On Tuesday, the City of West Hollywood celebrated its 27th anniversary as an independent city. Although the municipality is one of the youngest in Los Angeles County, the town from which the city sprang—originally a settlement for railroad workers—dates back to 1896.
West Hollywood owes its existence to one of Southern California's first interurban electric railways, the Pasadena and Pacific. Assembled by Moses H. Sherman and his nephew Eli P. Clark from failed and fragmentary predecessors, the Pasadena and Pacific connected the booming city of Los Angeles with the beach town of Santa Monica. Along the way, it crossed a sprawling coastal plain dotted with marshes, tar pits, and citrus groves. Today's Santa Monica Boulevard traces the railway's route across what was then called the Cahuenga Valley.