Hollywood:It’s Origins

It was named Hollywood in 1853 by
H.J. Whitley and his wife, Margaret Virginia (Gigi) Whitley
while theywere on their honeymoon in 1886.
He was a Republican.

He owned the land that Hollywood was built on.
However the movie industry did not exist there at the time.
It would be years till that even happened.

In 1853, one adobe hut stood in Nopalera (Nopal field), named for the Mexican Nopal cactus indigenous to the area. By 1870, an agricultural community flourished. The area was known as the Cahuenga Valley, after the pass in the Santa Monica Mountains immediately to the north.

The name “Hollywood” was coined by H. J. Whitley, the “Father of Hollywood”.[5] The name is a reference to the Toyon, a native plant with bright red winter berries that resemble holly.[6] Originally the name “Figwood” was to be used to name the area due to the surrounding number of fig trees. Whitley arranged to buy the 500-acre (2.0 km2) E.C. Hurd ranch and disclosed to him his plans for the land. They agreed on a price and Hurd agreed to sell at a later date. Before Whitley got off the ground with Hollywood, plans for the new town had spread to General Harrison Gray Otis, Hurd’s wife, eastern adjacent ranch co-owner Daeida Wilcox, and others.

By 1900, the region had a post office, newspaper, hotel, and two markets. Los Angeles, with a population of 102,479[13] lay 10 miles (16 km) east through the vineyards, barley fields, and citrus groves. A single-track streetcar line ran down the middle of Prospect Avenue from it, but service was infrequent and the trip took two hours. The old citrus fruit-packing house was converted into a livery stable, improving transportation for the inhabitants of Hollywood.

Daeida Wilcox Beveridge, the “Mother of Hollywood,” gave three lots to the painter Paul de Longpré at Cahuenga Boulevard and Prospect Avenue (Hollywood Boulevard), for cultural enhancement of the town.[14] His extensive flower gardens and mansion with public art gallery became an early tourist attraction in Los Angeles.[15]

Hollywood Hotel, 1905

The intersection of Hollywood and Highland, 1907

Newspaper advertisement for Hollywood land sales, 1908
The Hollywood Hotel was opened in 1902 by H. J. Whitley,
president of the Los Pacific Boulevard and Development Company.
Having finally acquired the Hurd ranch and subdivided it,
Whitley built the hotel to attract land buyers.
Flanking the west side of Highland Avenue,
the structure fronted on Prospect Avenue,
which, still a dusty, unpaved road,
was regularly graded and graveled.
The hotel was to become internationally known
and was the center of the civic and social life
and home of the stars for many years.

Whitley’s company developed and sold
one of the early residential areas,the Ocean View Tract.
Whitley did much to promote the area.
He paid thousands of dollars for electric lighting,
including bringing electricity and building a bank,
as well as a road into the Cahuenga Pass.
The lighting ran for several blocks down Prospect Avenue.
Whitley’s land was centered on Highland Avenue.

By 1912, major motion-picture companies
had set up production near or in Los Angeles.
In the early 1900s, most motion picture patents
were held by Thomas Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company in New Jersey,
and filmmakers were often sued to stop their productions.
To escape this, filmmakers began moving out west,
where Edison’s patents could not be enforced.
Also, the weather was ideal
and there was quick access to various settings.
Los Angeles became the capital of the film industry.

Director D. W. Griffith was the first
to make a motion picture in Hollywood.
His 17-minute short film In Old California,
was filmed for the Biograph Company.
Although Hollywood banned movie theaters,
yet at that time it had none.
Still before the annexation that year,
Los Angeles had no such restriction.
The first film by a Hollywood studio,
Nestor Motion Picture Company, was shot on October 26, 1911.
The Whitley home was used as its set,
and the unnamed movie was filmed
in the middle of their groves
at the corner of Whitley Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.

The first studio in Hollywood, the Nestor Company,
was established by the New Jersey–based Centaur Company
in a roadhouse at 6121 Sunset Boulevard (the corner of Gower),
in October 1911.
Four major film companies – Paramount,
Warner Bros., RKO, and Columbia – had studios in Hollywood,
as did several minor companies and rental studios.
In the 1920s, Hollywood was the fifth largest industry in the nation.

Hollywood became known as Tinseltown and Movie Biz City
because of the glittering image of the movie industry.
Hollywood has since become a major center
for film study in the United States.

The name “Hollywood” is often applied to
any film or TV production location within Greater Los Angeles,
whether or not it is actually physically located
within Hollywood itself. For example,
from the time it relocated
from New York in 1972 until its host retired in 1992,
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
was announced as being broadcast “from Hollywood”
when in truth it originated from a studio facility in Burbank.
Similarly, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s storied film studio facility,
associated with the Golden Age of Hollywood
(and today known as Sony Pictures Studios)
is actually located in Culver City,
a number of miles from Hollywood.
Today, only two of the six major film studios
are actually based in Los Angeles, and only one of them,
Paramount, is still located in Hollywood.

As you can see it took time before
there was even movies as we know them today.
Back in 1912 short films were what got made
and the move to California from New Jersey
was really to me a protest against
the Thomas Edison movie industry restrictions
that did at the time put the movie industry in a rut
for a years kinda like
the Writers Strike in Hollywood did to
movie industry was in 2007,yet luckily was fixed years later
or else we would still not have no movies in L.A.


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