Nestled in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, about fifty miles north of Downtown Los Angeles, lies the old mining town of Acton, California.
Along the way from Los Angeles to Antelope Valley stands a cluster of abandoned Old-West-style buildings that are not what they appear. Beyond a bumpy dirt road lined with overgrown trees lies a rusty old trailer surrounded by weeds.
and a large clearing occupied by beautiful wooden buildings and a squat little bell tower.
Most are large two-story structures with heavily weathered exteriors. Not a single pane of glass occupies any of the windows.
Every building is completely empty, the walls buttressed on the inside by long wooden planks.
Ghostly threadbare curtains hang in the empty windows, waving in the breeze.
Acton originally served as the site of a temporary railroad camp when the Southern Pacific Railroad was under construction in the late 1870s. The actual town of Acton was founded in 1887 by miners who worked in the nearby Red Rover Mine and named it after Acton, Massachusetts. In the late 1800s, Acton began to transform into a ranching and farming community.
Henry T. Gage, a mine owner who governed California from 1899 to 1903, proposed moving the state capital from Sacramento to Acton, where one of his mines was located, but the plan never panned out.
Acton now has a population of over 7,500 and is home to several animal preserves, one of which is run by actress Tippi Hedren.
This neat group of old buildings is located on Polsa Rosa Ranch, which has served as a filming location since the 1970s.
The structures look like historic buildings, but they were actually built as a movie set, which is why they are hollow. Though it may not technically be a ghost town, several tragic deaths have occurred on the property.
In September of 2012, a water tank cleaner drowned on the set of the remake of “The Lone Ranger” starring Johnny Depp. Then in February of 2013, three people died in a helicopter crash during the filming of a show for the Discovery Channel.
A surprising number of movies contain scenes filmed in Acton, California, including:
- Terminator 3
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Army of Darkness
- Red Dawn
- Blood Work
A few music videos were also filmed in Acton:
- “High and Dry” by Radiohead
- “Swingin” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- “The Day That Never Comes” by Metallica
The stunning photos of an Abandoned Movie Ranch in Acton, California were taken by Jim Sullivan. Jim Sullivan is a traveler, who shares his stories with followers.
If you’d like to see more abandoned places in America, then check out our articles on the Abandoned Golf Course in Willcox, Arizona and the Iconic and abandoned Paper Mills in New Jersey