Early records show that Garden Grove was host to largely agricultural pursuits, growing everything from beans to chili peppers; but there were very few trees in the community, which had been a wide, grassy plain prior to the influx of Spanish ranchers.

Through the years, the land was subdivided, a railroad depot was established; and a village with homes, a church, and a school was built. The name the early pioneers chose to call their village was Garden Grove. Though no actual trees existed in what was known as Garden Grove, the unofficial village planner and founding father, Alonzo Cook, assured the citizens that it would become a beautiful place to live.

He told them, "We'll make it appropriate by planting trees and making it beautiful."