Disneyland Park

The History of Anaheim: Anaheim Then & Now

By Chris Epting

Anaheim has many historical and cultural landmarks that are well worth visiting. Three of them in particular - Disneyland, Angels Stadium and the Mother Colony House - really show the unique past, present and future of Anaheim. where it has been and where it is going. Check out this visual diary of Anaheim and see how deep some of the roots grow in this city.

The Mother Colony House

No trip to Anaheim is complete without a visit to the 1857 Mother Colony House. Located in Founder’s Park (right near the 1894 Woelke-Stoffel House), the Mother Colony is the oldest wood-framed building in Orange County. Taking a tour of this remarkably historic and well-preserved gem of the structure allows you to be transported back to the pioneer days of Anaheim. And when you look at images of old (circa the 1930s) and new today, one can only be thankful that a building this historic has not only managed to survive but also thrive and remain relevant.

Disneyland® Park

What Walt Disney brought to Anaheim with Disneyland’s opening in 1955 is all but impossible to measure. The park changed not just the local landscape but the cultural landscape all over the world; reinventing the word “Happiest” in more ways than can be documented. There are many images of Walt Disney visiting the park that bears his name, but this one, in particular, seems special. Here we see him in 1955, the year the park opened, next to the Disneyland Railroad (which was originally called the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad). It was originally constructed for $240,000 and of course, transported guests to areas throughout the park. Walt Disney’s love of trains was legendary and helped change the world. When you position yourself at the exact same spot where this picture was taken today, it’s easy to appreciate his passion even more.

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Since it’s opening in 1966, Anaheim Stadium has played host not just to Major-League Baseball, but professional football, some of the biggest concerts in Southern California and many other community events. Incredibly, it’s now the fourth oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, and the Angels remain one of the premier franchises in the country. When Gene Autry brought his team down here after sharing Dodger Stadium up in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, it ushered in an entirely new era for the city of Anaheim. Since then, the park has gone through a variety of refurbishments and total redesigns. Nowhere is that more evident than in the front of the ballpark as we can see in these then and now images, which compares the late 1960s with today.