Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> HARRY CAREY RANCH
Wide View of Harry Carey Ranch
Harry Carey Ranch, Saugus


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Wide shot of the Harry Carey Ranch in Saugus, located at the mouth of San Francisquito Canyon Road (just north of today's Copper Hill Drive). Apparently shot from a point near the trading post on the east side of San Francisquito Creek.

Date unknown, but prior to the March 1928 failure of the St. Francis Dam and the resulting flood, which cut through much of the property seen here (and wiped out the trading post).

The original wooden Carey ranch home is seen across the creek in the distance. It was on high enough ground to survive the flood, but it burned down in 1932 and was replaced with an adobe ranch-style home that became the centerpiece of the eventual Tesoro Adobe Historic Park in the Tesoro Del Valle subdivision.


Actor Harry Carey (Sr.) acquired a homestead at the mouth of San Francisquito Canyon in 1916 and established a rancho. The ranch included the Carey's wooden ranch home as well as several outbuildings and the Harry Carey Trading Post, which was a tourist attraction that included billed entertainment from Navajo Indians and other performers, along with a store that sold Western and Indian curios. The ranch was occasionally used for filming. The Careys' son, Harry Carey Jr. (Dobe), who would follow in his father's acting footsteps, was born in the Carey ranch home in 1921.

The trading post washed away in the St. Francis Dam disaster of March 1928 and was not rebuilt. The Indians left about a month earlier. According to Dobe, a shaman saw "a big crack and predicted it would break." The ranch house was situated at a higher elevation and survived the flood, only to burn down in 1932. The Careys replaced it by building a Spanish adobe home, which they sold with the rancho in 1945.

Harry Carey was born Henry DeWitt Carey II on January 16, 1878 on 116th Street in the Bronx section of New York City. His father was a special-sessions judge and president of a sewing machine company. Harry attended a military academy but declined an appointment to West Point, instead trying his hand as a playwright.

According to the Internet Movie Database: In 1911, his friend Henry B. Walthall introduced him to director D.W. Griffith, for whom Carey was to make many films. Carey married twice [correx: 3 times; see here], the [third] time to actress Olive Fuller Golden (aka Olive Carey), who introduced him to future director John Ford. Carey influenced Universal Studios head Carl Laemmle to use Ford as a director, and a partnership was born that lasted until a rift in the friendship in 1921.

During this time, Carey grew into one of the most popular Western stars of the early motion picture, occasionally writing and directing films as well. In the 1930s he moved slowly into character roles and was nominated for an Oscar for one of them, the president of the Senate in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939). He worked once more with Ford, in "The Prisoner of Shark Island" (1936), and appeared once with his son, Harry Carey Jr., in Howard Hawks' "Red River" (1948).

He died Sept. 21, 1947, in Brentwood, after a protracted bout with emphysema and cancer. Ford dedicated his remake "3 Godfathers" (1948) "To Harry Carey — Bright Star Of The Early Western Sky."

Carey would appear in at least 233 films, including short features, between 1909 and 1949.

Further reading: Harry Carey Ranch: Historic American Buildings Survey No. CA-2712.


DC2203: 9600 dpi jpeg from original print courtesy of Harry Carey Jr.
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Interview: Dobe & Cappy Carey 2005

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Video: Dobe Returns 2009


SEE ALSO:
• Harry Carey Jr. in the Movies
• More Harry Carey Ranch Photos
HARRY CAREY JR. COLLECTION

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Infant Dobe 1921

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Cappy ~1925

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Dobe & Cappy ~1925

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Harry Sr. x2

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Olive Carey x2

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Original House x2

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Wide View of Ranch

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Trading Post

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John Ford Filming

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Charlie Russell Cabin

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C.M. Russell, Frank Spearman

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Navajo People x4

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Shelter 1920s x2

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Silver Jewelry

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Corral & Stables

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Riding & Roping x4

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Post-Dam Break x3

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Livestock (Mult.)

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Adobe Home

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Hollywood Walk

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