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Hollywood Becomes A City

Hollywood Community

The United States government recognized the existence of Hollywood in November 1987 by establishing a post office in the second hotel, with Linus Matthews as postmaster. Over the next six years the village of Hollywood was faced with three pressing problems that the Cahuenga Valley improvement Association, were recognized in 1895, seemed incapable of solving: Hollywood streets were not getting attention in proportion to the tax levied by the county on Hollywood property; a lack of school facilities; and a growing sentiment for prohibition.

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The Hollywood Board of trade was formed in June 1903 to supersede the improvement Association, and the following months meeting it was suggested that many of the communities problems could be solved by incorporating as a city. Debate was lengthy and heated. The probable cost of city government divided the village, with Harvey Wilcox's widow, now Mrs. Philo Beveridge, and a large following opposed to the idea. A poll showed a majority favoring the plan, though, and in August 1903 a petition was submitted to the Los Angeles board of supervisors requesting the incorporation of the city of Hollywood. 62 voters, of the estimated area population of 700, had signed the petition.

Hollywood Cityhood

The election was held November 14, 1903, at the pass school. Balloting began at 6 AM and was brisk until mid-morning. Outline farmers straggled in throughout the rest of the day to cast their ballots until the polls closed at 5 PM. At the count, proponents and opponents looked at each other across the crowded room. The first three ballots were against incorporation. The next was for it, then two more against it, and so on until 126 ballots had been counted and the opponents’ majority of 13 was reflected in their happy faces. The 127th ballot was in favor, and from that point on the vote shifted in favor. The final tally showed 88 for incorporation and 77 against.

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So Hollywood was a city of the sixth class, with its corporate geographic limits extending from Normandie Avenue on the east, to Fairfax Avenue on the west, and from the top of the Santa Monica Mountains on the north, to Delongpre and Fountain Avenues on the south.

Annexation

For the next six years, Hollywood seemed to operate like any small town in the country. However, due to uncertain municipal and water conditions, it was decided that Hollywood could no longer remain its own city. Elections were held in 1910 and it was agreed that Hollywood would be annexed to the city of Los Angeles. The geographic boundaries, however, would remain the same even though Hollywood was now a district within the city of Los Angeles. One of the last official acts of Hollywood's board of trade was to change the name of Prospect Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard.

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Street numbers came to Hollywood when the Los Angeles gas company installed the first gas meters in 1904. Distances between houses were measured a bicycle with a rag tied around the tire, and, for identification, the houses were given numbers, numbering in four directions from Hollywood Blvd. and Cahuenga. During the first year of incorporation the eight member Hollywood Board of Trustees was busy doing all the government business. Several ordinances were enacted including, the prohibition of the sale of liquor except by pharmacists; prohibiting the operation of slot machines, card machines and other mechanical devices in the city of Hollywood for money or other articles of value; and prohibiting getting drunk or acting in a disorderly manner.

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Vintage and Historic Hollywood Photos

Vintage photos of the Cahuenga Valley and Hollywood are best seen on the hollywoodphotographs.com website. With more than 8000 photos, from which to choose, viewers can see many historic photos of what Hollywood looked like at the turn of the 20th century.

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