California, known as the Golden State, has always been portrayed as a place for
living the “good life.” Hollywood has taken a huge part in this view. As once said by the
stars of the gaudiest illumination, “There is a certain sort of place in America that is often
referred to as a ‘state of mind.’ Cape Cod, New Orleans, the Florida Keys. They are both
real and imaginary; they transcend. They exist on the ground and in the head. But
however fanciful these other enclaves may be, there is one that surpasses all: Hollywood.
The word conjures images of soundstage and Sunset Strip, of nightclubs and all sorts of
naughtiness, of movie palaces and extraordinary people.” A song by Red Hot Chili
Peppers, “Californication,” shows how Hollywood attempts to paint a picture of the life
of a person living in California. When it comes to entertainment, people have always
looked to Hollywood. From actors, to musicians, to movies, to music, Hollywood has
made the life of a Californian out to be living a dream.
The history of Hollywood can be traced back to 1853, where one adobe hut stood
on the foundation of what later would become the city of countless movie studios and
stars. In the 1880’s a couple by the name of Harvey and Daeida Wilcox moved to Los
Angeles from Topeka and bought 160 acres of land in the countryside west of the city. In
1883, Mrs. Wilcox returned to the city from a vacation and named their land
“Hollywood,” after meeting with an acquaintance who spoke of her homeland with such
a name. By 1900, the city, called Cahuenga, grew to a population of 500 and had several
new establishments including a post office, a hotel, and two markets.
In 1910 a director by the name of D. W. Griffith was sent to the west coast to film
a movie. He and his cast started filming in various places throughout Downtown Los
Angeles before ending up in the town of Hollywood. From 1908 to 1913, movies were