Buena Park Historically Named
The exact derivation of the name Buena Park is uncertain but most likely relates to the artesian well and it’s parklike grounds once located at the current intersection of Artesia and Beach Blvd. (formerly Grand Ave.). Local settlers referred to the area as “Plaza Buena” which means “good park” in Spanish. The mixing of the Spanish and English languages to name Buena Park reflects the major historical influences in the area.
Original Spanish explorers settled on the enormous ranchos by land grants made by the King of Spain. Manuel Nieto of the Portola Expedition received such a grant in 1783 which was divided by his heirs into five separate ranchos in 1834. One of them 46, 806 acre Rancho Los Coyotes, included the current site of the City of Buena Park where the rancho’s adobe headquarters was located on what is now Los Coyotes County Clubs’s golf course.
The area was transferred from Spanish authority to Mexican rule in 1822 and subsequently California was granted statehood in 1850. Americanization further expanded in the area after completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and its connection to Los Angeles in 1875. By then, Abel Steams had acquired Rancho Los Coyotes in consideration for loans made to Pio and Adres Pico. In 1885, James A. Whitaker purchased 690 acres of this land from Steams and in 1887 he founded the City of Buena Park in conjunction with the railway development of what we now know as Orange County.