Local settlers referred to the area as "Plaza Buena" which means "good park" in Spanish. The mix of the Spanish and English languages to name Buena Park reflects the major historical influences in the area.
James A. Whitaker founded Buena Park in 1887 when he bought 690 acres of land from Abel Stearns. Whitaker opened a general merchandise store, helped found a church, and began cultivating economic development aided by the transcontinental railroad's initial arrival in southern Los Angeles County.
In 1889 Whitaker got the Pacific Creamery Company, which canned condensed milk under the Lily Cream label, to build a factory in Buena Park. This was the first industry established in Orange County.
The City of Buena Park was incorporated in 1953. On January 27, 1953, Orange County clerk B.J Smith swore in the first city council of the new City of Buena Park. The new city council elected Grady Travis as the first mayor of the City of Buena Park. Buena Park's now grown in to a city with a population of over 80,000 residents.
The Buena Park Historical Society is a non-profit (501 c3) organization of individuals and institutions who are concerned with and working for the preservation of their community's heritage. That preservation is seen in the Whitaker-Jaynes Estate and the Bacon House Museums.
Whitaker-Jaynes Estate - This house was the family home of Andrew Whitaker, brother of Buena Park founder James A. Whitaker. After Andrew died in 1903, his wife sold the home to the I.D. Jaynes family. I.D. Jaynes and his wife, Edna, raised six children and one grandchild in the home. The Jaynes family lived in the house until 1965 when the City of Buena Park bought it and restored it. The house was moved in 1994 to become the cornerstone of Buena Park's newly established Historical Society.
Bacon House - The Bacon House was built in 1884 by an unknown squatter in a remote area. Frederick B. Ramige of Calhoun, Iowa inherited it. In 1894, Ramige sold the house to Jacob Hamm. In 1900 Hamm traded his equity in the land and house for another house in Buena Park owned by Robert D. Bacon. After the Bacon Family gave the house to the City of Buena Park in 1976, it was moved to the Whitaker-Jaynes Estate Park where it was restored to commemorate the United States Bicentennial. The Bacon House is a rare surviving example of the single wall method of construction. The house is furnished with many original Bacon family heirlooms.
The Buena Park Historical Society provides tours of both of these house museums.
Tour hours | Monday-Thursday, 12-4pm
Saturday & Sunday, by appointment
Call (714) 521-1887 to make an appointment.