Hollywood was founded in 1857. Accounts of the name coming from imported English holly 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 Los Angeles to secure a badly needed water supply. In November 2002, a measure calling for Hollywood to secede from Los Angeles and form its own incorporated city failed by a wide margin.
In the early 1900s, motion picture production companies from New York and New Jersey started moving to sunny California because of the good weather and longer days. There were no electric lights then, and the best source of illumination to adequately expose the film was natural sunlight. The first movie studio in the Hollywood area was founded in 1911 by David Horsley for the Nestor Company. In the same year, another fifteen Independents settled there.
Hollywood and the film industry of the 1930s are described in P. G. Wodehouse's novel Laughing Gas (1936) (see 1936 in literature) and in Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run (1941) (see 1941 in literature), and parodied in Terry Pratchett's novel Moving Pictures which itself is a takeoff of ''Singing In The Rain.