Acton has a storied history involving gold, politics and railroads. The community began in the late-19th century as an unsophisticated mining town. When the California Gold Rush hit, Soledad Canyon was found to have rich reserves of gold and silver. Miners moved in and set up tents and camps throughout the region, gradually moving up the canyon walls until they arrived in the area where Acton is located today. At the turn of the century, then California Governor Henry Gage owned two mines in Acton: Governor Mine and Red Rover Mine. At one point, Gage attempted to move the state capital from Sacramento to Acton, but his efforts were unsuccessful. The railroad came to town, bringing families and merchants with it and setting the stage for further growth.
Acton's location in the Sierra Pelona Mountains keeps residents sheltered from city smog and congestion. Rather than face skyscrapers and gnarled freeway traffic, Acton residents enjoy spectacular views of the San Gabriel Mountains and a valley dotted with custom homes, horse ranches and shopping centers. While Acton technically isn't located within the Antelope Valley, it has sometimes been called the “Beverly Hills of the Antelope Valley.” The name alludes to the high-end residences that include sprawling ranch estates and horse properties.
Notably, the unique wildlife Shambala Preserve is located in Acton. The Shambala Preserve provides a habitat for exotic cats, including African lions, Bengal tigers, leopards and even a panther. Many of these cats were taken in by Shambala after being abandoned by zoos and circuses. The preserve is managed by the Roar Foundation, a nonprofit that's headed up by actress Tippi Hedren, who is known for her starring roles in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie. The Shambala Preserve also provides tours to the public.
Acton's tranquility and scenic beauty are well-balanced by the community's proximity to the city. Downtown Los Angeles is about 45 miles south of Acton and the San Fernando Valley is about 20 miles southwest. This location makes commuting a possibility and also provides for a wealth of recreational, educational and cultural experiences within driving distance.
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