The articles in this section were written by several authors between 1995 and 2005. Many pages are identified as “under construction,” and additional essays were planned but not completed. These articles reflect the available information and historical perspectives of the authors and the time when they were written. They have not been revised or updated. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Monterey County Historical Society, its board, volunteers, or staff.

Monterey Area Adobes and Other Early Buildings

Casa Abrego Adobe and Garden (1830s) — Built of adobe bricks and wood by Don Jose Abrego, a Mexican merchant who came to Monterey in 1834 on the vessel La Natalie. Casa Abrego adobe was purchased in 1956 by the Monterey Foundation to save it from destruction, then leased to the Casa Abrego Club for Women. In 1959 the Casa Abrego Club bought the adobe from the Foundation. Location: 592 Abrego Street.

Casa Alvarado Adobe and Garden (1830s) — The adobe was built by Don Juan Bautista Alvarado, first Monterey-born Governor of California. A direct descendent of Captain Cortez, he was the son of Don Jose Francisco Alvarado and Josefa Vallejo.

Casa Amesti Adobe and Garden(1834) — A stunning achievement in interior decoration, Casa Amesti is one of the best examples of Monterey Colonial architecture.

Casa Del Oro Adobe – The Boston Store (1840s) — A two-story adobe and chalkrock was built by Thomas O. Larkin for business in the 1840s. It was sold to Jose Abrego, who leased it to Joseph Boston and Company in the 1850s for a general merchandise store.

Casa Gutierrez Adobe (1846) — One of the few remaining adobes built in the simpler Mexican style which once lined Monterey’s streets, Casa Gutierrez now appropriately houses a colorful Mexican restaurant.

Casa Serrano Adobe and Garden (1845) — Casa Serrano has a special significance in Californiaís early history because it served as one of the first schools after the U.S. Flag was flown over the Custom House in 1846.

Casa Soberanes Adobe (1842) — With its thick walls, interconnecting rooms, cantilevered balcony and lovely garden, Casa Soberanes tells the story of life in Monterey from its Mexican period beginnings to more recent times. Location: 336 Pacific Street.

Colton Hall (1840s) — California’s first Constitution was hammered out in ardent debate in Colton Hall in 1849. The beautiful second floor assembly hall has been restored to appear as when the 48 delegates of the first Constitution Convention met there.

Cooper-Molera Adobe (1829) — First occupied by the Cooper family in 1827 and owned by descendants until 1968, the Cooper-Molera tells the story of Monterey through the life and times of John Rogers Cooper, a New England sea captain, his half brother Thomas O. Larkin, Cooper’s wife, Ecarnacion Vallejo de Cooper and the Cooper family through three generations.

Custom House (1827) — At one time during California’s Mexican era the Monterey Custom House presided over Mexico’s only port of entry on the Alta California coast. It was here that Commodore John Drake Sloat raised the American flag in July of 1846, claiming over 600,000 square miles of territory for the United States.

Doud House (1849) — One of the best examples of a local wooden house of the early American Period. Owned by the Monterey History and Art Association, and used by the Community Foundation for Monterey County as its headquarters. Location: 177 Van Buren Street.

First Brick House (1847) — Inhabited by its builder, Gallant Dickenson, the First Brick House represents the kiln fired brick construction brought to California by settlers in the early American period. Location: Adjacent to the Old Whaling Station.

First Theatre (1844) — This old adobe is unique on two counts: its architectural design and its history as a theater setting.

Fremont Adobe — Althoughthis two-story adobe is generally recognized as the headquarters of John C. Fremont, memoirs confirm that the title is a misnomer. Actual ownership of the little adobe has been traced through several Monterey families.

House of Four Winds Adobe (1835) — La Casa de Los Cuatro Vientos has been so called since the mid-1800s because it was the first house with a weathervane. It also enjoys the distinction of having been the first Hall of Records for the newly formed County of Monterey.

Jose de la Torre Adobe (1852) — This attractive adobe was probably built around 1852 by the original grantee, Francisco Pinto. After passing through several owners, in 1862 it became the home of Jose de la Torre, youngest son of the old Spanish-born soldier, Jose Joaquin de la Torre.

La Mirada Adobe — La Mirada is one of the region’s most significant historic structures as well as one of the most beautiful, with its lovely landscaped gardens overlooking Lake El Estero to the north and Lagunita Mirada to the east.

Lara-Soto Adobe (1830s) — Built in the 1830s, legend has it that the magnificent Monterey cypress in the front yard was planted as a seedling over the grave of the occupants’ first child who died in infancy. Records indicate that the property was first granted as a town lot to Dona Feliciana Lara on September 18, 1849. It was one of the few lots granted directly to a woman, and was once owned by John Steinbeck.

Larkin House Adobe and Garden (1834) — The Larkin House is a reminder of the influence Thomas Oliver Larkin exerted on California’s political history and on secular architecture during the first half of the 19th century.

Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library (1876) — Originally the St. James Episcopal Church, the first protestant church in Monterey. When threatened by urban renewal, the building was moved from Pacific Street to its present location in 1970. Operated by the Monterey History and Art Association. Location: 155 Van Buren Street.

Merritt House Adobe and Garden (1830s) — This 1830 two-story adobe has an imposing appearancedue to the balcony across the front with its low railing and the three colonial-type pillars. The outside stairway, permitting access to the second floor, is typical of that early period.

Old Whaling Station Adobe (1840s) — This adobe was built by David Wright, a Scotsman, as a private residence and modeled on the plan of his ancestral home.Today the Old Whaling Station boasts Monterey’s only remammg whalebone sidewalk, a reminder of one of the town’s most important industries from 1850-1900.

Pacific House Adobe and Memory Garden (1847) — David Wright built this long two-story adobe in 1847 for Thomas Larkin. The adobe served in many capacities. By 1850 it had become a hotel for seafaring men, the Pacific House.

Presidio of Monterey (1770) — The Presidio of Monterey was the primary building complex in Monterey from 1770 through the early 1800s. The only building which still stands is the San Carlos Cathedral (below).

San Carlos Cathedral (Royal Presidio Chapel) (1794). The oldest building on the Monterey Peninsula, and the oldest church in continuous use in California.

Stevenson House Adobe and Garden (1830s) — This fine old adobe sheltered Robert Louis Stevenson during his visit to Monterey in 1879 to be near his lady love, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, whom he eventually married.