How the West Was Won (1962) – Ridgway’s Hartwell Park, Cow Creek, and the Katie’s Meadow (Debbie’s meadow) areas used by director Henry Hathaway, who later used the same areas for True Grit. The meadow was used for the scene where wagon master Robert Preston proposes to Debbie Reynolds.
True Grit begins and ends at the family ranch of young Mattie Ross (Kim Darby), which was filmed at a historic home on Last Dollar Road above Ridgway. In the final scene, John Wayne jumps his horse over a fence and rides off into the distance. The ranch house is very run down but the scenery around it hasn’t changed much and is as gorgeous as it was then.
The Old Rio Grande Southern Railroad depot is now a private residence located on Railroad Street across from the tennis courts. It starred as the Independence Hotel in How the West Was Won.
The captivating beauty of Ridgway, Ouray and surrounding areas has attracted a number of production companies making movies, documentaries and commercials. More than 100 films have been made in southwestern Colorado.