North Hollywood

The history of North Hollywood is an interesting one as originally North Hollywood was part of the vast Mission San Fernando Rey De Espana, which would eventually be confiscated by the government during the Mexican ruling period.

Eventually, a group of investors would assemble the San Fernando Farm Homestead Association which would purchase the south half of the ex-mission. The lead investor was Issac Lankershim. He happened to be a stockman and grain farmer, who was quite impressed by the wild oats in the valley and proposed to actually raise sheep on the property. Then James Lankershim and Issac Van Nuys, in 1873 would take over management of the property. Van Nuys believed that the property would be able to be profitable to grow wheat using dryland farming techniques that was developed and then leased the land to really test this theory. Eventually, this property would become the Largest wheat growing empire known as the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company.

In 1887, Lankershim and other developers would purchase 12000 acres just north of the milling company. They would establish a town site which would be named Toluca which ran along the old road from San Fernando to Cahuenga Pass. Then in 1888, they began to offer ready-made small farms for sale, which had deep rooted deciduous nut and fruit trees such as walnuts, peaches, apricots, and pears that would be able to survive in rainless summers which relied on the high water table which was along the Tujunga Wash instead of surface irrigations.

Because of the land boom of the 1880s, which would bust by 1890s the nut and fruit farmers would remain. The Toluca Fruit Growers Association would be formed in 1894. Then in 1895, Southern Pacific would open a branch line which would slant northwest to Chatsworth. There would be a freight stop daily at Toluca although the depot was called Lankershim. Eventually, the town would be called Lankershim and recognized in 1905.

Then in the 1900s the area was called Home of the Peach then the Bonner Fruit Company would begin to can millions of tons of fruit in 1912. When the aqueduct opened up in 1913, the valley farmers would offer to purchase the surplus water, but unfortunately federal legislations that allowed for the aqueduct construction stopped Los Angeles from selling any water past the city limits.

During the 1920s, much of the water delivery was stopped even after the annexation to Los Angeles and most of the ranchers had transferred farms to packing companies or foreclosed.  In turn, the property was purchased by real estate developers and it began as an effort to really market the area to prospective home owners. Part of this effort was to begin to capitalize on the proximity and glamour of Hollywood and it would then be renamed North Hollywood. The result was a massive development of housing which create a suburban area of Los Angeles.