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Happy Birthday Van Nuys, You're 100!

Photo PD-US via Los Angeles Public Library's Photo Collection
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The township of Van Nuys was born 100 years ago today in 1911 when more than 10,000 prospective buyers showed up to a public auction and barbeque (beans and meat but no beer, it was dry town) held by a group of Los Angeles landowners to, "purchase lots inside the former Lankershim ranch heralding the future development of the San Fernando Valley," reports the Daily News.

"Spaniards had founded the historic Mission San Fernando Rey, following centuries of Native American habitation," notes the Daily News, followed by farmers and settlements driven by railroad development. The founding of Van Nuys birthed the suburban concept of Los Angeles and, "sparked a strategic Valley land rush, historians say."

The largest subdivision LA County would ever record -- Tract 1000 -- was developed on some of the 47,500 acres south of Roscoe Blvd that was once a part of a wheat-growing empire. The plan included development of "three 'wonder towns' - Van Nuys, Marian (now Reseda) and Owensmouth (now Canoga Park) - linked by a meandering super boulevard," reports the Daily News. Sherman Way, "flanked by rail and buggy lanes, boasted 14 miles of roses, palms and electric lights. And a speed limit of 100 mph."