Wednesday, November 27, 2013

History of Buena Park, CA

Information for this blog was taken from the Buena Park Historical Society and Wikipedia

It is uncertain what the exact derivation of Buena Park is, but it most likely relates to the artesian well and its parklike grounds that was once located at the current intersection of Artesia and Beach Blvd.  The local people referred to the area as "Plaza Buena" which means "good park" in spanish.  Another theory is that Whitaker used the name of a Chicago suburb:  Buena Park, Illinois, although this city was also named in 1887.    The city was incorporated on January 27, 1953.  It was an agricultural center when it was founded, primarily dairy, wine and citrus.  It is now a residential suburb and commercial hub.

Original Spanish explorers settled on the enormous ranchos by land grants made by the King of Spain.  Manuel Nieto of the Portola Expedition received such a grant in 1783, which was divided by his heirs into five separate ranchos in 1834.  One of them was Rancho Los Coyotes, which  included 46,86 acres and included the current site of the City of Buena Park where the rancho's adobe headquarters was located on what is now Los Coyotes County Club's golf course.

The area was transferred from the Spanish to Mexican rule in 1822.  The area was ceded to the United States at the end of Mexican-American War in 1848 and  California became a state in 1850.    Americanization further expanded in the area after completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and its connection to Los angeles in 1875. Abel Stearns acquired Rancho Los Coyotes in consideration for loans made to Pio and Address Pico.  In 1885, James A. Whitaker, a wholesale grocer from chicago purchased 690 acres of the land from Stearns and in 1887, he founded the City of Buena Park in conjunction with the railway development of what is now Orange county.

Places to go now are Knott's Berry Farm, Soak City, Medieval Times.  The City of Buena Park has a history park on Beach Blvd., which includes several historic buildings.  The Whitaker-Jaynes House serves as the city's local history museum.

The Bacon House  was built about 1884 by an unknown squatter in a remote area of Abel stern's Rancho Los Coyotes.  the land was being held in trust for a minor, named Fredrick B. Ramige of Calhoun, Iowa, who had inherited it.  At maturity in 1894, Ramige sold ten acres of land and the house to Jacob Hamm for $625.  Hamm worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Banning and had married the Widow Shance whose brother was plant manager for the Pacific Condensed Milk Company; which was more commonly known as the Lilly Creamery.  About 1900, Hamm traded his equity in the land and house for another house in Buena Park owned by Robert d. Bacon. Bacon had come to the area in 1888 and used the ten acre as a nucleus for what was to become a successful and progressive farm.  Bacon married Agatha Van Loenen in 1905 and their three children were all born in the house.  By 1913, a more substantial home had been built on the property, so the original house was used as a storehouse.  Bacon served as a trustee of the Centralia School district and worked to form a storm district for the control of the Santa Ana River.

The Bacon Family gave the house to the City of Buena Park in 1976 and it was moved to the Whitaker-Jaynes Estate Park and was restored to commemorate the United State bicentennial.  The Bacon House is a rare surviving example of the single wall method of construction.

The Stage Stop Hotel was built in 1890 and was once an overnight rest stop for stagecoach travelers coming down from Los Angeles.

Bacon House

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