Wayne's saddle partner in the Three Mesquiteers-series, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, knew the movie companies' need for western locations within a reasonable reach from Hollywood. In 1937, he bought 2,000 acres in Simi Valley, a wide variety of terrain, including lakes and mines, and called it Corrigan Movie Ranch. "Crash" soon turned it into an amusement park, including the western town called Silverton.
While Corriganville was mostly known as a B-movie location, during July 24 to September 13, 1947, an A-western was in the making on Corrigan's grounds, destined to become a classic: Fort Apache. The cavalry post was fabricated on flat terrain on Table Mountain. It was surrounded by rocks, so John Ford could effortlessly cut to scenes shot in Monument Valley without giving it away that the bulk of the picture was shot in the close vicinity to the studios.
Nothing is left from the movie making days at Corriganville. Just some reminders in the brush where Victor McLaglen drilled the new recruits of Fort Apache.
The site is currently a public park in the City of Simi Valley. The Fort Apache location is just a short walk from the parking space of Corriganville Park.
In 1982, Ray Corrigan's son Tom opened a steak house in Thousand Oaks in Conejo Valley and decorated it with memorabilia from Corriganville.
If you like this site, you'll like this brandnew book: the first comprehensive guide to the John Wayne Locations, with hundreds of then-and-now photos, unpublished behind-the-scenes-pictures and detailed tour descriptions
Find directions to locations and anecdotes from the set in this new publication from McFarland, available now at bookstores everywhere
All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted