When Portuguese explorer Joao Rodrigues Cabrillo arrived offshore from what is now West Hollywood, some 5,000 Native American Tongva Indians canoed into the Pacific Ocean to greet him. Little did they know that he was about to lay claim to their land. The native inhabitants already had been ravaged by diseases brought to their lands by the Spaniards who preceded Cabrillo. Such was life for the original population in what evolved into California.
One of the attractions for the early settlers of the area was the pitch they could draw from the pits (la brea) to waterproof their belongings. The natives used the tar for fuel. Eventually, the area became part of the Rancho LaBrea, with a variety of owners holding the land. The town of Sherman, named for Moses Sherman, was set up by him and partners in the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, which later became part of the Pacific Electric Railway. As a railroad town, Sherman earned a reputation for loose regulations, liquor availability (this was Prohibition times, folks) and for being a draw for eccentrics.
Never fear. Those were the bad old days. Today, you can safely make a call to a West Hollywood mobile notary and have him or her meet you wherever it is convenient. You sign, he or she puts an official seal to the document attesting to the correctness of the signature, and you're free to explore what became West Hollywood. The name was applied by Sherman himself and the town formally adopted it in 1925. Efforts by Los Angeles to annex the town were deflected and as part of the county, West Hollywood could continue to sponsor gambling, something that was not legal in the big city. Sunset Boulevard provided addresses for casinos, night clubs and other outlets for that activity. Even people connected with the Hollywood filming industry became enamored of West Hollywood's free and easy ways.
By the 1960s, the gloss was off the gambling business and things changed. The Hippie movement brought a rollicking music publishing industry to town, along with the "Flower Children" who were adherents of the culture. Another amazing immigration occurred when some 5,000 to 6,000 Russian Jews escaping the tyranny in their own country came to town. Behind only New York, West Hollywood became host to the largest concentration of Russian-speakers in the United States.
Among the notables who crossed the line from Hollywood to West Hollywood was actor Sal Mineo. He lived there in the 1970s, but was, alas, murdered in his carport. Other stars who graced the town at one time or another were Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, the Gabor sisters and John Wayne. Drew Barrymore lived there until she was 7, moved to Sherman Oaks and returned to West Hollywood when she was 14. Eccentric multi-millionaire Howard Hughes also had a West Hollywood address for a time.
The city has been a gathering place for the LGBT community. More than a third of the current residents identify themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. The town has a reputation for leading out in efforts to protect and advocate for these groups and has made itself a desired vacation Mecca for those who fall into the listed categories. It hosts the Los Angeles Pride Parade and has an abundance of bars, restaurants and other amenities that cater to the LGBT crowd.
If you are into architecture, stroll the Fountain Avenue-Harper Avenue-Havenhurst Drive area, which has a high concentration of landmark 1920s Spanish Revival and Art Deco buildings. Noted architect Leland Bryant had a hand in some of the design here.
Or try the western stretch of Melrose Avenue between Fairfax Avenue and Doheny Drive, where trendy clothing boutiques, interior design shops, restaurants and antique stores abound. Any one of West Hollywood's many attractive neighborhoods, in fact, would be the ideal place to stop, call for a traveling notary and have that paper extending Power of Attorney to someone you trust signed, notarized and prepared for safekeeping until needed.
The Mobile Notaries are in West Hollywood in these areas 90069, 90048, 90046 and 90038. The Mobile notary will quickly come to you both day and night right to your place!