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Chatsworth Reservoir: Our own Hollywood backlot

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Last week we talked about the Chatsworth Nature Preserve, which includes the Chatsworth Reservoir. Today on the blog, we appreciate the storied history of this San Fernando Valley landmark.

The North San Fernando Valley is not unlike the Wild Wild West in landscape, and back in the 1920s it was just that. The Chatsworth Reservoir area, 1,318-acre property owned by LADWP, was the backdrop for many of Hollywood’s most beloved films long before it was set aside as a nature preserve. First built in 1919, the reservoir has been officially closed since the 1971 Sylmar quake. The reservoir was intended to assist the city’s water drive, but as the Valley’s agricultural lands quickly converted to housing tracts, demand outweighed the capabilities of the reservoir. So here’s a look at the short-lived golden years of the reservoir:

Three Word Brand (1921), Chatsworth Lake

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Tess of the Storm Country (1922), Chatsworth Lake

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Hell’s Angels (1930)

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Out California Way (1946), Chatsworth Reservoir

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Sioux City Sue (1946) — starring Gene Autry, Chatsworth Reservoir

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