Built around 1864, “Greek George” Caralambo kept a half-dozen camels at this adobe cabin, which stood near present-day Melrose Place.

Few cities West Hollywood’s size have histories as rich and storied as ours. Officially chartered in 1984, West Hollywood is often thought of as a young city. In fact, its history has deep roots in California’s Spanish and Mexican past, and the city’s development as a regional transportation hub began more than 125 years ago with the establishment of the village of Sherman. Thirty years later residents changed the name to West Hollywood to reflect the city’s increasingly important role as moviemaking center and a playground to the stars.

Known worldwide today as a prime travel destination, a center of LGBT life and the home of the iconic Sunset Strip, West Hollywood’s success has come at a price: A fading sense of history. Now, as the former Sherman village progresses in its second century, the need to memorialize its storied past is increasingly urgent. It is a story that demands to be told.