Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hollister versus Hollister

A few facts of the unreal versus a few facts of the real. Enjoy!

Hollister, California
This is a make-believe beach town in Southern California created by Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) to market its Hollister Co. brand. A&F also spins a fictional history for the brand itself. According to, the invented Hollister Co. was founded in 1922 by an imaginary John M. Hollister, a Yale grad from Maine, who eventually landed in the Laguna Beach area. In real time, A&F began selling its Hollister Co. products in 2000.

Alas, I could find no tall tales about the establishment of A&F's made-up Hollister, California. Did the fictional John M. Hollister also establish the town, or did other unreal leaders decide to name their not so real town after Hollister because his company was the largest business in the area?

Hollister, California
This is an actual town located approximately 300 miles north of Los Angeles, which is about 53 miles from Laguna Beach. Although Hollister is part of the Central Coast region, the nearest beach is nearly 30 miles away.

The real Hollister is the county seat of San Benito County. Over 36,000 breathing adults and children liven in the city. Hollister was incorporated in 1872 by the San Justo Homestead Association, a group of local farmers.

The city of Hollister was named for William Welles Hollister, a farmer who headed west from Ohio with several hundred heads of cattle. In short, he landed in the area in the 1850s. In 1868, he sold his land (nearly 21,000 acres) to the association, of which 100 acres was set aside for the town. The association decided to name the new town after Hollister because many of its members objected to having another town in California with a Spanish-sounding name.

Want more history of the actual Hollister, check out this article "A Tale of Two Hollisters" by Laurie Lemmerman-CastaƱeda in the Weekend Pinnacles, a local newspaper.

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