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HISTORY

History, like redwoods and mist, is everywhere in Monterey County, and it’s available to explore on foot, by car or on a guided tour. A sturdy adobe house, a roof of red clay tiles, even a fence of grey slats slanting lazily among morning glories: all of these tell stories from the past. The region’s historical record can be broken out into five periods: Pre-contact and Early European Exploration; Spanish arrival; Mexican arrival; American arrival; and Modern Development. For each time period, we’ll try to guide you to sites that illuminate the past.

Early Days of European Exploration For millions of years, the Central California coast belonged to bears and mountain lions, coyotes and condors. Its plentiful acorns were harvested by deer and other critters. The earliest humans, the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen peoples, made huts, baskets and boats of tule reeds. Though none of those highly perishable objects remains, archaeologists have traced a few of their habitations by finding the grinding stones used to prepare acorns. The easiest of these sites to reach is in Carmel Valley’s Garland Ranch Park, while more remote remains are found in the Ventana Wilderness. We can only imagine the surprise of the native people at seeing three small ships tack into an inlet of Monterey Bay. The year was 1602; their visitor was Sebastian Vizcaíno. Vizcaino was assigned by the Spanish viceroy, the Conde de Monterrey, to find safe harbors where the galleons plying the Manila-New World trade could refit. Once he arrived in Monterey, he never left. 40

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Monterey: Land and See  

2008 Monterey County Official Visitors Guide, full of vacation ideas and insider planning tips. Get up to the minute information at http://w...

Monterey: Land and See  

2008 Monterey County Official Visitors Guide, full of vacation ideas and insider planning tips. Get up to the minute information at http://w...

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