In the mid-1800s, the land where Hollywood is located today was a modest agricultural community called Cahuenga Valley. In 1883, a real estate developer named Harvey Henry Wilcox and his wife Daeida moved from Topeka, Kansas to Los Angeles and purchased 150 acres in hills west of the city with the intention to establish a fruit orchard farm.
Alas, farming proved to be more difficult and less profitable than real estate development, and on February 1, 1887, Wilcox filed plans with the Los Angeles County recorder’s office to subdivide his land into plots for a residential community. Daeida decided to call the new development Hollywood, having first heard the name while on a trip home to Ohio. A fellow traveler mentioned that she owned an estate in Illinois called Hollywood, and Daeida was pleased with its connotation of nature, and culture.
Within a few years, Harvey had passed away but key stakeholders in the development enticed the Los Angeles Pacific Railway to bring in trolley service, sparking the growth that turned Hollywood into an upscale suburb that was eventually absorbed by the rapidly expanding city of Los Angeles. At that time, a parade of moviemakers was relocating to Los Angeles from the East Coast, in an attempt to escape the reach of Thomas Edison and his patents on the technology used to create motion pictures. They also viewed the warm, sunny climate in Los Angeles as an ideal setting for filming. Within a few years, more than a dozen studios had been established in Hollywood, making it the center of the young film industry.
Five of the Original Hollywood Studios