1. Walter Marvin Knott was born on December 11, 1889. Cordelia Knott (née Hornaday) was born on January 30, 1890. Walter and Cordelia were married in 1911.
  2. Even though they both grew up in Pomona, California, Walter dreamed of becoming a farmer.
  3. For their first seven years in Buena Park, they rented a home for only $7 per month. That home never had indoor plumbing, though.
  4. The Knott’s farm began operation on June 19, 1920.
  5. Obviously, Knott’s Berry Farm grew mostly berries. When Rudolf Boysen did not find much success in his invention of the boysenberry at first and completely forgot he invented it in the first place, he gave the remaining vines to Walter Knott at his request. (more cool fun facts about that in the book!)
  6. Walter grew more and began to sell all his berries, including the boysenberry, at a roadside stand in Buena Park. It stood on Highway 39, now known as Beach Boulevard. Long story short, the boysenberry eventually became very popular and famous.
  7. Today, all boysenberries can be genetically linked back to Knott’s Berry Farm.
  8. To help make ends meet, Walter asked Cordelia to begin making her delicious fried chicken and selling that as well.
  9. Even though their roadside berry stand and fried chicken restaurant were basically in the middle of nowhere, they became a huge tourist destination for those travelling between the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas because there were not a lot of other places to stop and eat nearby.
  10. Cordelia’s fried chicken saved the farm itself from foreclosure.
  11. Since 1934, more than 20 million meals have been served at Ms. Knott’s Chicken Dinner.
  12. Cordelia’s Chicken Restaurant became so popular that they had to build a bigger building to house all their guests. Even with the bigger restaurant building, by 1941 some guests still had to wait longer than three hours in line for their food.
  13. Walter built a fake, yet functional, volcano outside the restaurant to entertain waiting guests. He had so much fun building the volcano, that he decided to build a real-life replica of a ghost town by the restaurant as well. These attractions are regarded by some as the first theme park attractions ever.
  14. Walter purchased some old buildings from actual abandoned ghost towns nearby and relocated them to his farm.
  15. He also built some of his own buildings as replicas of others he couldn’t safely relocate to his land or wanted to create something completely new.