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In 1937, Ray Corrigan invested in some real estate in California's Simi Valley and developed it as a multi-purpose movie location for use in film production. While several dollar figures have been thrown about, the purchase price for the land was about $11,400.00. The property was acquired by actor and comedian Bob Hope in 1965. The Newspaper Archive has many articles on Corriganville, the purchase by Bob Hope, etc. Following are a couple excerpts which provide a timeline:

The September 6, 1937 issue of the Van Nuys (California) News had an article on "the sale of the John Mc Scott ranch in the Santa Susana district." "The purchaser is Ray (Crash) Corrigan, film star, stunt double and physical trainer to motion picture celebrities. Corrigan plans to build a home, stables and install water facilities."

The Oxnard (California) Press-Courier newspaper from January 11, 1966 carried an article about lawsuits and legal battles between Corrigan and his former wife Rita Corrigan Stiltz over the sale of Corriganville to Bob Hope in 1965. Couple quotes: "Corrigan bought the ... ranch in 1937 for $11,354 ..."; "... they both agreed to sell the property to Bob Hope for $3 million last year. Hope renamed it Hopetown."

Most of the Range Busters were filmed there, as well as A features like FORT APACHE (1948) with John Wayne. Also lensed at Corriganville were Columbia's JUNGLE JIM series with Johnny Weissmuller and TV shows such as THE ADVENTURES OF RIN TIN TIN and SKY KING.

Corrigan opened the ranch to the public in 1949 and his staff would stage shoot-em-ups and various other entertainment shows.  He even employed several of his movie buddies at the ranch, including Max Terhune and Victor Daniels (Chief Thunder Cloud).  During it's existence, a thousand or more films and TV shows were filmed there.  As mentioned, Corriganville became 'Hopetown' in 1965 when it was purchased by Bob Hope.

The last Range Busters film was released in 1943, and was basically the end of Ray Corrigan's starring career.  But he was tired of the cowboy film rat race ... and his priorities had changed as he had become very busy with the movie ranch.

Thanks to Minard Coons, Larry Blanks and Bill Raymond for the photos.  Bill worked at Corriganville, and I asked him if he could help identify the horses that 'Crash' is riding in various photos.

Bill responded: "the golden palomino Ray is riding on the hillside picture is 'Marco'.  The mounted picture in town (with his hat raised), the comic picture (with his eyes crossed), and the action picture in town (at full gallup), are all 'Flash'.  Flash was a chocolate palomino (a chocolate brown body with white mane, tail, stockings, and blaze).  Rex Allen's horse, Koko, was a chocolate palomino."

Norman George lives in Oklahoma and e-mailed me in October 1999 with some info on Corriganville:

"My dad's favorite Corriganville story comes to mind about how Crash rode his horse up to the concession that was selling camera film, and tore down a banner they had flying that read "KODAK FILM SOLD HERE".  Crash called out words to the effect "this a a cowboy town, and I'll have none of this here!".  I also have an old photo of myself and Doye O'Dell at Corriganville.  O'Dell hosted a western movie program on channel 5 out of Los Angeles in the early 1950s and would plug his appearances at Corriganville."  Thx Norm!

Jerry L. Schneider's Movie-Making Locations Guide website on Hollywood film locations is at: http://www.movielocationsplus.com/

and his expanded site on Ray Corrigan's Corriganville is at: http://www.corriganville.net/

Author Stephen Lodge worked at Corriganville and reminisces about Crash Corrigan's movie ranch in his article "And Meanwhile...Back A The Ranch: Can You Remember Corriganville": http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewarticle.asp?AuthorID=12206&id=8414



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, one of the many trails to adventure at the Corriganville movie ranch.


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Minard calls the above photo 'Deadeye Corrigan', and notes that Ray had a pretty good sense of humor (even though others didn't think so).  Behind Ray is Flash.


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - another fine performance at Corriganville.  Ray Corrigan is in the center, and on the far right is Max Terhune.


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
Corrigan astride Marco at the Corriganville movie ranch.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, scene from one of the action shows at the Corriganville Movie Ranch.


(Courtesy of Clarence Schwab and Larry Blanks)

Above - Corrigan and his pal Chief Thunder Cloud (Victor Daniels) are corralling the bank robbers in one of the action-packed shows that were staged for the visitors at the movie ranch.  Date of this photo is probably around 1953.



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