Knott's Berry Farm
Sue, Eddie and Paul went off to Knott's Berry Farm and since is was supposed to be a rainy day... No one was there! We had lunch at our favorite place and there were only three groups in the entire restaurant. We walked into the shows and got to browse the booths at our leisure! Great day!
In the 1920s, Walter Knott (December 11, 1889–December 3, 1981) and his family sold berries, berry plants and pies from a roadside stand beside State Route 39, near the small town of Buena Park. In the 1930s, Walter Knott was introduced to a new berry which had been cultivated by Rudolph Boysen. The plant was a combination of the red raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry. Walter planted a few plants he had received on a visit to Boysen's farm, and later started to sell them at their roadside stand.
When people asked him what they were called he said "boysenberries". In 1934, to make ends meet, Knott's wife Cordelia (b. 1890 - d. 1974) reluctantly began serving fried chicken dinners on their wedding china. For dessert, Knott's trademark boysenberry pie was also served to guests dining in the small tea room.
As Southern California developed, Highway 39 became the major north-south connection between Los Angeles County and the beaches of Orange County, and the restaurant's location was a popular stopping point for drivers making what at the time was a two-hour trip.
Until the development of the 605 and 57 freeways in the late 1960s, Highway 39 (now known in Orange County as Beach Boulevard) continued to carry the bulk of the traffic between eastern Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Within a few years, lines outside the restaurant were often several hours long. To entertain the waiting crowds, Walter began to build a ghost town in 1940, using buildings relocated from real old west towns such as Calico, California and Prescott, Arizona.
They added attractions such as a narrow-gauge train ride, a pan-for-gold area, and the Calico Mine Ride.
Frequent activities at what Knott called a "summer-long county fair" included -- naturally -- boysenberry pie eating contests. When Disneyland was built in nearby Anaheim, the two attractions were not seen as direct competitors, due to the different nature of each. Walt Disney visited Knott's Berry Farm on a number of occasions, and hosted the Knotts at his own park. The two Walters had a cordial relationship, and worked together on a number of community causes.