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Chatsworth is a district of the City of Los Angeles, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker in the San Fernando Valleymarker region.

Geography

The district is bordered by the Santa Susana Mountains and unincorporated Los Angeles County lands to the north, Porter Ranch to the northeast, Northridgemarker to the east, West Hills, Canoga Parkmarker, and Winnetkamarker to the south, and the Simi Hillsmarker, Ventura Countymarker, Simi Valleymarker to the west. The nearby Chatsworth Peakmarker in eastern Simi Hills overlooks the district.

Modern terrain

The topography of modern Chatsworth is varied, with many industrial areas, sleepy home communities, large apartment and condominium complexes, parks, ranches, horse stables, horse trails, and farms, a few shopping centers, restaurants, and a train station. Congressman Buck McKeon (25th District) notes on his web page, "Chatsworth still has a lot of horse zoned properties and it is not unusual to see horses tied to the hitching post out back of the Los Toros Mexican Restaurant or the Cowboy Palace Saloon."

Chatsworth's residential homes are mostly single-story classic American ranch houses. The district's boundaries are not visible, marked only by signs on the streets, as a profusion of stores, apartments, and automobile traffic dominate.

A distinctive feature in the Chatsworth Area is the mostly empty Chatsworth Reservoir. The property belongs to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Hazards

An increase in cancer cases in Chatsworth may be attributed to toxic and radiological waste leaks at the Rocketdyne facility in the nearby Santa Susanna hills.

History

Chatsworth was originally inhabited by the Fernandeno and Chumash tribes. The first European explorers came into the Chatsworth area on August 5, 1769, led by Gaspar de Portola. After the San Fernando Missionmarker was established in 1797, Spain granted the land of the San Fernando Valley, including Chatsworth, to the new mission.

An Indian trail ran from Chatsworth to the San Fernando Missionmarker, and was part of the El Camino del Santa Susana y Simi trail that connected the San Fernando Mission to the San Buenaventura Missionmarker. The trail crossed into the valley over the Santa Susana Passmarker near Chatsworth Park.

In 1821, after the Mexicanmarker people revolted against Spainmarker and claimed independence, the San Fernando Mission became part of Mexico. In 1834, the Mexican government ordered the sale of all mission lands, and as a result, Chatsworth was divided - the Eastern part became Rancho San Fernando and the Western part became part of the Simi land grant. The border line extended down the center of what is now Andora Avenue.

The town was named after Chatsworth Housemarker, in Derbyshiremarker, the country estate of Englandmarker's Duke of Devonshire. ("Devonshire" is also the name of a major street in Chatsworth.)

Demographics

As of the 2000 census, and according to the Los Angeles Almanac there were 41,255 people and 15,668 households residing in Chatsworth. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 70.99% White, 14.33% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 3.51% African American, 0.51% Native American, 6.11% from other races, and 4.41% from two or more races. 16.31% of the population were Hispanic of any race.

Median household income in 2000 was $63,817.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Chatsworth neighborhood statistics: population: 33,829; median household income: $84,549.

Transportation

During the late 1800s, Chatsworth was a main thoroughfare for the figures of the American West. Joaquin Murrieta and his bandits hid out in the rocky crevices around Stony Point. In 1861, a stagecoach trail, now called the Old Stagecoach Trail, was established through Chatsworth. It followed the old El Camino del Santa Susana y Simi trail over the Santa Susana Pass. That stagecoach route was used until about 1877. As late as 1891, another stage line still used the pass to provide a link between the city of San Fernando and Simi Valley. It is now a popular hiking trail in the Santa Susana Hills.

The Chatsworth train stationmarker is on the Coast Line of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Coast Line is shared with the Ventura County Line of Metrolink and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner; the 2008 Chatsworth train collisionmarker occurred on the line.

Business

Chatsworth is the home of the National Notary Association and the headquarters for three major credit unions: Premier America (Formerly Litton Federal Credit Union), Matadors Community Credit Union and Telesis Community Credit Union.

MAG FADAL (machine tools), Moog Corporation, 3M Corporation, B&M Automotive, California Car Cover (California Duster), The Girl Scouts, NMB Technologies, Milodon, Capstone Turbine, Computer Optical Products, Allied Motion, and Lamps Plus have production/distribution facilities.

Entertainment industry

Chatsworth remained mostly rural until the 1980s, and as a result, it became the site for many western films and rural-themed television shows. The setting fit the popular conception of the American West; boulders larger than houses were strewn against a backdrop of mountains. Tumbleweeds were and still are a common sight. Oaks and sycamores, the native trees, along with imported Eucalyptus trees, and orange groves also lent to the rural feeling.

Between 1912 and 1960, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and hundreds of other cowboys made movies at Iverson's Movie Ranch. A five-hundred acre farm was transformed into Chinesemarker farmland for the MGM classic The Good Earth (1937). The Zorro television series was filmed in Chatsworth, as were the opening credits of The Lone Ranger TV series. Also filmed partly in Chatsworth by Roy Rogers Productions was the western series Brave Eagle starring Keith Larsen as a young Cheyenne chief, which ran on CBS in the 1955–1956 season. Chatsworth continues to house numerous mainstream production offices, including that of the television show 24. Ghost of Zorro was filmed here in 1949. The Iraqmarker scenes for the TV series Over There were filmed at Chatsworth. The Bad News Bears (1976) was filmed in Mason Park.

Chatsworth houses a significant percentage of the world's adult production and distribution studios, including Anabolic Video, Purple Mushroom Productions, Wicked Pictures, Adult Video News magazine, Gregg Lazer Productions and Red Light District Video.

Government and infrastructure

The United States Postal Service Chatsworth Post Office is located at 21606 Devonshire Street. The Chatsworth Post Office one of the locations of an anthrax scare shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Education

Chatsworth residents are zoned to the Los Angeles Unified School District. Chatsworth High Schoolmarker, Lawrence Middle School, Germain Street Elementary, Superior Street Elementary and Chatsworth Park Elementary School are all located in Chatsworth.

The area has several private schools including Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth Hills Academy, Chaminade College Preparatory Middle School, and St. John Eudes Elementary and Middle School.

There is also one charter school, Chime Charter Middle School previously known as Santa Susana School. The school is located just down the street from Chatsworth Park Elementary School.

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Chatsworth Branch at 21052 Devonshire Street.

Past and present residents

Philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand lived in Chatsworth for a period of time with her husband.

Chatsworth proximity to Hollywoodmarker means that a number of actors and musicians call or have called the district home. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz established their first home on a site in Chatsworth, which they called "Desilu," the same name as their studio. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans had a horse ranch in Chatsworth for several decades, as did Errol Flynn, and cowboy film star Montie Montana. Mr. Ed, the 1960s equine star, was born in a red barn on "Harvester Farms" located near Topanga Canyon and Devonshire. The site became the home of the Palomino Horse Association of America for a short period of time. Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth is the final resting place of a number of Hollywood stars, including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar winner Gloria Grahame, and silent film actor and director Grace Cunard.

Recent examples include:



Actors Val Kilmer, Kevin Spacey, Mare Winningham, Adam Rich, and Kirk Cameron graduated from Chatsworth High Schoolmarker. Spacey thanked the drama department of his alma mater when he won his first Oscar.

References

  1. LA City Beat
  2. "Chatsworth" entry on the Los Angeles Times "Mapping L.A." website
  3. " Post Office Location - CHATSWORTH." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  4. " Chatsworth Branch Library." Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  5. http://www.marilynmanson.com/media/print/spin_05_07/
  • http://www.sfvhs.com/ValleyLandmarks.htm#Chatsworth


External links




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