Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Official Establishment of Hollywood in 1887

Harvey Wilcox – Registered Hollywood in 1887. Wikipedia image

 

Today marks the 134th anniversary of Hollywood’s official registration with the Los Angles County recorders office in 1887. I know I would like to go there and see what the beginning looks like. We need to take out the top ten list to avoid any tear in the time continuum. James’s Oldsmobile is ready so let’s get going.

James’s Oldsmobile from Eternal Road – The final stop

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Official Establishment of Hollywood in 1887 by John W.Howell Β©2021

10 If you go, do not say anything bad about Kansas. If you do, at best, no one will hear you. At worst, Harvey Wilcox will be standing right behind you. (For your information, Mahpee, Harvy, the guy who registered Hollywood, came to Southern California from Kansas. I think I would say “go Jayhawkers,” and walk away.)

9 If you go, do not ask Tiny, the WWF champ, for directions to the Walk of Fame. If you do, at best, Tiny will be on his lunch break and not hear you for the chewing. At worst, Tiny will realize he has no idea where the Walk of Fame is located since it is not in place yet since it was built in 1953. (you must know what happens when Tiny gets confused, Maichail. I would just lay back and enjoy the pinwheel drop. We have plenty of Ben-Gay.)

8 If you go, do not use any curse words. If you do, at best, Wilcox won’t hear you. At worst, you will look up after hitting your thumb with a hammer, and he’ll be there. (Harvey Wilcox came from Topeka to establish a utopian vice free community. Your blue language has his ears burning, Maitland. Speaking of burning, I wonder how Harvey’s eyes feel boring into yours?)

7 If you go, do not mention alcohol. If you do, at best,Β Daeida Wilcox will be otherwise distracted. At worst, she and Harvey will think you need saving. (The two of them are prohibitionists, Makaio. You can now look forward to an interdiction and 24 hours’ worth of instruction on the evils of alcohol.)

6 If you go, do not scoff at the name Hollywood. If you do, at best, the Wilcocks will be in the city. At worst, they will overhear you. (Since Daeida came up with the name, Makin, Harvey wants satisfaction. His second just hit you with a glove made of armor. When you wake up the whole thing may have blown over. doubt it.)

5 If you go, do not ask about where the Hollywood sign went. If you do, at best, no one will care. At worst, Wilcox will think it a great idea. (Now you have altered time, Maks. The Hollywood sign was erected in the hills in 1923 and originally advertised a new community called Hollywoodland. The sign originally said Hollywoodland but was shortened in 1943. What are we going to do with this sign in the middle of town?)

4 If you go, do not mention film making. If you do, at best, only the workers will hear you. At worst, Wilcox will want to know what you are talking about. (You better not detail that in 1900 filmmakers fled the State of New Jersey to get away from Thomas Edison’s attempts to monopolize the industry. If you do, Malek old Wilcox will have a heart attack. Works of the devil in his mind.)

3 If you go, do not talk about the Oscars. If you do, at best, people will think you are talking about your uncle. At worst, Wilcox will get wind of your conversation. (Sure enough, Mallory, Wilcox wants you in jail. The idea of promoting film making he believes to be a sin. Since the first Oscars were awarded in 1929, you could have skipped the discussion. I guess it is too late. Here comes two of Hollywood’s finest.)

2 If you go, do not comment on the streets of Hollywood. If you do, at best, you won’t be heard. At worst, Wilcox will be right there when you make your statement. (Wilcox was the guy who laid out the dirt streets lined with pepper trees, Maloney. Although not appealing to everyone, they had a certain sparseness he favored. He is giving you a chance to run. I would take it.)

1 If you go, do not recommend planting English holly to back up the name Hollywood. If you do, at best, the guy planting pepper trees will ignore you. At worst, Wilcox will like the idea. (Unfortunately, Malyn English Holly needs more water than that available in Los Angles’ desert climate. Now that Wilcox planted all that holly, he is looking to you to find a way to irrigate it. Put down that watering can. You are going to need more than that.)

81 comments

  1. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    I’d surely ask about the sign and be in trouble for it. πŸ˜‚ Your “Top Ten” surprised me, John, because I grew up in Southern California and never heard any of this. Guess I was part of the “California dreamin’ generation.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We hardly ever pay attention to the history closest to us. Thanks, Gwen. 😁

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Interesting facts, John and I’m not a fan of Hollywood. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was fun to learn the town was founded on the idea that it would be a sin free utopia. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Hollywood definitely turned into something different than he planned. It’s rather amazing actually.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I thought the same thing. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa, that town sure changed from the original idea by it’s founder.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes it did. Good thing he passed before that happened. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I wonder what they’d think, if they’d known what it would become…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Since he was a conservative he probably would have burned the place down. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. …unless he had an idea of the amount of money it would make πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not sure it would matter. He made a lot of money in real estate back in Kansas.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t think old Harvey would be crazy about what’s happened to the place since he’s been gone.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Can you say,”apoplectic?” πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha! I think he might have asked for a shot of something stronger than sarsaparilla after getting a tour of the place in present day. And the Coen Brothers would have wanted to do business with him, most definitely.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. For sure, Thanks, Pilgrim.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So, Hollywood was founded as “a utopian vice free community”? Oops . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oops is right. Thanks, Liz.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. πŸ˜€ You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. And to think I thought it was named after it became the mecca of movie making!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I found the name thingy very interesting. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Wait, “vice free community” and “prohibition” – this is the same Hollywood that exists today? Maybe California can tap the energy of Harvey Wilcox spinning in his grave and put it to use charging Teslas.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you are right. Better than nuclear energy.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Did you intentionally leave out the part where are a freak tornado picked up the ‘land’ portion of the Hollywood sign and dropped it in Kansas ? ! ? There by inspiring the Wizard of Oz story ? And munchkins ? And Tiny ? Remember this only needs to be told 99 more times.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hollywood has some not so nice connotations for me now, but if I think about the obvious meaning of the name – Holly Wood – it’s actually quite nice? I didn’t know the founder was from Kansas.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Noelle. Yes he and his wife came to LA from Kansas. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  12. No cursing? No alcohol? Hmm, things have changed a bit over the years, haven’t they? Interesting facts well told, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Triple OOPs!!! I’m joining Liz…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. She loves company. Thanks, Billy Ray.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I was surprised to see you mention Daeida Wilcox Beveridge. She was essentially a real estate developer, and she courted one of my favorite painters, Paul de LongprΓ©, whom she thought could add a bit of culture to the neighborhood.

    She offered him the site of her former Hollywood home for his estate, and the painter accepted, with thanks. The three acre site on Cahuenga Boulevard just north of Prospect Avenue (today’s Hollywood Boulevard) later was enlarged by Beveridge’s gift of an adjoining lot, which allowed de LongprΓ© to expand his gardens.

    I’ll bet anything she looked past a lot of wining and dining at the de LongprΓ© home!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a super edition to the story of the Wilcoxs. Sounds like she was a little more liberal than Harvey. Thanks, Linda.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Wow! It’s amazing what Hollywood morphed into from the original idea the Wilcoxes started it from. Thanks for sharing, John!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks for another great glimpse into history, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Soooz. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I graduated from Hollywood High School and walked down Hollywood Blvd. every day to school. Crossed Vine Streer, Wilcox Street, and passed Graumann’s Chinese theater. I spent a lot of time in that area and did not know any of the above, except that the sign was originally Hollywoodland. Thanks for the history lesson, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. I’m glad I could help with the history of the LA area. You would have been the envy of every midwest school girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Harvey might be just a tad wigged out about how Hollywood has morphed into its current condition. Nice informative list, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think he would be too. Thanks, Monika

      Liked by 2 people

  19. This is interesting, John. Are the pepper trees still there?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They were pretty much eradicated when the black scale (disease) threatened the orange groves. The trees also heaved up the concrete sidewalks with their roots so most were taken out and palms planted instead. There were Peruvian pepper trees and not the kind for seasoning. Thanks, Jacquie.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Old Harvey sounds like a blast to hang out with.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Doesn’t he? πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I did a lot of research about the beginning of Hollywood for my latest endeavor into the world of writing. And I got to admit, even I learned something today. But I differ on one thing. The wife was the driving force. I think the husband just more of less went along. You know, a “Happy wife, happy life” sort of thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He lost the use of his legs so maybe he allowed her a full head of steam. She was the one who donated the land to begin Hollywood.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I’ve never been to California. History will do just fine. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear you. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  23. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Great post, John. Some nice history I didn’t know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. as always, I’ll add a couple from Ray: 0) if you go, grow a beard like Harvey Wilcox and -1) If you are planning to go, first – marry Harvey Wilcox and become a history πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All good adds. Harvey looks like someone with no sense of humor so marrying him might not be worth it. Especially for Ray. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha πŸ˜† no doubt πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  25. A bit of irony that Hollywood was founded by prohibitionists, who believed films were a sin. They must be rolling over in their graves. Great post, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure they are, Mark. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. I knew NONE of this. Your research is always impressive, but this is rather exceptional. I too wondered about the pepper trees. It happens to be one of my least favorite spots of all time, so I wonder if those trees came into view, would I like it any better. Takes very little for me to change lanes if one brays nature, well…when she’s not snowing buckets. Films a sin…another head shake.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think the pepper trees would help. I had some fleeting experience with studio types and finally ended up threatening a lawsuit to get them to abide by the agreements of our contract. Was not a very pleasant experience for sure. So I understand your feelings for the town.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s cold and synthetic. I know now why Bill Hicks caled it Hell-A.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I finally had to get on the phone with the head of the studio to explain the amount of damages they were going to incur. He finally stepped in and all was forgiven. (of course)

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It was. A lot of stress though.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Stress lurks like fog ready to roll in at any moment. sigh

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I got a real good taste of sleazy, which, unfortunately, ran all the way to the top.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. You can use it for one of your stories.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. There is always that. 😁

        Liked by 2 people

  27. Wow, look how far they’ve come from being “vice free”! Great history, John. I had no idea Hollywood started out that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t either, Deborah. Thank you. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  28. This is very witty, John, and it provides me with a lot of new information too. I didn’t know much about the establishment of Hollywood.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t either. Thanks, Robbie.

      Liked by 2 people

  29. That was fun – and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about the beginning of Hollywood!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Pamela.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. […] Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Official Establishment of Hollywood in 1887 β€” Read on johnwhowell.com/2021/02/01/top-ten-things-not-to-do-at-the-official-establishment-of-hollywood-in-1887/ […]

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    1. Thank you for the mention.

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  31. This was fascinating, John. I didn’t know anything about Wilcox or establishing Hollywood. I wonder how many times old Wilcox has rolled over in his grave since filming movies began? I don’t think I can count that high.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. I think it is continuous. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

  32. Interesting Facts… πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, there are many interesting things about Hollywood. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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