Saunter down the main street of Paramount Ranch and you get the odd feeling that you’ve been here before. That sheriff’s office and the swinging door of the saloon look familiar, don’t they?
Before the all-star BioBlitz team came to town, stars of a different variety filled this ageless ranch. More than 100 classic western films were shot here in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Outlaws and lawmen settled duels in such famous titles as Gunfight at the OK Corral, Geronimo, and Gunsmoke. John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich,and Roy Rogers all worked here. More recently, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” dispensed therapeutic wisdom from what is now the BioBlitz’s First Aid building.
The National Park Service purchased the ranch and surrounding lands in 1980. When it’s not reserved by Hollywood, Paramount Ranch finds fame as host to the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest, the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival, and various weddings, bar mitzvahs, and family picnics. This well-loved site lends a palpable sense of place and human history–actual and imagined–to the BioBlitz.