West Hollywood is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Incorporated in 1984, it is home to the Sunset Strip. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, its population was 34,399. It is considered one of the most prominent gay villages in the United States.
Most historical writings about West Hollywood begin in the late-18th century with European colonization when the Portuguese explorer João Rodrigues Cabrilho arrived offshore and claimed the already inhabited region for Spain. Around 5,000 of the indigenous inhabitants from the Tongva Indian tribe canoed out to greet Juan Cabrillo. The Tongva tribe was a nation of hunter-gatherers known for their reverence of dance and courage. By 1771, these native people had been severely ravaged by the diseases brought in by the Europeans from across wide oceans. The Spanish mission system changed the tribal name to "Gabrielinos", in reference to the Mission de San Gabriel. Early in 1770 Gaspar de Portola's Mexican expeditionary force stopped just south of the Santa Monica Mountains near what would become West Hollywood to draw pitch (brea in Spanish) from tar pits to waterproof their belongings and to say Mass. The Gabrielinos are believed to have burned the pitch for fuel.
By 1780, what became the "Sunset Strip" was the major connecting road for El Pueblo de Los Angeles, and all ranches westward to the Pacific Ocean.