Knott's Berry Farm History
The farm's history began in 1920 when the Knott family drove from Central California to Buena Park in their Model T Ford. They joined Jim Preston, a cousin and experienced berry farmer. The family leased land and began farming berries.
The Tea Room
The first crop failed when an unexpected frost killed it. However, by 1923, Walter Knott established a roadside stand and started selling his berries.
In 1927, the family bought their land and built a home and a permanent market. Knott's Berry Place included a plant nursery and a Tea Room. The Team Room featured sandwiches, jams, and pies.
The Great Depression
Land prices dropped during the Great Depression. Even though the Knott family struggled with the rest of America, they scraped together money to buy more land.
In 1932, the Knotts connected with Rudolph Boysen, who experimented with berries on a previous property. The men found the neglected berries, and Walter Knotts took cuttings. The boysenberry was a big hit in the Tea Room.
Fried Chicken Dinners
In 1934, Cordelia Knott started serving fried chicken dinners. Over the next few years, the restaurant grew in popularity and went from seating 20 guests to 350 guests. Even then, hungry diners were still waiting up to 3 hours to be seated.
Walter began adding different entertainment options to keep people busy while they waited to be seated. He installed music boxes, a rock garden with a waterwheel, and a small volcano. These scenes can still be seen today behind the Berry Market.
In 1940, Walter added a Ghost Town to entertain his diners further. Soon, people began arriving to explore the Ghost Town. Walter hired actors for his Ghost Town and further expanded the venue. In 1947, he added Pan for Gold and the Wagon Camp.
In the 1950s, Knott's Berry Farm kept expanding.
In 1968, the family began charging a one-dollar entrance fee. Up until then, people could wander around the Ghost Town for free. Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut designed the Timber Mountain Log Ride. John Wayne opened the ride in 1969.
In 1971, Gypsy Camp opened. Then, in 1973, Knott's Berry Farm started Knott's Halloween Haunt. The enterprise continued to grow, and soon the Peanuts Gang joined the farm.
Since then, Knott's Berry Farm has added roller coasters and new entertainment options. It remains a tribute to the Knott family and their love of fun.
Experience Knott's Berry Farm Today
Knott's Berry Farm provides entertainment and fun for the whole family.
Guests can still splash down the Timber Mountain Log Ride while enjoying new thrills and special effects. Stroll through the Old West Ghost Town and be on the lookout for bandits. Meet the PEANUTS Gang at Camp Snoopy.
Experience the thrill of the Coast Rider, GhostRider, and Montezooma's revenge roller coasters. Check out Knott's Soak City for endless water rides and fun.
Watch stage shows, go shopping, and try delicious food. Don't forget to visit the California Marketplace to visit Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, the place that started it all.
Enjoy Your Anaheim Visit
Anaheim is filled with entertainment options. Knott's Berry Farm was one of the first California destinations to make a business by providing family entertainment.
Another long-held family tradition is pizza night! If you are thinking, "Where's the best pizza near me," check out our list of favorite pizza places.