sunday, Jul 1, 2018
The Mojave rattlesnake or “Mojave green” is a highly irritable and unpredictable pit viper. By comparison, the Pacific rattlesnake you might be accustomed to is fairly tame.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
The JetHawks got some much-needed offense to beat Stockton, 9-7, Thursday night at The Hangar to end a five-game losing streak.
Offense Comes Through, JetHawks End 5-Game Skid
The Canyon Country Community Center’s next Sock Hop is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, beginning at 7 p.m.
Aug. 25: Sock Hop at Canyon Country Community Center
Results of the first full year of Measure H funding are in, demonstrating widespread progress as services ramped up and thousands of individuals and families were housed temporarily or permanently, Los Angeles County officials said Friday.
Measure H First Year: Housing for 7,500, Help for Thousands More
The fire that destroyed the historic Big Oaks Lodge on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus Aug. 11-12 was an accident, Sgt. John Hanson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Arson & Explosives squad said Friday morning.
Big Oaks Lodge Fire an Accident, Arson Investigators Say
Lawmakers advanced a controversial bill Thursday that aims to reform California’s money bail system though recent amendments have alarmed advocates who say the current bill could authorize prosecutors and judges to promote indefinite pretrial detention.
State Lawmakers Advance Bail Overhaul, Police Transparency Bills
Nightly lane closures are scheduled to start Monday on Sierra Highway near Highway 14 as crews begin a paving project in and near the city of Santa Clarita, the California Department of Transportation announced Friday.
Caltrans to Repave 19 Miles of Sierra Highway in SCV
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges' Senior College and University Commission has placed The Master's University & Seminary on probation after a visiting WSCUC team in March found TMUS out of compliance with numerous accreditation standards.
‘Climate of Fear,’ Admin Issues Lead to Probation for The Master’s University
Reversing a trial court and an appellate panel, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that asylum-seeking children with one parent living in the United States need only notify the foreign parent of their plans to seek resident status in the U.S.
California Justices Lift Custody Hurdle for Asylum-Seeking Kids
1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]
The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with The Friends of Hart Park, presents its, “7th Annual Summer Movies in the Park Series."
Aug. 17: Black Panther to Close Out Summer Movies in the Park Series
LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley (UAV) baseball program is pleased to announce the additions of 6-1 utility player Edmond Marcotte, 6-0 utility player Kyle Lathrop, and 6-1 pitcher Austin Grabbit, with all three players coming over to UAV from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif.
University of Antelope Valley Adds 3 New Players to Baseball Program
College of the Canyons is partnering with AMS Fulfillment to offer 30 pre-apprenticeships in the logistics field—one of the fastest growing industries in Los Angeles County—to individuals who need job readiness skills to gain employment.
COC Partners with Local Fulfillment Company to Offer Pre-Apprenticeships
Children and young adults need to be protected before heading back to school.
County Encourages Parents to Stay Current on School Immunizations
Well, I don't know but I've been told, you’ll never slow down, you’ll never grow old with the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Tribute Band Free Falls into Concerts in the Park
Mayor Laurene Weste, Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, Councilmembers Bob Kellar, Bill Miranda and Cameron Smyth cordially invite you to the 2018 State of the City Luncheon to be held on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 11:30 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
Oct. 25: “Santa Clarita – City of the Arts” State of the City Luncheon
To keep grass at parks green and lush despite constant use, the city of Santa Clarita Parks division works hard to maintain the high quality fields residents love.
City Aerates, Renovates Parks Ahead of Fall
The Saugus Union School District is very pleased to announce the awarding of two grants to provide arts education in the district.
County Arts Commission, Music Center Awarding Grants to Saugus Union
The New Heights Artist Development Series will be holding a free presentation on taxes and artists.
Aug. 23: New Heights Artist Development Series, “Taxes and the Artist”
After thirteen years of service, Saugus Union School District (SUSD) Governing Board Member Paul De La Cerda announced on Friday that he will not be seeking re-election.
Saugus School Board Member to Pursue Doctorate; Won’t Seek Re-Election
LANCASTER, Calif. – On the heels of their longest winning streak of the season, the Lancaster JetHawks are in the midst of their longest losing streak after a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Stockton Wednesday night at The Hangar. The loss was Lancaster’s fifth in a row.
Stockton Hands JetHawks 5th Straight Loss
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Wayne Stuart Habell.
Detectives Seek Help in Locating Missing Fire Captain
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in Santa Clarita Valley tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 17.
Unhealthy Air Quality Declared in SCV Friday
1956 - Battle of Palmdale rages over the skies of Santa Clarita [story]
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has selected Ricardo Garcia to be the county’s new Public Defender.
Supes Name Ricardo Garcia New LA County Public Defender
The seven Los Angeles County animal shelters including the Castaic Animal Care Center will offer $20 adoption fees for dogs and free adoption for cats on Saturday, August 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aug. 18: Cheap, Free Pet Adoptions at Castaic Shelter
The U.S. Interior Department is against adding the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area, and it won't take a stand on the proposed St. Francis Dam Memorial legislation because it's an issue for the Agriculture Department, not the Interior Department.
Park Service Opposes Rim Addition, Defers on Dam Bill
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive people in the SCV on Thursday, according to an advisory from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Air Quality Unhealthy for SCV Residents Thursday
FOX Sports Prime Ticket, in partnership with the CIF Southern Section, will launch its TV-web coverage of the 2018 high school football season on Friday, Aug. 17.
Aug. 17: Friday Night High School Football Returns to Prime Ticket
The Lancaster JetHawks scored twice and put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it was not enough in a 5-4 loss to the Stockton Ports Tuesday night at The Hangar.
Late JetHawks Rally Comes Up Short Against Ports
The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated left-handed pitcher Alex Wood from the 10-day disabled list Thursday and placed right-handed pitcher John Axford on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right fibula.
Dodgers Reinstate Pitcher Alex Wood
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its crime and public safety information report for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for the week of Aug. 6-12, 2018.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, GTA in Stevenson Ranch
1849 - Eight-pound gold nugget found in San Feliciano Canyon (Val Verde/Piru area) [story]
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Aug. 15 - Aug. 17:
Aug. 15-17: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Walk season is quickly approaching, and it's time to turn up the heat in the fight to end Alzheimer's.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s Offers up New Challenge