Acton is a small residential community located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. It is off the Antelope Valley Freeway (Highway 14) near Palmdale. Acton is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the San Fernando Valley and 47 miles (76 km) north of downtown Los Angeles. The town has a rural western theme which can be seen in its homes, commercial buildings, and historical buildings (some of which date back to the late 1800s). The homes in the mountains around Acton have great views of the valley below. In the valley are ranch style homes, often with equestrian facilities. While Acton is not a part of the Antelope Valley, it is grouped together with the "AV" in the General Plan. Acton has a Metrolink commuter rail station, on its border with Palmdale that is themed in an "old western" style and has been seen in various movies and commercials.
Acton was founded in 1887 by gold miners who were working in the Red Rover Mine. It was named after Acton, Massachusetts by one of the miners. Two of the best-known gold mines located in Acton were the Red Rover mine and the Governor mine. Mining of gold, copper, and titanium ore continued into the early 1900s..The town originally had served as a railroad camp from 1873 to 1876 when the Saugus-Mojave section of the Southern Pacific Railroad was under construction. Acton was once considered for the State capital of California. California Governor Henry T. Gage (1899–1903) owned the Governor Mine, hence the name, and sought to relocate the capital to Acton. This effort ultimately failed and the capital was not moved from Sacramento. In the late 1880s, Acton started to become more of a ranching and farming community. In 1889, Acton's first hotel and its first saloon, the 49er was opened, and it is still open for business today. You can tie off your horse on a side rail while you visit the saloon. The bank in the same shopping center was seen in the Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work.
The Shambala Preserve, a wild animal nature park run by actress Tippi Hedren, is located near Acton. Ventures on Tippi Hedren's 80-acre (320,000 m2) wild animal compound include a Safari at the authentic African-style haven for more than 70 African lions, Royal Bengal and Siberian tigers, spotted and black leopards, cougars, and African elephants. Riders on the Metrolink trains between Palmdale and Santa Clarita often see the animals grazing in the fields of the preserve as the train passes through.
Acton is home to Parker Mountain, the mecca for a style of radio-controlled aircraft flying called "dynamic soaring" and where at one time the world speed record of 302 mph (486 km/h) was achieved.
Acton is within the Acton Agua Dulce School District,. There are three schools in Acton:
Median earnings per worker in Acton California in 2012 where $80,710 compared to the United States average of $43,350, which is about twice as large. In terms of median earnings for men versus women, Acton has $91,711 median earnings for men but only $60,284 for women (a 34% difference.) 15.7% of the people in Acton report self-employment income which is greater than the average in the U.S. of 11%.
Looking at people who make less than the poverty level of income, Acton has people who are in poverty and employed of 49.4% with the remainder out of the workforce. This is in comparison the U.S. average of people in poverty and working of 43.1%. In spite of this, the percent of people who are using some form of public assistance is very low. Only of 1.8% households use public assistance the United States average of 12.2%.
The commute to work shows Acton has 10.6% who car pool which is very similar to the U.S. average of 10%. However Acton has a large number of people who are able to work from home at 8.4% versus 4.3%-- for the U.S. When workers do commute to work they have a 44 minute commute to work which is much larger than the U.S. average of 27.1 minutes.