North Hollywood Real Estate
North Hollywood Real Estate
In a way, North Hollywood is the birthplace of California statehood. Back in January of 1847, Lt. Col. John C. Fremont of the United States and General Andres Pico of Mexico met at the Campo de Cahuenga ("Cahuenga Field"), now an historical monument across Lankershim Blvd. from the main entrance to Universal Studios, and signed the treaty that was to end the war between Mexico and the United States.
Some two decades years later, in 1869, Isaac Lankershim, a San Francisco Farmer/Real Estate investor, recognized that the fertile lands lying just over the Cahuenga Pass from the city of Los Angeles would support many crops. He and his friend, I.N. Van Nuys, purchased the entire southern half of the San Fernando Valley, about 59,500 acres, for $115,000, and planted wheat. Thus was sown the Valley's bountiful agricultural industry.
A general store and a hotel in 1888 signaled the beginning of North Hollywood's commercial development. In another two years, Wilson C. Weddington moved his family to Toluca/Lankershim, and with ten other families, established the town of Lankershim. By 1896, a post office, rail depot, school, and blacksmith had been added to the growing farming and fruit orchard community.
In 1910, the Bank of Lankershim opened, followed by a market, bakery, dry goods store and drug store. Streetlights, a constable, and the hustle and bustle of horseless carriages enlivened the community.
Lankershim Businessmen's Association was formed in 1910. The "Red Car" transportation system began in 1911, and the town's fire brigade was stationed at the northwest corner of Chandler and Lankershim. It was a two-wheel cart with a water tank and pump that took at least four volunteers to operate.
Early 20th Century
Water was always a key issue. Mulholland Aqueduct, named after Robert Mulholland, the first head of the Los and Department of Water and Power, in opened in 1913; until then the only two legal wells were Varney's on Cumpston and Gregg's on the southwest corner of Lankershim and Riverside Drive. By 1914, the population was 1,500, and the Lankershim Businessmen's Association evolved into the Lankershim Chamber of Commerce under Jim Wilson, who would become the Valley's first fully elected Councilman in 1932. Visit the Universal City North Hollywood Chamber office to see a hand painted mural of the Valley, as it appeared 1945.
Carl Laemmle's Universal Film Manufacturing Company was among the first film production businesses to open in Southern California. The area's mild climate and dramatic scenery made for the perfect environment for that era's popular westerns. By 1915, Laemmle opened Universal City, a 230-acre ranch and filmdom's first, self-contained unincorporated community dedicated to making movies. Curley Stecker's wild animals that were part of the company, serenaded the townspeople in 1916 nightly.
At the close of World War I, Victory Boulevard was named in honor of those who had served in the Great War.
Making kerosene lamps a thing of the past, the first natural gas line ran from Burbank to Lankershim, servicing 62 customers. Amidst a surging population, it finally became necessary to identify homes and buildings with numbers.
Population climbed to about 20,000 by the time of the 1929 Stock Market Crash and Great Depression. Every element of the area was touched. Carl Laemmle and his son had to sell their studio to pay off debts. During the Depression years of the 1930's, the Chamber was the unemployment relief headquarters for the Valley. The El Portal Theatre was used for benefit shows for the unemployed. The Chamber served as relief headquarters for the victims of the Great Flood of 1938 when the Los Angeles River could not contain a heavy downpour and its banks overflowed. Property damage was $40 million, and 49 deaths were attributed to the flooding.
North Hollywood During WWII
North Hollywood California was the center of the war effort in the San Fernando Valley. Tons of salvage was collected, blood donated and being right next door to Burbank and Lockheed, machine shops, tool and die makers and aircraft part fabricators got right to work. North Hollywood which not too long before was steeped in cattle and sheep ranching, made a transition to wheat farming and fruit and nut orchards. North Hollywood became know as the Home of the Peach. Bonner Fruit and Cannery Co., which was located on Chandler near Lankershim, processed and canned Peaches and shipped tons of the fruit all over the country. Poultry farming also took off. North Hollywood became known as the Home of the Hen and A Peach of a Place to Have a Home. In 1949 the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Adobe was built on the site of the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga in 1847,
When I was a kid living in the valley, I had a neighbor who lived on a half acre of land who had "workshop" type buildings in his yard. He explained that during the Second World War, he raised rabbits in those buildings for their fir, to line the inside of flight caps for our airmen. Mr. Gillette, was quite a character. He was a kind bespectacled man, large in size, he was a diabetic. He was always wearing overalls and a wry smile.
Mr. Gillette was the kind of neighbor that any kid would love to be acquainted with. He had four beehives, and all of the equipment needed to be a beekeeper. He would let my twin brother Gary and I suit up in beekeeper protective garb, and assist him in "robbing the bees" of their honey. We would smoke them out, he would remove the top of the hives and reach in and remove the honeycombed frames loaded with honey, sweeping the bees off with a hand broom, and then replacing them with new frames. He especially loved it when either Gary, my twin, or I became disturbed when a bee would to work his way into our protective gear. We would run around, thinking that we could get away from the impending sting that was sure to come. This would make him laugh uproariously. He would tell us to let the little bee sting you already and get back to work!
When we had all of the honey combs collected, we would take them into one of the many workshops, and extracted the honey. He would use a hot electrical knife to slice off the top layer of wax from the combs, then we would place them into a spinner, a centrifuge where he would let us turn the crank, and the honey would fly out of the combs, and slide down the side of the barrel to pool at the bottom. Then the we would open the spigot at the bottom of the barrel, and fill jars with honey, all the while straining the honey to remove wax and bee pieces and parts. Honey never tasted so good!! He would also let us take the used honey combs home with us to chew on. Wow, what a treat. We sucked the remaining honey off and munched on the wax kind of like the Halloween wax lips .