Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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Exploring the '77th Bengal Lancers' Fort
Vasquez Rocks County Park

Photo contributor Paul Lord (above, far left) peers into the "fort" film set that was built at Vasquez Rocks County Park for the 1956-57 NBC television series, "Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers." His brother, David Lord, is pointing at him.

Seen here in August of (probably) 1963, the boys were accompanied (below) by their father, Lewis Lord, and uncle, Ray Lord. The boys' mother, Betty Lord, is believed to be the photogapher. They lived in Sepulveda, which was later renamed North Hills.

Black and white Polaroid film, date-stamped "August."


About the Fort Set

Film historian Jerry L. Schneider writes (Schneider 2011:576):

At one time, a fort sat on the property on the level field between the major rock formations and the current 14 Freeway. The fort was built for the television show "Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers" from Screen Gems, a Columbia Pictures subsidiary, erected at a cost of $117,843.17.

"Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers" lasted one season on NBC (26 episodes, 1956-1957) and starred Philip Carey, Warren Stevens and Patrick Whyte.

The fort appeared in many subsequent productions including the "Star Trek" episode "Arena" (air date Jan. 19, 1967) where Captain Kirk (William Shatner) fights the Gorn commander (Sand Canyon resident Bobby Clark).

In the early 1970s the County of Los Angeles removed the fort, which was reportedly made of 2x4's, chicken wire and plaster. It was gone by 1974 ("Blazing Saddles").


HB6303: 9600 dpi jpegs from smaller jpegs courtesy of Paul Lord. Online images only.
FORT SET FROM "TALES OF THE 77TH BENGAL LANCERS"
Vasquez Rocks

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TV Guide Story 1957

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Exploring ~1963 x3

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1968 x2

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