1960s postcard of Callahan's Old West Trading Post.
Back of postcard reads:
Indian Theatre and Village Museum
136-60 Sierra Highway
Mint Canyon, Saugus, Calif.
Hopi Sacred Shrine of worship in which men only enter for meditation, making new vows,
tribal regulations and plans for the preservation of Hopi history. Only "Kiva" of its
kind outside of an Indian Reservation.
Color Photo by: Louis & Virginia Kay
Robert E. Callahan's Old West Trading Post, aka Indian Village, at 13660 Sierra Highway in "Outlaw Canyon" was the equivalent of an amusement park of its day.
Callahan (b. Oct. 27, 1892; d. Jan. 10, 1981), an entertainer and novelist, exploited America's fascination with all things Western especially the romanticized notions of
Old California as presented by Helen Hunt Jackson in her seminal 1884 novel, "Ramona" by collecting objects with a connection, real or imagined, to the novelist and her work,
and displaying them for paying tourists at his Ramona Village in Culver City. Renamed Mission Village, he closed it in the 1950s and moved it to Saugus when construction of the Santa Monica Freeway displaced him. (In Callahan's day, the area was known as Saugus; the county of Los Angeles later included it within the Acton-Agua Dulce Town Council's sphere of influence. It is commonly considered part of Agua Dulce today.)
In 1987, Callahan's widow, Marion, donated several artifacts from the former Indian Village including the Ramona Chapel and little red schoolhouse to the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.
The main building remained on the property, and from From 1986-2000, Marion Callahan leased it to the Canyon Theatre Guild. In 2000 the CTG moved back to downtown Newhall where the community theatre had started.