Once the estate of Charles Chaplin, the 160-acre ranch was purchased by Jack Ingram in 1944 from Jim Newill and Dave O'Brien, who had purchased the goat ranch in order to avoid the draft during World War II. When they were declared 4F, they sold the ranch. When Ingram gained ownership of the ranch, it included the home that he occupied while residing there, surrounded by a white picket fence. This home can occasionally be seen in the background of scenes shot at the ranch, such as in "Mark of the Lash" (1948).
Ingram, after purchasing a bulldozer, and with the help of his western friends, such as Pierce Lyden and Kenne Duncan, he built a western town on his ranch.
The western town consisted of two streets
(see the 1952 aerial shot to the left). The main entrance road to the ranch was
along the roadway in the middle right of the aerial shot. The Ingram home was on
a hill overlooking the town (hidden by trees in this shot).
"Here is a realistic front for the blood and thunder days of range wars and cowboy feuds, but hidden from the camera's eye are lounges, dressing rooms, showers and other modern touches put there for convenience of actors and actresses, to say nothing of comfortable box stalls for horses." (from the Van Nuys News October 27, 1947)
In 1955, Ingram purchased a yacht and lived on it until his death. Because of failing health, in 1956, he sold the ranch to 4 Star Productions. In the mid 1960's the town was still in existance, but was removed, probably due to safety issues.
The ranch was used by a lot of the early television western series, such as "The Lone Ranger", "The Cisco Kid", "Zane Grey Theater", "Have Gun Will Travel", and "Roy Rogers".
Used by permission of Ken Jones (thanks to Chuck Anderson for the scan)
DIRECTIONS: From Los Angeles, take the Hollywood (101) Freeway north. Exit at Topanga Canyon Blvd. south. Head south on Topanga Canyon Blvd. Turn right at Mulholland Drive. Turn left at Daguerre Ave. Turn left at Dardenne St. Turn left onto Dunsmore Dr. That street parallels the southern street in the set. Waterford Way parallels the backside of the north/side street. Della Court runs about the same area as the north side of the sets. The Jack Ingram home on the ranch, which sometimes was seen in films, was no longer there by 1977.
"Sudden Death" (Lippert 1950) Directed by: Thomas Carr. Cast: Jimmy Ellison, Russ Hayden, Fuzzy Knight, Raymond Hatton, Betty Adams, Tom Tyler, George Lewis, John Cason, Dennis Moore, Bud Osborne.
"Five Guns West" (American International 1955) Directed by: Roger Corman. Cast: John Lund, Dorothy Malone, Touch Conners, Bob Campbell, Jonothon Haze, Paul Birch, James Stone, Jack Ingram, Larry Thor, Jack Bohrer, Lionel Place, William Taylor.
"The Gunslinger" (Roger Corman Productions 1956) Directed by: Roger Corman. Cast: Beverly Garland, John Ireland, Allison Hayes, Jonathan Haze, Martin Kingsley, Margaret Campbell, Chris Alcaide, Chris Miller, Bruno VeSota, William Schallert, Dick Miller, Aaron Saxon.
"The Plunderers" (Allied Artists 1960) Directed by: Joseph Pevney. Cast: Jeff Chandler, John Saxon, Dolores Hart, Marsha Hunt, Jay C. Flippen, Ray Stricklyn, James Westerfield, Dee Pollack.