Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

'The Mounted Stranger'
Starring Hoot Gibson

Hand-painted, 4" x 3 1/4" glass slide from "The Mounted Stranger" (1930), starring Hoot Gibson. The original "trailers," painted glass slides were inserted into movie projectors and shown on the silver screen to promote coming attractions.

In this Arthur Rosson film, a young Pete Ainslee (Buddy Hunter) sees Steve Gary (Fred Burns) kill his father. Years later, and older Ainslee (Gibson) avenges his father's death. Written by Rosson and Henry H. Knibbs, this 66-minute talkie also stars Milton Brown, Jim Corey, Francis Ford, Walter Patterson, Francelia Billington, Louise Lorraine, Malcolm S. White and Pee Wee Williams. Released February 8, 1930 by Universal Pictures (A Hoot Gibson/Universal production).

Edmund Richard Gibson earned the nickname "Hoot" when he worked as a messenger for the Owl Drug Co. He was born August 6, 1892, in Tekamah, Nebraska and appeared in more than 200 films (including short features) between 1910, when he earned $50 for his role in "The Two Brothers," and 1960, when he made an uncredited appearance in "Ocean's Eleven." Gibson did most of his work as a silent cowboy actor between World War I and the early 1930s. He directed a bit in 1920-21 and produced some of his own films from 1923-30. The 5'9" Hollywood giant died of cancer on August 23, 1962, in Woodland Hills — five days before a wildfire burned down Gene Autry's Melody Ranch in Placerita Canyon, where Gibson made some of his movies.

In addition to using the Santa Clarita Valley as a backdrop for filming, during the time he was married to Dorothea Sally Eilers (a popular leading lady in late silents and early talkies), he owned a ranch in Saugus now known as the Saugus Speedway. SCV historian Jerry Reynolds writes:

"Roy Baker purchased a 40-acre tract east of Bouquet Junction during 1923, starting construction on a rodeo arena a year later. Hoot Gibson bought the ranch and stadium in 1930, putting on shows that attracted such stars as Tom Mix, John Wayne and Clark Gable. In 1934 Gibson sold out to Paul Hill, who ran the Western Livestock yards and leased it to film companies for three years until a huge flood filled the home and arena with mud and debris. (Hill) was unable to make payments, and the bank repossessed the property, which was eventually taken over by a professor of economics at Occidental College, William Bonelli (who started the Santa Clarita Water Co. and built one of the first local housing tracts in the late 1940s). Today (the rodeo arena) is known as the Saugus Speedway."


LW2038: Online image only.
LANTERN SLIDES

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Hart: Wolf Lowry 1917

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Hart: The Testing Block 1920

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Hart: Sand 1920

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Hoot Gibson: The Silent Rider 1927

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Hoot Gibson: The Denver Dude 1927

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Kermit Maynard: Prince of the Plains 1927

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Kermit Maynard: Gun-Hand Garrison 1927

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Bob Custer: Code of the West 1929

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Hoot Gibson: The Mounted Stranger 1930

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Buck Jones: The Avenger 1931

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Buck Jones: Stone of Silver Creek 1935

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Buck Jones: Boss of Lonely Valley 1937

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