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Orange County’s Oldest Home Featured in Founders’ Park Dedication in Anaheim

July 26, 2011

Orange County’s oldest remaining wood-framed structure, the Mother Colony House, was the star of the dedication of Founders’ Park in Anaheim on July 23, 2011.

Founders’ Park, which sits on original Anaheim Colony property at 400 N. West Street, includes the Woelke-Stoffel House, the Mother Colony House, and the expansive Moreton Bay Fig Tree.

The Mother Colony House was constructed by George Hansen in 1857.  The house was originally located on land that is now Anaheim Boulevard and Sycamore Street.  The house was moved to its current location during the 1920’s.

The Woelke-Stoffel House was built in 1884 by Charles Woelke and owned for 42 years by the Stoffel family.  The house was originally located on W. Center Street (Now Lincoln Avenue) and was moved in 1949 to its current location on West Street.

The Moreton Bay Fig Tree served as the inspiration to Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.  The tree was brought to Anaheim from Australia over one-hundred years ago and has a trunk diameter of 8.5 feet.

Here is more on the dedication ceremony from the Orange County Register – Visitors to the Colony District of Anaheim this weekend got a chance to step back in time – and step through the city’s oldest home.

Anaheim’s newest park is not an expansive green space for soccer pitches and ball fields. Instead, the 1-acre Founders’ Park, formally dedicated on Saturday, does exactly what the name suggests – celebrates the city’s beginnings.

The park includes The Mother Colony House, one of Anaheim’s first homes and Orange County’s oldest remaining wood-framed structure, built in 1857. Also on the grounds is the Woelke-Stoffel House, a two-story Queen Anne built in 1894 and representative of Anaheim’s citrus era.

Added to the property are a large Carriage House with a style that mimics the architecture of the Queen Anne home and a new Pump House and windmill reminiscent of the citrus era.

For many years, The Mother Colony House was mostly hidden and had no surrounding parking. In 2006, the city acquired the Woelke-Stoffel home and began planning for a park.

City leaders spent $1.5 million in federal and state funds to build Founders’ Park. It also includes parking for up to 16 cars at a time.

“(This park) connects us to our past and really connects us to one another,” Mayor Tom Tait said. “It helps give us a sense of community and a sense of belonging.”

The difference between the modest, single-story Mother Colony House and the grand, two-story Woelke-Stoffel home…to read the rest of this story, please click here.

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