I’m glad I was born in the heart of the west.
The west is in my soul.
I’m glad that I’m livin’ where life’s at its best,
The best old ranges roll.
Because I’m up with the lark at the break of each dawn,
I ride till the sun turns gold.
In the sky he always was and he always will because
The west is in my soul!
– Sons of the Pioneers, one of the founders of Pioneertown
There’s a certain intrigue to old Western movie sets. Not only do they recall an earlier era of television and filmmaking, they rekindle a time and place of yesteryear. Pioneertown, located in the Morongo Basin region of California’s Inland Empire Metropolitan area, is one such movie set, but with a particular twist – it wasn’t only for filming, it also housed cast and crew, in effect becoming a living movie set. Built in the 1940’s by A.E. Thompson with funding from Roy Rogers, Dick Curtis, and Russell Hayden, Pioneertown helped breathe life into a memory, and continues to do so today.