Buena Park, California photos left to right: California's replica Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Assembly Room, in which the United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted and signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Liberty Bell at Independence Hall are free to see at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. However, admission to Knott's Berry Farm requires a ticket.
When Americans celebrate the nation's
formation with flags, fireworks and
patriotism, it's hard to imagine how
this powerful (and some say
dysfunctional) country came into being,
especially living in California. Events
taking place in Philadelphia on July 4,
1776 had no immediate repercussions in
California where Spaniards traveled up
the coast, building missions and
recruiting local Indians to work and
reside on newly-claimed lands for the
country of Spain. Concerned with Russians in the north and the reestablishment
of San Diego, funds were drying out.
They were forced to abandon San Diego
following the revolt of 800 American
Indians who stormed onto mission grounds
in the middle of the night on November
4, 1775. Indians pillaged the mission,
burned it to the ground and massacred Fray Luis Jayme, also forcing the
withdrawal of Fray Fermin Francisco de
Lasuen from San Juan Capistrano, founded
a few weeks earlier.
So why does California have a free-admission exact, brick-by-brick replica of Independence Hall on the theme park grounds of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park? Because founder Walter Knott sought to create a reminder of two famous events: the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the U.S. Constitution. An avid proponent of American history and values, Walter Knott constructed the building for the millions of West Coast families unable to travel to Philadelphia to tour the original.