Sunday, October 11, 2009
HISTORY LESSON: FUN FACTS ABOUT EARLY HOLLYWOOD
I am currently reading The Story of Hollywood by Gregory Paul Williams. I am already coming across several little tidbits I find interesting... and amusing! Here are some of the better ones that I would like to share with you!
> In the very, VERY beginning of Hollywood, before paved streets and neighborhoods, the few settlers who ventured into the fairly wild territory began setting up camp and establishing the first homesteads. A mere four years into CA statehood, small homes and farms began popping up. One of these homes belonged to the eccentric "Greek George." He lived in an adobe in what is now the Hollywood Bowl by the swamp. What made him so "eccentric?" He owned camels! In true, Hollywood fashion, he used these animals as a means to deliver mail and supplies.
There was controversy and drama raging in the hills of California from the early get-go. When the first settlers were establishing their homes, there was trouble brewing between the Californios, who had traveled to and lived in the area longer, and the new American immigrants. The Californios were often usurped of their unregistered land by the new movers and shakers, which led to many (obvious) ill-feelings and rivalries. From 1863-1874, Tiburcio Vasquez (right) became a hero when he robbed the snobby new Americans, pillaging their farms and livestock. He never stole from his fellow Californios, who rooted for him in his endeavors. He was like the Hollywood Robin Hood, and many consider him to be the inspiration behind the future Douglas Fairbanks character, Zorro!
Many of you are familiar with the fact that Hollywood was originally called "Hollywoodland." This is because it was started as a real estate development by Harvey Wilcox (left), whose wife, Daeida (bottom left), came up with the name when talking with someone who owned an estate in Hollywood, IL. She loved the implied unity of "nature and culture," and Harvey approved, so he named his newly constructed subdivision after it. Harvey even named some streets for himself and his wife: Wilcox and Dae Avenues. There were two children that always crossed their property on the way to school at Sunset and Gordon, and Harvey and Daeida thought it would be cute to name streets after them as well: Ivar and Selma! Vine Street, in addition, was named for the fact that it bordered a vineyard.
More to follow...