Hollywood Blog

The truth behind Hollywood's historical mysteries

History is full of dramatic tales that are well known and oft repeated. But what if some of the most famous – were not quite as we suppose? Here, Gaelyn Whitley Keith  revisits  historic mysteries many have gotten wrong…..One clear cut example is the naming of Hollywood.  Here is a hand written account from Margaret Virginia (Gigi) Whitley's memoir detailing the event that occured on her honeymoon with HJ Whitley in 1886.  Because there was no book writen others made up their own versions.  

HJ Whitley was concerned about a book that Dr. Palmer self-published which had incorrect information.  It is not surprising to find at the introduction of the book that Dr. Palmer himself stated that some information may be incorrect.  Here is a copy of a letter HJ Whitley wrote concerning this matter.

Many people continue to circulate this map as a recorded deed.  It is actually an advertisment from a bank that was published many years after the event.  If you look at street names, location of the Hollywood Hotel and many other facts you can see it is incorrect historically.  If you have the time go to the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office.  It has the actural February 1, 1886 deed from H. H. Wilcox.  The name Hollywood is not on the deed.  Even though this picture is at the California Historical Society it does not mean it is a deed.   I hope this will clear up some historical facts about Hollywood. That is why the best source comes from the person who actually is the Father of Hollywood, HJ Whitley.