DID YOU KNOW?
- The original name of the community of Northridge was Zelzah.
- By 1912, ranchers were lamenting the loss of their cowboys to the film studios. These new cowboy actors were paid far more for their movie work in the new Westerns than their work as ranch hands.
- Apricots sold for 65 cents per 30 lb. box in 1912.
- On March 15, 1915, Universal Studios was born. One story goes that the Secretary of the Navy ordered the Pacific Fleet up the Los Angeles River to fire a salute to the new film city.
- Universal Studios’ founder Carl Laemmle’s niece Carla Laemmle, now 100 years old, uttered the first words in a horror film in the 1931 “talkie”, Dracula (starring Bela Lugosi.) A dancer and actress, Ms. Laemmle is the last surviving performer in the original 1925 “Phantom of the Opera.”
- During WW2, a Victory Garden program began in nearly every Valley community.
- In 1942, it became a misdemeanor for any dog owner to allow his or her animal into a Victory Garden.
- A Lockheed P-38 became the first plane to travel at the speed of sound.
- In 1966, Burbank banned the mini-skirt in schools.
- By 1966, Department of Water and Power noted that people now used more water than farms did.
- By 1966, more than half the Valley work force was White Collar.
- In 1920, Burbank had 465 telephones, Van Nuys had 381. Callers needed to use the entire name of the towns rather than two prefix numbers employed by other cities.
- In 1812 and again in 1857, the Valley suffered great earthquakes. With so few people and virtually no structures, no casualties or damage were recorded.
- The first stoplight in the Valley was located at Ventura and Lankershim Blvds.
- Chatsworth gets its name from the English estate of the Duke of Devonshire.
- Harvard School was started in 1900 on the corner of Ventura and Coldwater Canyon.
- It snowed in the Valley in 1913.
- In 1913, San Fernando Valley had the world’s largest olive orchard, the largest film company, the largest earth dam and soon the largest river aqueduct.
- Van Nuys electric lights were turned on in 1913.
- In 1913, a librarian was paid $5/week. In 1919 telephone tolls were 10 cents and streetcars were 5 cents.
- Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball purchased their ranch house in Northridge in 1940 for $18,000.
For information about The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, please contact us at (818) 347-9665 PST, email us at email@example.com, or visit the Contact page.
Only a few places in the world are graced with a Mediterranean climate, and Southern California is one. The mild winters and warm to hot summers makes life in our region nearly ideal. Naturally, our gracious climate influences how we live. However, there are other factors beyond the weather that influence how we live – earthquake preparedness and wildfire safety are important examples.
Major things like geography and geology aren’t the only modifiers of our lives. There are subtle and downright mysterious things as well. The fact that most of us are second generation residents of the Valley, at best, surrounds us with a population willing to relocate and ready to try new things. When one adds transience to a car-culture, measuring distance in time rather than miles enters our thinking and behavior. (“How far is Tarzana from North Hollywood? Oh, about 20 minutes, if it isn’t rush hour.”)
Because the San Fernando Valley is on the same latitude as Oran, Algeria and Cairo, Egypt sun-protection is a reality and our lives are very different from Americans who live in up-state New York or Chicago. Our patio-culture, is a distinct reflection of a Spanish/Mexican heritage and speaks loudly of our emphasis on privacy and internal living.
Factors such as being surrounded by the largest Persian population outside of Iran, or enough Canadian ex-patriots to make Los Angeles the 4th largest Canadian city, makes for great kabob restaurants and enough support for an ice hockey team.
Your Museum Community believes that the way we live, and have lived, is important to study. We invite you to explore the kaleidoscopic richness of San Fernando Valley lifestyles with us.
For more information about The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, please contact us at(818) 347-9665 PST or community@TheMuseumSFV.org or visit the Contact page.
Several types of “communities” are considered in this section of The Museum’s website.
They include groups defined as:
- Political Organizations and units
- Los Angeles County
- Suburbs of the City of Los Angeles
- Independent cities in the San Fernando Valley
- Politically recognized communities such as neighborhood councils
- Regions of Ventura County adjacent to the Valley
- Canyon communities
- Ethnic Groups - past and present
- Special Interest Groups may be included in the “Lifestyles” section of the website.
Demographic factors such as age, professional status, medical needs and economic status may appear here.
The San Fernando Valley is comprised of five cities: Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, San Fernando, and Calabasas. Within the City of Los Angeles' portion of the “Valley,” are numerous communities offering residents who have brought and carry the traditions.
The additional cities within the San Fernando Valley include:
- Canoga Park
- Granada Hills
- Mission Hills
- North Hills
- North Hollywood
- Lakeview Terrace
- Panorama City
- San Fernando
- Sherman Oaks
- Studio City
- Sun Valley
- Toluca Lake
- Valley Village
- Van Nuys
- West Hills
- Woodland Hills
Unlike any other metropolis, the growth of transportation in the San Fernando Valley is storied. So much more than a trip down memory lane, transportation’s history, geography, and industry combined to set the region apart, in every sense. Separated from the Los Angeles basin by a mountain range, the transit challenges became the driving force behind the Valley’s singular identity. Your museum is committed to taking you on a journey through the great boulevards that emerged, the car culture that boomed and all the livelihoods that were borne as the great Valley was on the move.
Long before the birth of the automobile, the Valley made history when the Butterfield Stage Line made its first historic stop in the Cahuenga Pass, completing the first continental mail service. In the history of communications as well as transportation, this event can be considered as significant in its time as the rise of the Internet today.
Wagon drivers bringing the Valley’s vast agricultural bounty to the downtown markets and ports in Los Angeles endured the challenges of the legendary banditos and robbers in the passes, the torrents of mud that came with the rain, wreaking havoc on the hillsides. It was an arduous journey in every respect. Soon, the tracks were laid for railroads to take over the hauls from the mules, with the early train lines paving the way for the great Southern Pacific Railway. People movers like the Pacific Electric Red Car made history, the trolley being a fascinating and often romantic chapter in the Valley’s comings and goings. Still, what we consider a short commute to places like Pasadena was several day’s journey. Many left for work in the other Valley, the San Gabriel, when the resort industry boomed, and keeping in touch with loved ones at home in San Fernando Valley meant penning a letter.
The legends of the banditos and stories of the trolleys were left behind as tunnels were chiseled and freeways built. With the Ford Motor Company making its automobiles on the Valley premises, the car culture was born right alongside the aviation industry.
The Valley was now up and running, still geographically separate but well- connected to the Los Angeles basin…and the world.
For more information about The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, please contact us at (818) 347-9665 PST or info@TheMuseumSFV.org.