The Murphy Ranch is a ranch built in Rustic Canyon, Los Angeles in the 1930s by Winona and Norman Stevens. According to a long-running urban legend, they were sympathizers of the anti-semitic, white supremacist Silver Legion of America. The owner of record in 1933 was Jessie M. Murphy. Supposedly designed as a base for Nazi activities in the U.S., it was intended to be capable of being self-sustaining for long periods. The compound had a water storage tank, a fuel tank, a bomb shelter, and various outbuildings and bunkers. The estate's main gate was designed by Paul Williams, a well-known African-American architect in the Southern California area.
According to the legend, with no supporting newspaper accounts or other hard evidence: on Monday, December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, local police occupied the compound and detained members of the 50-strong caretaker force.
As of 1990, it was abandoned and in a state of disrepair, and covered in graffiti. The site is currently owned by the city of Los Angeles. In early 2016, many of the ranch buildings were demolished, as they were deemed unsafe. A few buildings remain, including the power house, an all-concrete building that once contained the diesel generators. All entryways have been sealed.
In popular culture edit
The ruins of Murphy Ranch are featured in Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim"-series novel Killing Pretty.
The Murphy Ranch was the featured location of the radio play "Annexing the Palisades" written in 2020 by Alex Goldberg. The play is set in 1939 and is about the construction of the house and its Nazi ties.
An abandoned building in the Murphy Ranch valley in 2018
Another angle of the building
The Murphy Ranch house in 2006
See also edit
- Almendrala, Anna (March 19, 2012). "Hitler Bunker In Los Angeles: Murphy Ranch Reveals An Alternate Universe". Huffington Post.
- Rivera, John (November 18, 1990). "Nazi Sympathizers' L.A. Utopia Is Now a Ruin". Los Angeles Times.
- Stevens, Stanton (July 12, 2023). The True Story of Murphy Ranch. One Reality Productions. ISBN 979-8-9882432-0-5.
- Morton, Ella (February 27, 2014). "Murphy Ranch, the Abandoned Nazi Compound in the Hills of L.A." Slate.
- "Rustic Canyon's Murphy Ranch". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- "The Zip Code Plays Season One".
- "Annexing the Palisades"—A Radio Play about Rustic Canyon's Notorious Murphy Ranch".
- Guided historical hikes to Murphy Ranch
- Photographic tour of the Murphy Ranch by Josh McNair
- What Really Happened at Rustic Canyon's Rumored Nazi Ranch?
- A description of the hiking route to Murphy Ranch and additional history by Casey Schreiner
- The New Yorker, September 25, 2017, "The Nazi Sites of Los Angeles", by Dana Goodyear