This park celebrates and honors the city’s heritage, allowing visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in Anaheim’s agricultural history. Founders Park highlights two great historic homes that have been a favorite school field trip destination for over 50 years. The Woelke-Stoffel House is an 1894 two-story Queen Anne design, and it was created during Anaheim’s citrus era. And Mother Colony House, built in 1857, is one of the city’s earliest homes.
Recently added to the park is a big Carriage House that perfectly complements the Queen Anne architecture style, a windmill, and a new Pump House reminiscent of the citrus era. The further outbuildings, Anaheim’s 19th-century typical, create additional space for programs and exhibits while providing restrooms and meeting spaces for visitors. Nearby, the orange grove and the windmill demonstrate the crucial relationship between water and agricultural prosperity. With a working water pump, a vegetable garden, and many more amenities, Founders’ Park is the perfect place for themed fundraisers, tea parties, corporate events, and even intimate events like weddings.
Founders’ Park Location History
Located on the western boundary of the original Anaheim Colony, the Founders’ Park compromises around 1 acre of the 20-acre original Vineyard Lot C-7. The Anaheim Colony was founded in 1857, with fifty 20-acre Vineyard Lots planted mainly in Mission grapes. After creating a thriving viticulture industry, the colonists were wrecked when an unknown blight (now known as Pierce’s Disease) took out 400,000 grapevines from 1884 through 1888. By the 1890s, citrus groves had replaced the vineyards. Additional successful crops included Anaheim chili peppers, lima beans, cabbages, walnuts, sugar beets, potatoes, and strawberries.
The oldest wood-framed remaining building in Orange County, the Mother Colony House, still stands as Anaheim’s viticulture-era symbol. In 1857, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Vineyard Society, George Hasen, built this house; it was initially located at 235 N. Anaheim Blvd; Mother Colony Chapter from the Daughters of the American Revolution saved the structure from demolition and moved to its current location on October 10, 1928. The Mother Colony House property was donated by Marie Hostmann Dwyer (the descendant of one of Anaheim’s pioneer families). This house was officially dedicated as California State Historic Landmark in 1935. In 1954, Anaheim’s city council accepted the deed to the Mother Colony House from the DAR, and this historic place has been under the Community Services Department.
The City Council designated the Moreton Bay Fig Tree as Anaheim’s first landmark on March 31, 2009. This iconic tree was imported from Australia by Timothe Caroll (Anaheim’s first nurseryman) and was later planted by the Horstmann family. The Moreton Bay Fig Tree was also a model for the (now Tarzan Treehouse) Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse at Disneyland.
The Founders’ Park plan was approved on September 23, 2009, by the Parks and Recreation Commission and approved on November 17, 2009, by the City Council. The official name of the park was recommended by Anaheim’s locals involved in the community input process and approved on April 13, 2010, by the City Council.
Woeke-Stoffel and Mother Colony houses were added in July 2013 to the National Register of Historic Places, and commemorative plaques for both houses were dedicated on June 7, 2014.