Sunday, July 30, 2006

History ~ Work in Progress ~

A Shopping Center Store

From The Chamber of Commerce of Encino, California.

In some ways typical of Southern California, Encino is also a place of unique origins. Located in the oak-dotted foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, with both the Encino Springs and the nearby Sepulveda Pass, the area naturally became one of the permanent villages of local Grabrielino Indians as well as an important trading area between Gabrielinos and near by Chumash.

Encino became a known part of the larger world in 1769, when Gasper de Portola was sent by King Carlos III of Spain to search for the harbor of Monterey. California was claimed for Spain, and securing the northern borders of Alta California became a priority. As governor of Baja California, de Portola headed north on his search for the Monterey region. The expedition de Portola led was greeted by several hundred Indians near the Encino Springs under the mighty oak trees that would give Encino it?s name, for Encino is Spanish for "oak tree."

Within a generation, Encino Springs was known throughout California. Building upon the earlier Indian trading routes, this area became the crossroads of the El Camino Real that went east to the Cahuenga Pass and Los Angeles and west to Calabasas and Ventura, and trails to the northwest toward the Santa Susana Pass, northeast towards the San Fernando Mission and Tejon Pass, and south through the Sepulveda Pass.

In the early 20th Century the community of Encino began to be developed. The Encino Chamber of Commerce began in 1927. The Depression had a huge impact on the Chamber, and it was temporarily disbanded until 1936. It was in that year that a small number of Encino residents and businesspeople held a meeting in Encino Park in an effort to revive the organization. The Chamber has been intertwined with the community?s development and progress ever since.

The Encino of today is a proud continuation of a long-standing history, one whose growth and strength can be compared to the mighty oaks, which gave Encino its name. Our community plays the same vital role in the areas? commerce today as it did throughout its past. Encino? strive for excellence will keep our community an active leader in the region well into the centuries to come.