Since 1915, when the studio was first opened for business, an endless string of hard riding shoot-em-ups have been produced at this location. Monogram Studios made 750 "B" westerns before selling the ranch to singing cowboy Gene Autry in 1952. Legendary cowboy actors, including William S. Hart, Gary Cooper, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, Bill Boyd, and John Wayne filmed their westerns here until 1962 when a fire swept through Placerita Canyon destroying the main western street. Gene Autry maintained the rest of the ranch for his horse Champion until the horse’s death in 1990. He then put the ranch up for sale and the Veluzat brothers purchased it.
August 28, 1962 - The first blaze broke out just after noon in Hasley Canyon, north of Castaic Junction. The second broke out an hour later on a ranch between Newhall and Saugus. High winds whipped the flames into the most intense inferno anyone had ever seen.When the smoke cleared three days later 17,200 acres had been scorched and 15 structures and numerous outbuildings were lost. No one was killed, but the Western street at Melody Ranch, the setting for "High Noon's" immortal facedown, was gone.
Melody Ranch has been brought back to life with the restoration of the famous western street. You can experience a page torn from history on the street where famous westerns were made such as, The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, Rin Tin Tin and the Cisco Kid. Yes many things have changed but the old west hasn't...at least not at Melody Ranch.
Photo from Internet of town