Tarzana is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles. The area now known as Tarzana was occupied in 1797 by Spanish settlers and missionaries who established the San Fernando Mission. Later absorbed by Mexico, the land was ceded to the United States in 1848 by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the Mexican-American War. Under US rule it evolved into a series of large cattle ranches owned by local elites. Investors took over in the 1870s, turning grazing into large-scale wheat farms. The area was purchased in 1909 by the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company. LA Times founder and publisher General Harrison Gray Otis invested in the company and also personally acquired 550 acres in the center of modern-day Tarzana.
In February 1919, Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the popular Tarzan novels, arrived in California with his family, relocating from Oak Park, Illinois. On March 1st, Burroughs purchased Otis’s tract and established Tarzana Ranch. Burroughs subdivided and sold the land for residential development with neighboring small farms.
It is named after Burroughs' storybook jungle character hero, Tarzan. It is bounded on the south by Topanga State Park, on the east by Encino, on the north by Reseda and on the west byWoodland Hills. The U.S. census counted 35,502 people living in Tarzana in 2000, and Los Angeles estimated the neighborhood's population at 37,778 in 2008.
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