Chatsworth's residential homes are mostly single-story classic American ranch houses. The district's boundaries are not visible, marked only by signs on the streets, as a profusion of stores, apartments, and automobile traffic dominate.
A distinctive feature in the Chatsworth Area is the now empty Chatsworth Reservoir The property belongs to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Chatsworth was originally inhabited by the Fernandeno and Chumash tribes. The first European explorers came into the Chatsworth area on August 5, 1769, led by Gaspar de Portola. After the San Fernando Mission was established in 1797, Spain granted the land of the San Fernando Valley, including Chatsworth, to the new mission.
An Indian trail ran from Chatsworth to the San Fernando Mission, and was part of the El Camino del Santa Susana y Simi trail that connected the San Fernando Mission to the Santa Buenaventura Mission. The trail crossed into the valley over the Santa de Susana Pass near Chatsworth Park.
In 1821, after the Mexican people revolted against Spain and claimed independence, the San Fernando Mission became part of Mexico. In 1834, the Mexican government ordered the sale of all mission lands, and as a result, Chatsworth was divided - the Eastern part became Rancho San Fernando and the Western part became part of the Simi land grant. The border line extended down the center of what is now Andora Avenue.
The Chatsworth train station is on the Coast Line of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Coast Line is shared with the Ventura County Line of Metrolink and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner; the 2008 Chatsworth train collision occurred on the line.
MAG FADAL (machine tools), Moog Corporation, 3M Corporation, B&M Automotive, California Car Cover (California Duster), The Girl Scouts, NMB Technologies, Milodon, Capstone Turbine and Lamps Plus have production/distribution facilities.
Between 1912 and 1960, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and hundreds of other cowboys made movies at Iverson's Movie Ranch. The Zorro television series was filmed in Chatsworth, as was the opening scene of every Lone Ranger episode. Chatsworth continues to house numerous mainstream production offices, including that of the television show 24. Ghost of Zorro was filmed here in 1949. The Iraq scenes for the TV series Over There were filmed at Chatsworth. The Bad News Bears was filmed in Mason Park.
Chatsworth is also known as the unofficial "capital" of the American pornography trade. It houses a significant percentage of the world's adult production and distribution studios, including Anabolic Video, Wicked Pictures, Adult Video News magazine, and Red Light District Video.
There is also one charter school, Chime Charter Middle School previously known as Santa Susana School. The school is located just down the street from Chatsworth Park Elementary School.
Los Angeles Public Library operates the Chatsworth Branch.
Chatsworth proximity to Hollywood means that a number of actors and musicians call or have called the district home. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz established their first home on a five-acre site in Chatsworth, which they called "Desilu," the same name as their studio. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans had a horse ranch in Chatsworth for several decades, as did Errol Flynn, and cowboy film star Montie Montana. Mr. Ed, the 1960s equine star, once lived near Topanga Canyon and Devonshire. Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth is the final resting place of a number of Hollywood stars, including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar winner Gloria Grahame, and silent film actor and director Grace Cunard.
Recent examples include:
Paul Rodriguez, also known as P-Rod