LA Weekly: The Origin Story of Tarzana, A Neighborhood Named After an Apeman


From LA Weekly

Once, shortly after we had moved to the Ranch, Dad and I were out riding together. We paused at a high point from where we could look out on most of the Valley below, stretching across the Santa Susanna Mountains across the far end. Neither one of us spoke and then my father waved his arms to indicate the vista before us and said, half seriously and half-joking, “This is mine, all mine.”—Joan Burroughs, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzanby Robert W. Fenton

It took God millions of years to get Tarzana and me together … and I have to give him credit for pulling off at least one very successful job. —Edgar Rice BurroughsTarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan by John Taliaferro

During the previous century’s teens and ’20s, Los Angeles County was a commercially driven fairyland.

Everyone was trying to be someone else — or somewhere else. Theda Bara, the screen vamp whose stage name was an anagram for “Arab Death,” was really a nice, bookish intellectual from Cincinnati, Ohio. The gates of Babylon, left over from the filming of D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance, loomed over Sunset Junction for years after the film was completed. Premiers were held at Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian theaters, and middle-class Angelenos moved to meticulously planned developments like “Hollywoodland,” a faux-European village of thatched-roof houses and riding trails. And out in the dusty San Fernando Valley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, lorded over an estate fit for a colonial governor, until it became financially prudent to subdivide it away.

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