North Hollywood History

A Town is Born

Did you know that North Hollywood is the birthplace of California statehood? American history was forever changed in January 1847, when 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 their two countries.

Twenty-two years later, in 1869, newcomer Isaac Lankershim 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 our town site’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 our 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.