Oral Histories

Interview of Walter Knott

Berry farmer and creator of Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park.
The Enterprises of Walter Knott
Urban Planning and Land Use
Theme Parks
Schippers, Donald J.
Knott, Walter
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Donald J. Schippers, Interviewer-Editor, Oral History Program, UCLA; B.A., UCLA; M.A., American history, Occidental College; M.L.S., library service, UCLA.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Family's arrival in San Bernardino, 1868; farming in El Monte and Azusa in the 1870s and 1880s; uncle's interest in Silver King mine in Calico, California; childhood in Pomona; early farming interests in Coachella Valley, San Luis Obispo County, and Orange County; use of Indian laborers; homesteading in Mojave desert; employment at mill in Calico before World War I; cultivating and marketing of boysenberries in Buena Park after 1920; Rudolph Boysen's experiments in berry cultivation; Coolidge's Rare Plants Gardens in Pasadena or Altadena; development of Knott's Berry Farm and Ghost Town; reconstruction of Calico; the free enterprise system; formation of California Free Enterprise Association; activities in California Republican Party.