The History of Burbank, CA

Not many people living in Burbank, CA know the history behind it, so here we bring you a little bit of history about this great city.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailing on behalf of the Spanish King in 1542, was the first to chart and name islands of California. To encourage people to settle in California, the Spanish government granted tracts of land to the Spanish Dons. Burbank was part of these tracts called San Rafael and La Providencia. The Spanish government held land in California until 1847. Even Russia settled and tried to claim California, but the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 stopped the settlements.

In 1867, Dr. David Burbank, a dentist from Maine, settled in Burbank, thus naming it. Dr. Burbank purchased the land tracts of San Rafael and La Providendcia. However, in 1873, he sold tracts to the Southern Pacific Railroad and in 1886, to a consortium of men who surveyed it for business districts and residential areas. In 1887, the city of Burbank was officially founded.

From the late 1800’s to the 1900’s, Burbank grew substantially, especially during WWI with the defense/aircraft industries being established, as well as the banking industry, social and civil organizations. In addition, during the 1930’s Burbank saw the entertainment industry become established, i.e., Columbia Studios and Walt Disney Productions.

The population increased from about 12,000 to 90,155 from 1950 to 1960’s. Growth of various Burbank’s industries also increased along with many capital improvement programs. Today, Burbank is billed as the “media capital of the world,” where entertainment has now replaced the defense industry as the largest employer. Its residents now raise and own horses, as well as growing some of the world’s best wineries. It is home to NBC, Jay Leno‘s show and many other studios, large and small.