Hollywood was founded in 1857. Accounts of the name coming from imported Englishholly bushes are said to be incorrect. The name actually came about, the story goes, because the wife of Harvey Henderson Wilcox, a real-estate developer in the late 1880s, was travelling on a train when she met a woman whose home was called "Hollywood." When Mrs. Wilcox returned home she gave that name to her ranch.
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903. In 1910, the townsmen voted to become part of the City of Los Angeles to secure a badly needed water supply.
The distance of Southern California from New Jersey also made it more difficult for Thomas Edison to enforce his motion picture patents. At the time, Edison owned almost all the patents relevant to motion picture production and, in the East, filmmakers acting independently of Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company were often sued or enjoined by Edison and his agents. Thus, filmmakers working in California could work independent of Edison's control. If he sent agents to California, word would usually reach Los Angeles before the agents did and the filmmakers could escape to nearby Mexico.
The famous Hollywood sign originally read "Hollywoodland." It was erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in the hills above Hollywood. For several years the sign was left to deteriorate. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in and offered to remove the last four letters and repair the rest. The sign, located in Griffith Park, is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which also manages the venerable Walk of Fame.
The word "Hollywood" is also colloquially used to refer to the motion picture and television industry in Southern California, the term deriving from the famous community.
The first Academy Awards presentation ceremony took place on May 16, 1929 during a banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets were $10.00 and there were two hundred and fifty people in attendance.