Park California is world renown as home to some of America's
most popular attractions. In addition to the outstanding Buena Park
hotels and restaurants, Buena Park boasts Knott's Berry Farm, The
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, The Movieland Wax Museum,
Ripley's "Believe It or Not!" Museum and Knott's Soak City U.S.A.
History of Buena Park: Buena Park's history began
in 1783 when California belonged to Spain. Governor Pedro Fages
gave a land grant to Manuel Nieto, ex-corporal of the "Leather Jacket"
guards of the Portola Expedition. In 1834 Manuel Nieto's land was
divided into five ranchos. One of the five ranchos was named Rancho
Los Coyotes and Buena Park is located near the center of this rancho.
Rancho Los Coyotes is played a pivotal part in American history
for it was here in January 1847 that Commodore Robert S. Stockton
and his band of Americans rested in preparation for the battle of
the San Gabriel River. The battle was won and the outcome of the
Mexican War (1846-48) was settled in this area. The exact location
of Stockton's encampment is historically marked near the Los Coyotes
Country Club in the Bellehurst area of Buena Park.
In 1885, James A. Whitaker, a wholesale grocer from Chicago, bought
690 acres of the Stearns Rancho, part of what was once the sprawling
Rancho Los Coyotes. Whitaker intended to create a cattle ranch,
but Santa Fe Railway officials convinced him to use the land for
a new town. Whitaker filed his township papers in 1887 in Los Angeles
County (Orange County had not been formed) to create the town of
Buena Park and by the 1900 census 995 people called the area home.
Buena Park was incorporated in 1953. Today the population is approximately