Originally from New Jersey and suffering from asthma, Abbot Kinney settled in Southern California and more specifically in Santa Monica. He acquired his initial wealth in the tobacco business and it was during a business layover in San Francisco (snow was preventing him from continuing north into the High Sierra Mountains), that he ended up in the Los Angeles area. After spending one of the most relaxing evenings in a local hotel, he ended up settling in the area and sold his shares of the tobacco company to his brother. With the proceeds, he began land speculation and his dream of "Venice of America" took fruition. The area called Venice was originally a part of Santa Monica until 1911 when residents voted to break away and become their own entity.
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