tasked with the chore of locating and purchasing land.September 1, 1857 Bernardo Yorba sold a strip of land to Martina and Juan Pacifico Ontiveros for $200.00 for the purpose of conveying
water to the Ontiveros owned Rancho Cajon de Santa Ana.
September 12, 1857 Juan Pacifico Ontiveros sold 1165 acres of his rancho lands to George Hansen, representing the Los Angeles
Vineyard Society, for $2,300. Juan Pacifico was reported as saying the entire lot could not support a single goat.
October 5, 1857 Title to the newly purchased rancho lands was transferred from Hansen to the Los Angeles Vineyard Society. George Hansen immediately set to work dividing the land into 50 lots of 20 acres each. The central 40 acres were reserved as town house lots (140 x 181.5 feet) and 14 more were reserved for schools and public buildings. To this day, the original town lot or vineyard that the new subdivisions were carved from identifies legal descriptions of homes in the original Mother Colony.
January 15, 1859 A meeting in San Francisco of the Los Angeles Vineyard Society stockholders resulted in a vote being cast for the name of the new town that was beginning to rise from the scrub and desert lands of Southern California. The final decision was made in favor of the name Annaheim, a combination of the German “Heim,” for home, and “Anna,” for the river named for Saint Anne during the Portola expedition. The name was shortened within a year to its current spelling of Anaheim.
September 12, 1859 The first Colonists arrived from San Francisco. The families of Hammes and Behm came to Anaheim Landing (now Seal Beach) aboard the steamer Senator. Because of shallow waters, the steamer stopped 3 miles off shore, and the passengers were brought to land in a series of smaller boats, and finally carried the last few yards on the shoulders of local Indians. Philips Hammes’s daughter, Amelie, was by then engaged to Los Angeles vintner John Frohling, and his carriage met the party. Being whisked to “town” they were greeted by the only solid structures in the new city: the Langenberger General Store, owned and run by August Langenberger who had married the daughter of landowning Ontiveros, and the wood framed home of George Hansen, now known as the Mother Colony House, a local history Museum. There was also a small adobe bunkhouse used by the local laborers who were carving a town from barren wilderness.More settlers continued to arrive in the new Colony. Some stayed and found their fortunes, some left in disgust at the primitive living conditions.
November, 1859 Amelie Hammes became Anaheim’s first bride when she married John Frohling in her parents not-quite-finished new home.
1860 Schoolteacher Frederick Kuelp and his wife arrived from San Francisco as Anaheim’s first school is opened.
June 19, 1861 John Fischer is named Anaheim’s first Postmaster, and served until 1868.
1862 Anaheim gained its first trained physician with the arrival of A.H. Heyerman and his daughter, Catharina.
1866 The Anaheim Cemetery, the oldest public cemetery in Orange County was founded by purchasing a plot of land from Philip Sichel.
July, 1867 Petra Ontiveros Langenberger and her newborn son were the first burials in the new cemetery.
1867 Flooding of the Santa Ana River destroyed many properties, including the new adobe schoolhouse.
1870 Local Catholics moved from holding services in the front parlor of Natalia Rimpau’s home and began holding regular services in a new church building on Cypress Street.
October 29, 1870 Anaheim Gazette, the local newspaper, published its first edition.
1873 Clementine Schmidt caused tongues to wag when she files for Anaheim’s first divorce.
1874 Clementine Schmidt caused even more of a sensation, when she married her ex-husband’s best friend, widower August Langenberger, mere months after the divorce.
1875 Henry Kuchel purchased the Gazette.
January 1, 1875 The Southern Pacific Railroad came to town.
1876 The great Polish actress Helena Modjeska came to Anaheim. She stayed for two years before returning to the stage for a second career as America’s leading lady.
March 12, 1878 The State Legislature passed a bill, drafted by Anaheim educator J.M. Guinn, allowing the local school district to issue bonds in the amount of $10,000.00. This was the first time ever in California that a school district used a Bond issue to finance new school facilities. The George Washington School eventually replaced the Central School, built with the Bond money. This building was recently razed and has become George Washington Park.
1879 Anaheim developed a municipal water system. To this day Anaheim maintains a profitable Public Utility, offering the most competitive rates for water and electricity in all of Southern California.
1884 Blight, later found to be Pierce’s Disease, began destroying the grape vines. The farmers switched to walnuts and citrus fruits to
make a living.
1888 Helena Modjeska and her husband, Count Bozenta, returned to Southern California to visit old friends in Anaheim. While here, they purchased the Pleasants ranch in Santiago Canyon, renaming it Arden for the Forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Stanford White, the famed architect, remodeled the house based on drawings sent to his East Coast office. This home became Modjeska’s refuge between theatrical performances. It is currently an Orange County Park, Modjeska Historic House and Garden, and open by appointment.
1895 Anaheim developed a municipal Electric Light System. Steam was used to power the electricity until 1916.
1895 August Langenberger died, leaving Clementine as one of the wealthiest women in the region.
1896 John and Margaret Rea purchased land in Anaheim and named their ranch Katella after their daughters Kate and Ella. Katella Avenue is now a major east-west thoroughfare that forms the southern border of Disneyland. Kate grew up to found the Anaheim Red Cross, and Ella became the first Chairperson of the Library Board. Their town home still stands, moved in 1928 from 224 E. Broadway to Elm Street, then to Stueckle Avenue in 2007.
February 26, 1901 A subscription library was established in the back of the Bruce Candy Store on East Center Street.
1908 A Public Library was established on the corner of Los Angeles Street (now Anaheim Blvd.) and Broadway, using a $10,000.00 grant from Andrew Carnegie. The neoclassical building now houses the Anaheim Museum, Inc.
1909 Helena Modjeska died in Newport Beach.
1914 The Community Mausoleum was added to the Anaheim Cemetery. It was built for the staggering sum of $50,000, worth nearly $900,000 in today’s dollars. This was the first public mausoleum on the west coast of the United States.
October, 1915 The first moving picture shot in Anaheim, “The Missing Link,” was filmed. Prints no longer exist.
January, 1916 Santa Ana River flooded out Anaheim.
June ,1916 Helen Hunt Jackson’s “Ramona” was shown at the Grand Theater located at Philadelphia and Center Streets.
April 6, 1917 U.S. Entered WWI. Many Anaheim citizens enlisted to fight, despite knowing they could be facing their own German relatives. A Liberty Loan drive raised $400,000, far exceeding that of surrounding towns; in an effort to prove its German roots did not dim Anaheim’s patriotism.
October, 1917 F. A. Hartmann, civic leader, contributed to a massive beautification effort by donating an archway to the entrance of the Anaheim Cemetery
1918 The Federal Government ordered all women of German or Austro-Hungarian heritage to register at the local Post Office. This order would include nearly every woman in Anaheim at the time.
1919 The 18th Amendment began prohibition. Anaheim’s wine and beer producing ancestry did not lend itself well to this turn of events. Some of the older housing stock still boast of hidden doorways and period communication systems between floors.
1920 Anaheim citizens passed a $100,000 Park Bond to build City Park. A 20-acre parcel was purchased from the Bullard, Dickel, and Turck families, descendants of the Schmidt-Langenberger marriages.
1921 City Trustees contracted with landscape architects Cook and Hall for blueprint plans to develop a park over time.
1922 The Greek columned City Hall was built.
1923 Lotus Loudon and wife Hazel founded the Anaheim Bulletin, the only local Anaheim paper still in existence today. They began a relentless campaign to rid the City of the KKK.
1924 Samuel Kraemer built Anaheim’s tallest skyscraper. At six floors and a penthouse, the Kraemer Building just topped a similar building in Fullerton in a city-to-city competition.
October, 1924 Civic leaders began what would become an annual tradition of the Halloween Parade. Lotus Loudon, a staunch opponent to the KKK, called it “a better use of a bed sheet.” The event began attracting crowds from neighboring cities, until participation topped out in the 1950s in the hundreds of thousands.
February 3, 1927 Dedication ceremony for the $35,000 Greek Theatre in City Park. This theatre still stands in Pearson Park, and features many concert series throughout the summer hosted by the Downtown Anaheim Association.
October 29, 1929 “Black Tuesday.” The stock market collapsed, taking many fortunes with it. Anaheim’s residents were frugal, tending to shy away from investing in stocks and keeping their nest eggs close to home, frequently in their homes. As a result, Anaheim seemed to weather the Depression years better than most.
March 10,1933 Long Beach Earthquake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale. 120 people were reported killed in the Long Beach area. In Anaheim, many buildings of unreinforced single-wall masonry were severely damaged.
March 1938 Santa Ana River flooded its banks, leaving much of Anaheim underwater.
1939 Construction completed of La Palma Park, to be used off-season as a practice field by the Athletics. Earlier construction of the field had been wiped out by floodwaters in 1938.
December 7, 1941 Japanese aircraft attack the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. Anaheim goes to war.
February 19, 1942 Executive Order # 9066 sent Anaheim residents of Japanese heritage to internment camps.
1953 Walt Disney purchased 160 acres of orange groves in southwest Anaheim.
1953 The Interstate 5 freeway cut through Anaheim, bringing more visitors to the land of sunshine.
1953 The Mother Colony House, former home of George Hansen which is now located on West Street, and the owner, J.J. Dwyer, deeded the house over to the DAR for use as a history museum.
July 18, 1955 Disneyland opens.
1957 Anaheim celebrated its Centennial with many programs and festivals, and the printing of Anaheim: The Mother Colony by Mildred Yorba MacArthur.
1957 Tourism and construction replaced agriculture. Large orchards were rapidly subdivided for housing tracts.
1960 City Park was renamed Pearson Park in honor of long-time Mayor, Charles Pearson.
1960 The Anaheim Visitor and Convention Bureau was formed to improve the Disney Resort area.
1960 The Phoenix Club of Anaheim was founded in an attempt to renew the sense of pride Anaheim’s citizens had lost in their German heritage during WWII.
1963 Jack Benny paid his first visit to the land of “Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga.”
1963 New Central Library opened at Broadway and Harbor.
August 31, 1964 Ground breaking ceremony for the new Angels Stadium, which would cost $24 million dollars to construct in time to open for the 1966 baseball season.
May 22 & 23, 1965 The world’s first major skateboarding competition, The 1965 International Championships, is held in La Palma Stadium in Anaheim’s La Palma Park. Winners received a $500 scholarship. The event drew huge crowds of skateboard enthusiasts and all three national networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC).
July, 1967 Anaheim Convention Center opened.
1970 The City of Anaheim leased the old Horace Mann school building to the Anaheim Arts Council for $1 a year. The Arts Center became a showcase for local artists.
1972 Mrs. Charles Pearson (Sarah Fay) organized the Mother Colony Household as a support group to care for the Mother Colony House museum.
1973 Project Alpha was initiated by the City of Anaheim via the Redevelopment Agency. In an effort to revitalize the aging downtown core of the City, many historic buildings were lost to the bulldozer or moved to other locations.
1976 The Anaheim Historical Society is formed.
1976 Discussions begin on a site for a permanent history museum in the downtown area. Eventually the Anaheim Museum, Inc. was formed. Located in the 1906 Carnegie Library Building at Broadway and Anaheim Blvd., the Anaheim Museum is a non-profit corporation that operates independently of the City of Anaheim.
1976 The City of Anaheim enters into a Sister City program with Mito, Japan.
April 29 & 30, 1977 The AHS sponsors it’s first tour of historic homes, the Old House Lover’s Tour.
March, 1978 Ground breaking for the new City Hall building begins.
1978 A group of volunteers began the process of recording historic structures in the City with Primary Records. This eventually led to the preservation of many homes that might otherwise have been leveled for development.
1979 The Carnegie Library listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the application being written and sponsored by the Anaheim Historical Society.
1979 Pickwick Hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places; application submitted by Anaheim Historical Society.
July 17, 1979 The “Big A” sign was moved from its position at the stadium’s outfield seats to a location in the parking lot next to the 57 Freeway in order to enclose the stadium for football. The Rams had agreed to move the team to Anaheim.
1980 The Stanton House listed on the National register of Historic Places. It is now the site of a private school.
1982 The Gervais-Truxaw House listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now the site of The Anaheim White House, an upscale Italian restaurant.
April 20, 1982 Downed power lines, blown by fierce Santa Ana wind conditions in excess of 60 mph, caused fires that blackened many blocks in West Anaheim. Although $50 million dollars in damages were reported, thankfully no lives were lost.
1983 The Kraemer Building listed on the National Register of Historic Places; application submitted by the Anaheim Historical Society.
1985 The Kroeger-Melrose District, a neighborhood of middle class homes representing architecture from 1900 to 1930 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places; application submitted by Anaheim Historical Society.
1986 Melrose-Backs Neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places; application submitted by the Anaheim Historical Society.
1987 City offices were moved out of the Carnegie Library Building and it was rehabilitated for use as the Anaheim Museum.
September ,1987 Anaheim Neighborhood Association, a political action committee formed by local preservationists to battle the demolition of historic downtown Anaheim, marches into a City Council meeting armed with lawyers and determination. By the end of the meeting a legal agreement is reached which effectively blocks further demolition, unless certain criteria are met, including review by Anaheim Neighborhood Association.
1988 The Pickwick Hotel was demolished, despite being listed on the National register of Historic Places.
May, 1988 Central City Neighborhood Council and Anaheim Neighborhood Association work to downzone the central downtown area, from high-density lots that encouraged the demolition of older single-family homes for apartments. The downzoning paves the way for the preservation of older residences, and dramatically improves the quality of life for central Anaheim, and what would later become the Anaheim Colony Historic District.
1990 The Phoenix Club was relocated to make way for construction of the Arrowhead Pond.
November 8, 1990 Ground breaking ceremony for the new Pond Arena, later renamed Honda Center.
June, 1991 The Anaheim Police Department dedicated the new Police Station on Harbor Boulevard, just south of Broadway.
1991 Paint Your Heart Out, a volunteer organization focused on improving Anaheim’s homes, was formed.
1995 Work began on the revitalization of the Resort District surrounding Disneyland. Despite an obvious improvement in the overall aesthetics of the district, many of the 50s era “Googie” art was lost to demolition. Jane Newell’s attempt to document local Googie architecture before it is torn down is documented in this article.
Oct. 1997 Anaheim Colony Historic District is formed, encompassing the original city boundaries where the old fences had once stood to keep cattle out of the lush vineyards, now represented by North, South, East, and West streets. The district includes some 1100 historic structures of significance to the Colony.
2000 The City of Anaheim, through the Neighborhood Preservation Office begins partnering with owners of historic homes in agreements under the State of California’s Mills Act. This allows for a substantial property tax savings to help homeowners offset the cost of rehabilitating and maintaining historic structures, while agreeing to preserve their home’s historic integrity.
Oct. 2002 The Anaheim Angels win the World Series.
April, 2003 The Kraemer Building was renovated into high-end apartments in an excellent example of adaptive reuse.
January, 2004 Developer CIM group celebrates ground breaking with City officials for a mixed use development completing the last of what had been empty land after the demolition of Anaheim’s historic downtown under project Alpha. Development planned to provide housing, retail, and eventually a world-class museum, called Muzeo.
January 2004 Anaheim dedicates The Grove of Anaheim, a special events center adjacent to the Anaheim Stadium.
May, 2004 The mid-century Haskett Library closes for demolition, as a new building is planned to serve West Anaheim .
Spring – Summer, 2004 The Planning Center enlists public input for Anaheim ‘s General Plan, forging the look, feel, and function of Anaheim’s future land use and development.
Oct. 2004 The Five Points Historic District is the second district to be officially recognized by the city. It is bound by Linocln, West, Broadway, and the 5 Freeway and includes 38 participating historic structures.
2005 The Anaheim Angels are renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
June, 2006 The name of Anaheim ‘s hockey team is changed to the Anaheim Ducks.
Oct. 2006 The Anaheim City Council adopts the historic Palm District as the third historic district in the city, from the border of the Colony along North Street to La Palma Ave.
November, 2006 Walt Disney honored with first star on Anaheim’s Walk of Stars.
January, 2007 Sesquicentennial honors first babies born in Anaheim’s 150 th year.
March, 2007 Henry and Susan Samueli honored on Anaheim ‘s Walk of Stars.
March, 2007 West Anaheim Youth Center and Police Station opened. Central Library adjusts hours as renovations to the building begin. Anaheim ‘s preservation community works with Carol Stone and library staff to preserve the mid-century architecture of the building while accommodating changing needs.
Spring/Summer, 2007 First residents move into the loft apartments at the CIM development, signaling the first permanent residential activity in the Center Street area since the demolition under Project Alpha. Construction continues in phases as the development is completed.
June, 2007 Anaheim Ducks win coveted Stanley Cup.
June 19, 2007 Anaheim dedicates “History Walk” outside the new Muzeo complex, with informational panels highlighting Anaheim ‘s
July, 2007 Mother Colony Household Inc., founded in 1973 to preserve the history of Anaheim , combines into the Anaheim Historical Society at the Annual Banquet, with a grant of $75,000 to AHS, and combined membership lists.
September, 2007 Anaheim celebrates 150 years with a Sesquicentennial celebration, with a kick-off party at City Hall.
September 7, 2007 Sesquicentennial continues with the unearthing of a time capsule buried at the Mother Colony House in 1957, during the Centennial celebration. Local historian Steve Faessel assists Curator Jane Newell, and Mayor Pringle and City Council as they open the capsule.
October 16, 2007 Anaheim’s world class Museum, MUZEO, celebrates grand opening. MUZEO includes the Anaheim Museum, housed in the historic 1908 Carnegie Library building, and provides space for the Local History Reading Room.
Fall, 2007 Anaheim Central Branch library completes renovations, creating an accessible entry area, expanded interior use, while working with the preservation community to preserve the mid-century modern architecture of the building.
Dec. 2008 The City Council votes to create the Hoskins Historic District, a group of homes custom built in the 1940s and ’50s situated within the Colony.
July 16, 2011 The Anaheim Brewery opens in the newly renovated Packard Building, a 1919 Mission revival building that formerly housed a Packard automobile dealership.
July 23, 2011 Founders’ Park opens, encompassing the 1857 Mother Colony House, the 1894 Woelke-Stoffel house, and the heritage Moreton bay fig tree which had been dedicated as Anaheim’s first Landmark Tree in 2009. An historically accurate carriage house, pump house, and windmill were added to the site.
May 31, 2014 The Packing District, comprising a newly renovated 1919 citrus packing plant, the newly created Farmers’ Park, and the Packard Building, has its grand opening.