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Monday, February 4, 2008

WEDDINGTON CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HISTORY OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Just some of what the Weddington family did…..

· Came to North Hollywood in 1880’s as ranch managers for the Lankershim/Van Nuys family
· Bought and begin farming their own land at Lankershim and Chandler
· Wilson Weddington serves as Sheriff of our community
· Begin operation of Weddington Brothers General Store
· 1892 Petition for a U S Post Office and Official recognition as the “Town of Toluca ”. Wilson Weddington is named first Postmaster for the town and the first U S Post Office is set up in the living room of the Weddington House.
· 1892 Fight to bring Southern Pacific Railroad to Valley. While they succeed, the railroad names the new station “Lankershim”. Area farmers, thanks to the Weddingtons – can now ship their crops across the country and beyond.
· Weddington family manage and then purchase the Bonner Packing Company. The largest and most advanced fruit packing and canning company in the region. Agriculture now booms.
· Weddington builds the first theater in the community – the El Portal Theater. They build the theater on the site of their house.
· The Weddington House is moved 300 feet north, just across from the train station and town square.
· Recognizing that farmers need capitol to be successful, the Weddington’s form the first local bank. That bank will become Secuity Bank, and continues to stand on the Weddington’s old homestead property at Lankershim and Chandler . Weddington manages that bank for more than 30 years.
· The Weddington House is moved again (to the present site) to make room for the bank building.
· The Weddington family makes a gift of the first fire station to the community, which still stands today, on Weddington Street – just behind the El Portal Theatre. Later, when that station becomes two small, they build a second larger station, which still stands today as Fire Station Number 60, at the corner of Chandler and Vineland.
· Knowing that a growing community needs open space, the Weddington family leads an effort to build North Hollywood Park . Later, Weddington will fight to build the North Hollywood Library, which still stands in the Park.
· Weddington family later extends their commitment to open space by donating farm land for the creation of both North and South Weddington Parks .
· When Hollywood would “boom” with studios, the Weddington family would argue to change the name of Lankershim to North Hollywood – hoping to encourage studios to expand to the Valley.
· The Weddington family would create the first North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the first North Hollywood JayCee’s.
· The Weddington family would help in the fight to bring water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles , and later argue for the creation of the 101 Freeway, to create a direct transportation link from Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley

These are just some of the things the Weddington family did for our community. Please help us preserve their heritage.

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