ABOUT THE SCENE ABOVE
The Fritz Burns Ranch in the foreground has a colorful past
includes a reindeer herd, German POWs and silent films.
THE REINDEER: Starting in the 1950s, the Burns Ranch was home to a reindeer herd that spent the Christmas season at Southern California shopping centers, including Panorama City. Dayle Hunter's family managed the ranch in the 1960s and '70s and lived there. Roy Dimon and Larry Peterson were occasional employees at the ranch.
GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR: The ranch is known to have
The San Fernando prisoners are said to have been used as citrus workers.
been a camp for a few of the 400,000 Axis prisoners held in the United States during World War II. If this seems surprising, it appears that many places, (Beverly Hills, the Birmingham High School site, Cucamonga along with San Fernando) are listed as prisoner camps by some sources. Much of Sylmar was formerly known as San Fernando.
WHY THE SPARTANS?
We were named after the Michigan State Spartans at the suggestion of Gloria Hazuka whose sister attended MSU. Gloria, Class of 1963, was a member of the student leadership council when Sylmar High opened in 1961.