-->History of Burbank, California - BumbleBee Junk

History of Burbank, California

What follows is a brief history of what would eventually become the city of Burbank. In some small way we like to think we’re part of the city’s history as the go-to junk removal company in Burbank. We’re one of many companies who serve the residents of this city, the hisotry of which begins roughly with the Spanish exploration of the area in the 18th century.

In 1967, a geography student at UCLA, Ronald Lockman, authored a master’s thesis on the history of Burbank. Thanks to the efforts of Wes Clark who digitized this thesis as well as many other Burbank-related documents in 2005, we once again have access to this information and use it as the basis for this brief overview of Burbank’s history from pre-history to current times.

While just about every history of Southern California cities begins by mentioning Indian settlements prior to the arrival of the Spanish explorers, Lockman states that no such settlements existed nor did the Spanish really settle the area and any notable settlement began in 1887. Regardless most histories of Burbank begin with a mention of the landscape, environment and weather of the Los Angeles basin. We don’t need to mention that here since just about everybody knows that Burbank and Los Angeles enjoy a Temperate climate.

The real history of development Burbank, and indeed the rest of California starts in 1769 with the Spanish expedition which originated in Mexico and which included the famous Juniperro Serra, father of the California missions system. Beginning with the mission founded in San Diego in 1769 the network of missions moved northward over the years and the mission closest to what is now Burbank is the Mission San Fernando which was founded in 1797.

Junipero Serra California Missionary Statue
Junipero Serra California Missionary Statue

Photo credit: Wikimedia

The area that would become Burbank ultimately gave way from missions to Ranchos which were grants of land by the Spanish crown to California residents. The two large ranchers in the area were called La Providencia and San Rafael. From the early 1800s through the 1840s there was ongoing tension between the Mexican government in the church as to whether the missions should continue to hold property in these tensions did result an actual combat between Californians and the Government of Mexico.

Just as these tensions boil over into a conflict the situation became moved in light of the fact that the United States was granted the Territory of California after having defeated Mexico and the Mexican American war. By 1847 last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico sign the agreement handing California over to representatives of the United States. It was shortly after this that California was admitted to the Union in 1850.

Americans from back east such as Jonathan Scott purchased land in the Burbank area–the Ranchos that has been owned by previous Mexican Californians. Shortly after the American Civil War, dentist David Burbank made his way just southern California and also purchased land which is been part of the former Ranchos be. Because of this the town we now call Burbank bears his name.

City Founder David S. Burbank
City Founder David S. Burbank

Photo credit: Public Domain Pictures

From the 1860s to the turn of the 20th Century the Burbank area continued to expand, although early growth was slow due to the fact that the main occupation was farming. However once railroad Lines were established between Northern and Southern California in the late 1800s and then with the Advent of the Pacific electric Railroad in the first decade of the 20th Century growth in Burbank and the greater Los Angeles area was able to boom. Farming was replaced by building and businesses in Burbank he came not only a suburb for the City of Los Angeles but the destination in its own right, attracting businesses like movie studios Aviation companies and more. Burbank’s airport was the main airport in the region. It’s still a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of LAX to this day.

Pacific Electric Red Car
Pacific Electric Red Car

Photo credit: Wikimedia

For the last hundred years from about 1920 to today Burbank has been home to Manny entertainment Industry companies and is still home to movie studios like Warner Bros. and Walt Disney. Despite being home to several billion dollar companies, Burbank retains the feel have a small town where are neighbors know each other and have been here for years. That’s what makes Burbank so attractive in the midst of so much urban sprawl.

History of Burbank from days gone by

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