If you have ever wondered how Walt Disney came up with the inspiration for Tarzan’s Treehouse inside Disneyland – and who hasn’t – take a short trip into the heart of downtown Anaheim, to 400 N. West Street, and you might see something very familiar.
The enormous fig tree that stands in Founder’s Park was the model for Tarzan’s Treehouse, which used to be the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. The Swiss Family Robinson version of the tree (designed from the Disney film of 1960) lasted until 1999 when it was converted into the current Tarzan’s Treehouse. Disneyland’s 70-foot tall, steel tree looks like the real thing…the one in a park in Anaheim that is.
I went to visit simply to drive by and see the tree, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had turned the surrounding area into a small park with wonderful historic buildings. Here are the pictures I took of Founder’s Park:
This is the oldest wooden structure in Orange County. It was built by Anaheim’s founder to house a German colony from San Francisco and is appropriately named the Mother Colony House:
The Woelke house is a great example of architectural styles present at the time:
The back of the house leaves something to be desired though
There is also a barn in the park, I’m guessing that there are some demonstrations here during their open house events throughout the year:
Since Disney, and everyone else, has been buying up most of the land in Anaheim, these may be the last orange trees in the city.
Here are some more pictures of the massive tree:
Don’t plan on spending more than 30 minutes to an hour here. This would only be a fun side-trip if you already have a car and are looking to do something out of the ordinary. There are places to eat nearby that are pretty decent right in downtown Anaheim, so Founder’s Park can be a slight historic detour on the way to lunch or dinner!
Until next time!
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