The 1930’s was the middle of the Great Depression and the Golden Age of Hollywood.   Seabiscuit and War Admiral entertained millions when Thoroughbred horse racing is legalized in 1933 to help cities raise money.    And into this mix of extreme wealth and poverty, water from  Mulholland’s aqueduct has made the undeveloped San Fernando Valley prime horse property.

     In 1936, Barbara Stanwyck was one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses.  With partners  Zeppo Marx and his wife Marion,  they spend some $200,000 to  buy and develop  roughly 130 acres in Northridge.  Two architecturally significant homes were built on 10 acres each.  On the remaining property, a state of the art Thoroughbred Race horse breeding and training facility rivaling anything in Kentucky is built to trainer Harry S. Hart’s specifications. 

      The property was named Marwcyk Ranch, a melding of the owner's names. 

    In 1942, west coast race tracks went dark after the onset of WWII.  Afterwards,  Marwyck was used solely for boarding.

     In 1943, Marwcyk Ranch was sold to J.H. Ryan and renamed Northridge Farms. 

Northridge Farms

Sunday Bar-B-Que at Northridge Farms c. 1955

Image courtesy of the J.H. Ryan family.

Thank you to the Ryan family and Pat LoPresti for your extensive Northridge Farms research.