Pacific Grove History

In order to preserve the history of Pacific Grove, one needs to know the history of Pacific Grove. Here we'll make an attempt to define the skeleton of that history with this timeline.

João Rodrigues Cabrilho lands at Cabrillo Point

16 Nov 1542João Rodrigues Cabrilho discovers Monterey Bay and lands at what is now called Cabrillo Point in Pacific Grove. It also used to be called China Point because it was once the location of the Chinese Village. It is currently the site of Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station.

Don Sebastian Vizcaino set foot on Point Pinos

16 Dec 1602 Don Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spanish merchant, is believed to be the first white man to set foot upon Point Pinos. He named it "Punta de los Pinos" or Point of the Pines.

Point Pinos Lighthouse Starts Operating

Point Pinos Lighthouse, illuminated by a whale oil lamp, starts operating on February 1. Illuminated by kerosene in 1880 and electricity in 1919, it is now the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast.

Chinese Settle in Pacific Grove

Chinese settle between Cabrillo Point (China Point) and Point Alones (Current location of the Monterey Bay Aquarium), which is the area now occupied by Hopkins Marine Station and form their own "Chinatown."

Lighthouse Road Constructed

Lighthouse Road constructed for the transportation of supplies from Monterey to the lighthouse at Point Pinos.

First permanent house built

Rev. Ross built the first permanent house in what is now Pacific Grove on land owned by David Jacks.

Considered as campsite for Methodist Retreat Association

Bishop J.T. Peck meets with Rev. W.S. Ross in the pines of what is now Pacific Grove to inspect the location as a possible site for a Christian seaside resort.

Pacific Grove Retreat Association founded.

A group of Methodist men, mostly ministers, meet in San Francisco and founded the Pacific Grove Retreat Association to set up a Christian seaside resort and camp meeting ground for members and friends of the Methodist-Episcopal Church with 100 acres of land acquired from David Jacks for the nominal fee of $1.

Retreat area surveyed

St. John Cox, Esq. surveys the Retreat area, laying out the lots, and files his map.

First Annual Camp Meeting Held

The first of the annual camp meetings (not Chautauqua) held.

First bath house opens

First bath house opens at Lovers Point.

Monarchs Discovered

Monarch butterflies first noticed stopping in Pacific Grove.

First Lots Sold

The first lots are sold by the Retreat Association to its members to build homes.

First Chatauqua Meeting Held

First Pacific Grove Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle meeting held.

Robert Louis Stevenson Writes About Pacific Grove

Robert Louis Stevenson takes a walk through Pacific Grove and writes about it in The Old Capital.

131 19th Street built

131 19th Street built for Elihu Beard.

First Feast of Lanterns Held

First "Feast of Lanterns" held to mark the close of Chautauqua event.

Eucalyptus trees planted on Lighthouse Ave

Eucalyptus trees on the north side of Lighthouse Avenue started from seed brought from Australia by Bishop Taylor of the Methodist diocese. Some still remain in front of the post office.

Chautauqua Hall built

Chautauqua Hall built to store tent covers and other items for the Pacific Improvement Company. Also used for the first indoor church services and the first indoor school sessions.

Pacific Grove Reservoir built

Pacific Grove Reservoir built by Chinese laborers.

James Stevinson builds home at 129 Pacific Ave.

James Stevinson has a smaller replica of his San Joaquin Valley home built at 129 Pacific Avenue. The Grove's first wedding was held here soon after for Mrs. Stevinson's sister.

Retreat Association Rules & Regulations published

First "Rules and Regulations" published by the Retreat Association.

First white child born in Pacific Grove.

Sinclair Harper becomes the first white child born in Pacific Grove.

Pacific Improvement Company buys PG's Land

The Retreat Association, through David Jacks, sold the land upon which Pacific Grove was situated to the Pacific Improvement Company.

106 7th St. built for Everett Pomeroy

106 7th Street, still one of the most unusual homes in the Grove, is built for Everett Pomeroy.

Pacific Improvement put Retreat additions for sale

The Pacific Improvement Company created the first and second additions to the Retreat and began selling lots to all comers, thereby creating a real estate boom in the town.

Mammoth Stable built

Mammoth Stable built across top of Grand between Laurel and Pine.

Carrie Lloyd teaches first school classes

Carrie Lloyd teaches the first school classes in Pacific Grove in Chautauqua Hall.

225 Central built for Senator Benjamin Langford

225 Central built for Senator Benjamin Langford (aka Judge Langford). It is now the Gatehouse Bed and Breakfast Inn.

First Undertaking Establishment opened

J. A. Pell opened first undertaking establishment in Pacific Grove.

312 Central built for Margaret Tennant

312 Central built for Margaret Tennant.

Pacific Grove Volunteer Fire Department organized

Pacific Grove Volunteer Fire Department organized with Cypress Johnson as its first chief.

Wagon Gate at Central Ave chopped down

Approximate year when "Judge" Langford, tired of walking to the office on Grand Avenue for the gate key, used an axe to chop down the wagon gate at the Central Avenue fence to Pacific Grove. It was not repaired, and by 1890 most of the fence around the Retreat was gone.

Post Office first established

Post office is first established in Pacific Grove with John B. Norton as postmaster. Closes in November for lack of business.

"Page Cottage" is built at 104 Fountain

The "Page Cottage" is built at 104 Fountain. Now the Seven Gables B& B Inn.

Post office is re-established

Post office is re-established with R. G. Mitchell as postmaster.

First boarding house opened

The first boarding house opened up in Pacific Grove when J. F. Gosbey opened his home at 643 Lighthouse to summer boarders. The Centrella Cottage is built soon afterwards.

El Carmelo Hotel opens

El Carmelo Hotel (later known as the Pacific Grove Hotel) opens for business on the site of the present Holman building.

Charles Tuttle opens his drugstore

Charles Tuttle opens his drugstore on Lighthouse and remains open for over 50 years.

Pacific Grove Police Department opens

Pacific Grove Police Department opens with only one person, Edward Rich, the marshal.

Dr. E. J. Snell becomes Pacific Grove's first established physician

Dr. E. J. Snell becomes Pacific Grove's first established physician with an office on Forest Ave.

Pacific Grove Review Established

B.A. Eardley establishes the Pacific Grove Review as a real estate newspaper. Later in the year, the Gallanars convert it to a real, weekly newspaper--the first in Pacific Grove.

Green Gables built

104 5th Street built for William Lacy. Known as Ivy Terrace Hall and later as Green Gables.

Methodist-Episcopal Church and Assembly Hall is built

The Methodist-Episcopal Church and Assembly Hall is built on Lighthouse between 17th & 18th streets. Appears in the 1959 movie, A Summer Place. It is demolished in 1963.

Pacific Grove incorporates as a city

The town of Pacific Grove incorporates as a city.

First Dentist

Dr. J. V. Horner becomes Pacific Grove's first dentist.

Southern Pacific Railroad begins passenger service to Pacific Grove

Southern Pacific Railroad begins passenger service to Pacific Grove. Station opens on August 1. Service is discontinued on September 15, 1957, when the station went out of business.

R. L. Holman builds home at 769 Lighthouse.

R. L. Holman builds his grand home at 769 Lighthouse.

First bank established in Pacific Grove

E. Cooke Smith establishes the first bank in Pacific Grove at the corner of Lighthouse & Forest. He builds the current bank building there in 1905.

First person buried in El Carmelo Cemetery

Lavinia Goodyear Waterhouse of 13th Street became the first person buried in El Carmelo Cemetery after she died at age 81. A 7 day old baby was buried on the site in 1889 before it was the cemetery.

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