The History of Knott's Berry Farm

In 1920, Walter and Cordelia Knott moved their young family to 20 acres of land near Highway 39 in Buena Park, California, determined to make a success of farming. The couple and their four children, Russell, Virginia, Toni and Marion, worked the fields, but their first winter was difficult and times were hard. The next year though, they grew a successful crop of rhubarb, asparagus and berries that they sold at a roadside stand.

Business was good and soon Cordelia opened a tea room, where she sold her homemade jellies and jams. In 1932, their fortunes changed even more. A family friend, Anaheim Parks Superintendent Rudolph Boysen, had experimented with a new strain of berry, but the plants kept dying on the vine. Walter took the scraggly plants, nurtured them to health and named the new berry—a cross between a raspberry, a loganberry and a blackberry—"boysenberry," after his friend.

Cordelia expanded her tea room and began making homemade biscuits, fried chicken dinners and boysenberry pies that she served on her good wedding china. People would now go out of their way to visit the farm to sample Cordelia's fine food and the new boysenberries. As the restaurant grew in popularity, the family continued to sell their famous jellies, jams and preserves. Today, we are proud to continue the tradition started by the Knott family, using the tried-and-true recipes and farm-fresh fruit that made the name "Knott's Berry Farm" famous.

Did you know?

  • Walter Knott was the first person to successfully produce the boysenberry fruit
  • Knott's produces over 1 million pounds of boysenberry products a year
  • Knott's has remained the leading consumer of boysenberries in the U.S. since the 1930's
  • All boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott's Berry Farm