Founded during 1800s, Hill Valley began as little more then a single street of wooden buildings surrounded by farms. The construction of it’s courthouse and clocktower was seen as a major step for the fledgling town. One of it’s most noteworthy events involved Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, murderous outlaw. In an epic showdown, witnessed by the whole town, one Clint Eastwood defeated the infamous gunslinger without firing a shot.
By the 1950s, Hill Valley was a prospering town with new suburbs like Lyon Estates under construction. On the night of Nov 5th 1955, the Peabody family, owners of Twin Pines Ranch, claimed that a spaceship with an alien pilot had crashed in their barn. And just a week later, Hill Valley became the birthplace of rock & roll. A boy named Calvin Klein performed at a high school dance, which inspired Chuck Berry to create a new genre. This was also the famous night the clocktower was struck by lightning, freezing it in place at 10:04.
By the 1980s Twin Pines Ranch, once miles outside of town, had become Lone Pine Mall well within the town. And the new suburb of Hilldale was planned. Goldie Wilson had become it’s first black mayor. 1985 also saw the rise of local author George McFly. But despite all this, downtown Hill Valley’s economy suffered with buildings that were either decrepit, boarded up or both. Even the courthouse was now occupied by the department of social services, it’s lush lawn and war memorial replaced by a car park.
But by 2015, efforts to revitalised the area had paid off. The courthouse had been converted into a mall, drawing in new business and improving the area.
Nothing in town embodies it’s history or has reflected it’s status like it’s oldest surviving building, the Hill Valley Courthouse. From a sign of emerging civilization in the wild west to established law & order. From a grimy office surrounded by poverty to the gleaming hart of a thriving city.