Acton, California

Acton is an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, California near the Antelope Valley. According to the 2000 census, the Greater Acton area had a population of 9,175.

Acton is a small residential community located in the rugged Sierra Pelona Mountains. It is off the Antelope Valley Freeway (Highway 14) near Palmdale. Acton is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the San Fernando Valley and 47 miles (76 km) north of downtown Los Angeles. The town has a rural western theme which can be seen in its homes, commercial buildings, and historical buildings (some of which date back to the late 1800s).

The homes in the mountains around Acton have great views of the valley below. In the valley are ranch style homes, often with equestrian facilities. While Acton is not a part of the Antelope Valley, it is grouped together with the "AV" in the General Plan. Acton has a Metrolink commuter rail station, on its border with Palmdale that is themed in an "old western" style and has been seen in various movies and commercials.

Acton was founded in 1887 by gold miners who were working in the Red Rover Mine. It was named after Acton, Massachusetts by one of the miners. Two of the best-known gold mines located in Acton were the Red Rover mine and the Governors mine. Mining of gold, copper, and titanium ore continued into the early 1900s.

Acton was once considered for the State capital of California. California Governor Henry T. Gage (1899-1903) owned the Governor Mine, hence the name, and sought to relocate the capital to Acton. This effort ultimately failed and the capital was not moved from Sacramento.
In the late 1880s, Acton started to become more of a ranching and farming community.

In 1889, Acton's first hotel and its first saloon, the 49er was opened, and it is still open for business today. You can tie off your horse on a side rail while you visit the saloon. The bank in the same shopping center was seen in the Clint Eastwood movie "Blood Work".
The Shambala Preserve, wild animal nature park run by Actress Tippi Hedren is located near Acton. Ventures on Tippi Hedren's 80-acre (320,000 m2) wild animal compound include a Safari at the authentic African-style haven for more than 70 African Lions, Royal Bengal and Siberian Tigers, Spotted and Black Leopards, Cougars, and African Elephants. Tours are available.

Riders on the Metrolink trains between Palmdale and Santa Clarita often see the animals grazing in the fields of the preserve as the train passes through.

Acton was one of the filming locations for the TV movie Duel, and the Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work. Terminator 3 was partially filmed at the local AM-PM Gas Station, located on the south side of Highway 14. Acton is also where Little Miss Sunshine was filmed along highway 14 near Red Rover Mine Road. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers "Swingin" music video was filmed along Escondido Canyon Road. Also filmed here was Army of Darkness. Metallica shot the video for the song The Day That Never Comes in Acton.
Acton is home to Parker Mountain, the mecca for a style of radio control aircraft flying called "dynamic soaring" and where at one time the world speed record of 302 mph (486 km/h) was achieved.

Acton Links:

Acton/Agua Dulce Unified School District
Acton Chamber of Commerce
Valley Industrial Association
Official Acton Website
Acton Community Guide
Acton Weather
Shambala Preserve