Eaves Movie Ranch
In 1970, John Wayne starred in Chisum the year following.
Many films followed, such as The Train Robbers,
Billy Jack, The Culpepper Cattle Company, Butch & Sundance:
The Early Days, Gunfighters of the West, Red Sky at Morning,
Wyatt Earp and more
North central region of New Mexico,Nearly 30 years ago J. W. Eaves
built a Western town were you can climb the plank steps to the boardwalk
flanking the saloon, bank and mercantiles of the old west period.
Making your way down the old pine walkway and peeping into a storefront,
you get unreal sense that this town is real in the sense of lived in,
peopled with sooty blacksmiths and cautious bankers,
nosy shopkeepers and worldly bartenders.
The occasional glimpse of a false front brings visitors back to reality
—it is really just a movie set.
Eaves has been working with the film industry for approximately 40 years,
including long periods of sluggish film activity.
In 1957, he bought a sprawling ranch south of Santa Fe
and soon thereafter had his first taste of Hollywood when
they used his distinctive ranch house as a location for the short-lived television
series Empire in 1962.
Several years later, Eaves was working at the windmill pond near his home
when a man walked up. He was a producer from Columbia Pictures
who asked about using the ranch for a film and wanted to lease it for a year.
This deal set the stage for the first major production at the Eaves Ranch,
Where Angels Go . . . Trouble Follows, a film that brought Rosalind Russell
and Robert Taylor to New Mexico.
The following year, 1969, Gene Kelly approached Eaves
about the possibility of building a Western town set for the movie
he was to direct,The Cheyenne Social Club.
They agreed to split the costs, with Kelly (from National General Pictures)
paying half to build the town.
It took five months to build, including the construction of power lines and roads.
The film is, to this day, a standout among Eaves' many recollections,
largely due to its stars Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda, along with director Kelly.
Fore more information:-
Eaves Movie Ranch
Bonanza Creek Ranch
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Duke's The Cowboys was filmed here.
Many movies were shot here.
3:10 To Yuma, Young Guns, Lonesome Dove,
Lightning Jack, The Man From Laramie, The Cheyenne Social Club
Buffalo Girls and many more...
Bonanza Creek Ranch was originally called the Jarrett Ranch
when Hollywood first showed an interest.
The year was l955 and the film The Man From Laramie, starring Jimmy Stewart.
The story goes that a former chauffeur for Mary Pickford, Louie Clifford,
had started a cab company in Albuquerque while maintaining his Hollywood connections.
It was Louie who brought Hollywood producers to the ranch.
They quickly saw a stunning landscape that had, no doubt,
equally enthralled the miners and settlers over the course of centuries
- sloping green pastures (once the site of the gold mining town Bonanza)
fed by a continually running artesian spring, ponds flanked by
enormous grizzled cottonwoods and a century-old apple orchard
hugging the base of Cerro de la Cruz.
Cowboy was filmed here in l958 with Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon.
For this Hughes actually brought 1,200 Corriente steers up from Mexico
to use for the cattle drives.
In l989 from an Italian producer offered to build a stylized Western town
set on the ranch. (There had been a set built once before,
in l980 for The Legend of the Lone Ranger, which was later torn down.)
Daisy Town, as the new set was called, was built for the European television series
Lucky Luke starring Terence Hill.
The town was constructed around a two-story Victorian house that had been
built for the movie Silverado in l984.
This house, which was also used in Lonesome Dove, was altered to become a mercantile.
Lucky Luke filmed for several years, and in l994 Terence Hill
returned with an Italian-German co-production, The n/Fight Before Christmas.
A large ranch house set was constructed alongside a pond,
and both it and the Western town set have been popular film sites ever since.
Glenn Hughes, owner of Bonanza Creek Ranch, comes from a long line
of New Mexico ranchers. His father and grandfather owned the Forked Lightning Ranch
near Pecos years before it was eventually sold to Greer Garson
and her husband Buddy Fogelson in the l940s.
Garson would show off the bullet holes in the mantel to visitors
- which resulted from the gunfight Hughes' father was involved in when New Mexico
was still a territory.
Personal history may be behind Hughes' resolve to keep the Bonanza Creek Ranch intact.
"It's our intention to keep this thing in one piece, just the way it is," he said.
"It's hard to hold it together, but I'm bound and determined to do it."
If history is an indication, the movie industry is well positioned to benefit in the years ahead.
Information from Jerry L. Schneider
except for a select number of photographs
and/or images which are copyrighted by their
For more information and many more photographs:-
Bonanza Creek Ranch
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