Woodland Hills is an affluent neighborhood in the southwestern region of the San Fernando Valley which is located east of Calabasas and west of Tarzana. On the north it is bordered by West Hills, Canoga Park, and Winnetka, and on the south by the Santa Monica mountains.
Some neighborhoods are in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Running east–west through the community are U.S. Route 101 (Ventura Freeway) and Ventura Boulevard, whose western terminus is at Valley Circle Boulevard in Woodland Hills.
The area was inhabited for approximately 8,000 years by Native Americans of the Fernandeño-Tataviam and Chumash-Venturaño tribes that lived in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills and close to the Arroyo Calabasas (Calabasas Creek) tributary of the Los Angeles River in present-day Woodland Hills. The first Europeans to enter the San Fernando Valley were the Portola Expedition in 1769, exploring 'Alta California' for Spanish missions and settlements locations. Seeing it from present-day Sepulveda Pass, the oak savanna inspired them to call the area El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de Los Encinos (Valley of St. Catherine of Bononia of the Oaks). The Mission San Fernando Rey de España (Mission San Fernando) was established in 1797 and controlled the Valley's land, including future Woodland Hills.
Ownership of the southern half of the valley, south of present-day Roscoe Boulevard from Toluca Lake to Woodland Hills, by Americans began in the 1860s. First Isaac Lankershim (as the "San Fernando Farm Homestead Association") in 1869, then Isaac Lankershim's son, James Boon Lankershim, and Isaac Newton Van Nuys (as the "Los Angeles Farm & Milling Company") in 1873, and finally in the "biggest land transaction ever recorded in Los Angeles County" a syndicate led by Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times with Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Gen. Moses Sherman and others (as the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company) in 1910.
Victor Girard Kleinberger bought 2,886 acres (1,168 ha) in the area from Chandler's group and founded the town of Girard in 1922. He sought to attract residents and businesses by developing an infrastructure, advertising in newspapers, and planting 120,000 trees. His 300 pepper trees formed a canopy over Canoga Ave. between Ventura Boulevard and Saltillo St. became Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #93 in 1972. The community of Girard was eventually incorporated into Los Angeles, and in 1945 it became known as Woodland Hills.
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