APACHELAND MOVIE RANCH
Intended to be the "Western movie capitol of the world", construction on the Apacheland western town began on February 12, 1960. The Superstition Mountain Enterprises, with president J.K. Hutchens and associate Bill Creighton, was the owner of the property.
Another early owner of the property was Spencer Stewart.
On May 29, 1969, fire destroyed most of the ranch. Only 7 buildings survived.
The sets were soon rebuilt.
Now owned by Sue Birmingham, daughter of Spencer Stewart, it is located at 4369 S. Kings Ranch Road, Gold Canyon (about 7 miles east of Apache Junction), Arizona.
On February 14, 2004 at 7:00pm, the Apacheland Movie Ranch again burned,
probably caused by an electrical malfunction in the second story of the saloon.
Fourteen of the 21 buildings on the property were lost. The same 7 buildings
which survived the first fire, survived again.
Since there were no plans to rebuild, the Birmingham's sold the property to a developer. The chapel and the "Rifleman" barn are being relocated to another location.
As of April 2006, Apacheland is in the process of being rebuilt, but at a different location, with different owners.
Television shows, such as "The Rifleman", "Zane Grey Theater", "Wanted: Dead or Alive", "Stagecoach West", "Death Valley Days", and "Have Gun, Will Travel", used the ranch for some filming.
The following photographs were taken by Stephen Lodge while working on the "Dundee and The Culhane" television show and are used here by his permission. The first two show the western street while the third one shows the sound stage.
The following four postcards are from the mid 1970's.
Mounted Gunfighters check the "Bloody Bucket" Saloon for Action as Local Citizens reach for their Shootin' Irons.
The Law of the Old West Triumphs again as the Hired Gunfighter Bites the Dust.
The six guns are silent for the moment as hoof beats break the quietude of the old western street.
Six Guns Settle an Argument in Typical Old Western Fashion.
While Apacheland is no more, there is a web site on it: www.ApachelandMovieRanch.com.
"Arizona Raiders" (Columbia Pictures 1965) Directed by: William Witney. Cast: Audie Murphy, Michael Dante, Ben Cooper, Buster Crabbe, Gloria Talbott, Ray Stricklyn, George Keymas, Fred Graham.
"Charro!" (National General Pictures 1969) Directed by: Charles Marquis Warren. Cast: Elvis Presley, Ina Balin, Victor French, Barbara Werle, Solomon Sturges, Paul Brinegar, James Sikking.
"Kenny Rogers as The Gambler--The Adventure Continues" (1983) Directed by: Dick Lowry. Cast: Kenny Rogers, Bruce Boxleitner, Linda Evans, Johnny Crawford, Charles Fields, Cameron Mitchell, Gregory Sierra, Ken Swofford.