Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Fort Set, "Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers"
Vasquez Rocks County Park

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"Fort" set at Vasquez Rocks County Park. Photo probably late 1950s.

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").

About the photographer: HAROLD G. DEINES (1922-1970) brought his family to the Santa Clarita 1954 and taught photography and drivers' education at Hart High School. He also was the proprietor of Pin N' Pen Photo Stationers in Newhall. Harold and wife Esther were married in 1944 in Kansas, where Harold was the sports and society photographer for the Wichita Eagle newspaper. They lived briefly in Tucson, Ariz., prior to their arrival in Newhall (Chestnut Street), where they raised four children — Glenn, Anita (Barnes), Sylvia (Wortman) and Myrna (Litt). Not yet 50, Harold succumbed to a long illness; Esther (1921-2009) continued her teaching and adminstrative career with the Newhall School District, sang in the church choir (Santa Clarita United Methodist) and was active in the SCV Senior Center and Friends of the Library.

HG5902: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph courtesy of Myrna Deines Litt and B.J. Atkins. Online/digital archive only..
Vasquez Rocks


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~Late 1950s


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1968 x2

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