Oral Histories

Interview of Walter Knott

Berry farmer and creator of Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park.
The Enterprises of Walter Knott
Interviews not in a series, part one
Urban Planning and Land Use
Theme Parks
Biographical Note:
Berry farmer and creator of Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park.
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.