Monday, January 29, 2007

Watts Turns 100; or, The Short Life of Former Cities

The City of Los Angeles has a lot of communities, some of which were once municipalities of their own. Of the 178 current communities in LA City, there were only 11 cities that once existed as their own municipality and are now part of the City of Los Angeles.

Here's who they are and how long they were around for...

Barnes City: 14 months (Feb. 13, 1926 to April 11, 1927)
Eagle Rock: 12 years (March 1, 1911 to May 17, 1923)
Hollywood: 6 years (Nov. 9, 1903 to Feb. 7, 1910)
Hyde Park: 2 years (May 12, 1921 to May 17, 1923)
San Pedro: 21.5 years (Mar. 1, 1888 to Aug. 28, 1909)
Sawtelle: 15.5 years (Nov. 26, 1906 to July 13, 1922)
Tujunga: 7 years (May 1, 1925 to March 7, 1932)
Venice (which started out as Ocean Park): 21.5 years (Feb. 17, 1904 to Nov. 25, 1925)
Watts: 19 years (May 23, 1907 to May 29, 1926)
Wilmington: 4 years (Dec. 27, 1905 to Aug. 28, 1909)

The oldest City to last before becoming part of LA were the two coastal communities for Venice and San Pedro, with Watts coming close behind at 19 years.

Also, this May, Watts will be turning 100 years old. What celebrations are planned, I wonder.

Source: LA County Chief Administrative Office.


Marshall Astor said...

Nothing I know of is specifically planned for Wilmington's 100th, but the Port of LA is also celebrating it's 100th this year and is doing a series of events to mark the occasion.

Don said...

I thought most of the valley communities were once independent cities: Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, etc.

AVN said...

Let us not forget the ancient city of Tropico (1911-1917). It rejected annexation to the City of Los Angeles in one election, then voted to be annexed to the City of Glendale.

Tropico may have included parts of Atwater Village which are now part of the City of LA.

Source: Page 3 of this PDF, "A History of Atwater Village."

- Atwater Village Newbie

Anonymous said...

Where was Barnes City?

darleene said...

Yeah, what is present day Barnes City?

Also, I'm surprised not more San Fernando Valley neighborhoods used to be their own cities. For example, Panorama City - its a common mistake among new-to-L.A. journalists, in my experience.

LA City Nerd said...

Barnes City was over there west of Palms, south(ish) of present-day Mar Vista. Part of "Barnes City" was annexed to Culver City; but Mr. A. Barnes didn't want that to happen so he pushed about a year later for the rest of his "Circus town" (yes, it was formed around his Circus!) to be part of LA City. It's part of the reason the lines are so funky between LA and Culver City. There's more to it, but that's basically the story.

Adam Villani said...

Outside of Tujunga, which isn't technically in the SFV anyway, and the cities that remain independent today, the component parts of the San Fernando Valley were never incorporated as cities on their own. Remember your L.A. history --- almost the entire SFV was annexed in one chunk so that the landowners could take advantage of the aqueduct.

I'm trying to remember other cities in L.A. County that lost their independent status through consolidation. I've seen a list before; it included Tropico (to Glendale), Belmont Shore (to Long Beach, Lordsburg (to La Verne), but I don't remember the others.
Wasn't Ocean Park part of Santa Monica, not Venice?

I didn't realize Barnes City had been split between Culver City and L.A.; I thought it had all gone to Culver City. Actually, according to this website, it sounds like part of Barnes's property was annexed by Culver City but the rest incorporated on its own but then quickly became annexed to Los Angeles:

Monterey Park and Montebello originally incorporated together but quickly split afterward. Long Beach was originally Willmore City, then briefly disincorporated. Cerritos was originally Dairy Valley. Similarly, across the O.C. line, La Palma was originally Dairyland and Cypress was originally Dairy City.

Not sure of any other changes in incorporation status off the top of my head. I may have missed a few.

Meg said...

Out of curiousity, is there any good resource for finding maps pf these things? Does the city provide a map of what those blue community signs denote?

It actually took me several months living in WeHo to realize that Hollywood was not a city. Tragic.

Missing LA terribly.