Friday, September 10, 2010

Monkey Island of Buena Park

OCThen reader by the handle of "VAS Buena Park CA" asks if anyone remembers or has information about Monkey Island in Buena Park...

Monkey Island:

I have lived in Buena Park all of my life. Back in the 1950's when I was a kid we used to visit a place called Monkey Island. It was actually in La Habra on the corner of Imperial Highway and Idaho Street (the northeast corner). See map of location at

At this location there was a man made lake with a small island in the middle. On this island there were several monkeys. They had exercise bars to play on, swings and maybe even a tree. I think that they even had a patio cover shed which allowed them to get out of the sun and rain.

My mom would drive us up there and just park the car. We would sit, have lunch and enjoy watching the monkeys playing.

Several of my old friends who still live in O.C. do recall going to this place as children.

Does anyone else remember this place? Does anyone have any photos of Monkey Island?

I don't recall a monkey island in Buena Park, namely because I spent most of my time in Santa Ana and El Toro, and because I wasn't around in the 1950s. But I did find a mention of a "monkey zoo" near Raymond Ave in Buena Park, published on an earlier memory here on OCThen...

I remember the monkey zoo off of Raymond too.


  1. I remember Monkey Island. My uncle used to have a business in the industrial park that was across the street. Wish I had pictures but do have fond memories of watching the monkeys.

  2. You have the information correct. Monkey Island was near the corner of Idaho and Imperial. If you really want to find out if someone has a long history in LH ask them if they ever heard of Monkey Island. Old School LH History!

  3. I remember monkey island as well exactly at Idaho and imperial hwy. wish we had access to some old photos.

  4. I remember Monkey Island. For years now I have been asking folks if they remember it and they think I am crazy. I had actually thought it was on Artesia Blvd. going east to the Santa Ana Freeway. I grew up in Hawthorne, and when going to San Diego my dad would either take Artesia, Rosecrans or Imperial to get to the freeway. It was on one of those roads where we used to stop and watch the monkeys out on the little island. It was the highlight of a trip for me. I have thought about that place over the years but didn't really know where it was until now. Thank you for the info on the old place, now I can assure my friends that I am not crazy and the monkey Island really did exist. I don't know if the city of La Habra has a historical society. In as much as I travel down Idaho south to Commonwealth three days a week I will check it out. Man,had no Idea I was going by what used to be monkey Island.

  5. Thanks for the location , I'll look the next time I'm in the area. In the early 50's I would see Monkey Island when the family would go from Inglewood to San Bernardino. Imperial was a major route before Freeways existed.

  6. I was born in OC in 1938. I remember Monkey Island. I was just talking to my granddaughter about it. So decided to look on the internet. Would love to find a pix of it.

  7. I was born in OC in 1938. I remember Monkey Island. Was just talking to my granddaugter about it. Does anyone have a pix they could share.


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