The story of Buena Park dates back to the summer of 1887 when James Whitaker submitted a plan with the County of Los Angeles to form the town of Buena Park. At that time Buena Park was primarily an agricultural area with dairy farms, avocado trees, orange groves, and lima bean fields.
In 1920 Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to Buena Park and gained the reputation for growing the tastiest berries in all of Orange County. This was accomplished by crossing the blackberry, red raspberry and the loganberry which produced the world-renowned boysenberry. Folks came from miles around to buy berries at their roadside stand. Due to the hardships of the depression, Cordelia began selling jams made from Walter's berries including home-baked pies, hot biscuits, and fried chicken. To give waiting customers something to do and because of his love of the Old West, Walter developed Ghost Town, eventually the first of Knott's Berry Farm's six themed areas. Over the years, the Knott family developed this outstanding attraction into the one of the most popular amusement parks in America. In December of 1997, after 78 years of ownership by the Knott family, Knott's Berry Farm was acquired by Cedar Fair, L.P., owners and operators of family-oriented entertainment park brands coast to coast.
Over the years Buena Park has made great strides in creating a diverse entertainment area which offers a wide selection of hotels, restaurants, and themed attractions. Today visitors delight in the magic of spectacular pageantry at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. In June of 2000 Buena Park welcomed Knott's Soak City, a separately gated, 13-acre water park featuring 21 water rides and attractions colorfully themed to California surf towns of the 50's and 60's. In late 2005, Pirates Dinner Adventure opened its doors to transport its guests back to the 1800s, when pirates ruled the high seas, for its one-of-a-kind show and dinner experience. New for 2011 is Torch, an Indian -Asian fusion restaurant and bar housed in the building once home to Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Given the size of the venue-8,460-square-feet--Torch figures not only to be a feast for the pallet but one for the eyes as well.
The City of Buena Park has its own local history park located on Beach Boulevard. On these grounds, the city has preserved several historic buildings. These include the Whitaker-Jaynes House- which serves as the city's local history museum, the Bacon House - possibly the oldest surviving structure from the area, the Stage Stop Hotel and the Tice House.
For more information on the history of Buena Park, contact:
The Buena Park Historical Society
6631 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, Ca 90621