Pacific Grove History
Timeline authored by Adam Weiland
1542
 
Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo discovers Monterey Bay and lands at what is now called Cabrillo Point in Pacific Grove.
1602
 
Don Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spanish merchant, is believed to be the first white man to set foot upon Point Pinos. He named it Point of the Pines.
1855
 
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.
1863
 
Chinese settle in the area now occupied by Hopkins Marine Station and form their own "Chinatown."
1874
 
Lighthouse Road laid out and used for the transportation of supplies from Monterey to the lighthouse.
 
First permanent house built in what is now Pacific Grove on land owned by David Jacks and lived in by Rev. Ross.
 
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.
 1875
 
June 1: A group of Methodist men, mostly ministers, meet in San Francisco and found 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.
 
The Pacific Grove Retreat Association acquires 100 acres of land from David Jacks to be used as the Retreat area, for the nominal sum of $1.00 -- essentially a gift.
St. John Cox, Esq. surveys the Retreat area, laying out the lots, and files his map.
August 8: The first of the annual camp meetings (not Chautauqua) held.
First bath house opens at Lovers Point.
 
Monarch butterflies first noticed stopping in Pacific Grove.
1877
 
The first lots are sold by the Retreat Association to its members to build homes.
1879
 
June 30: First Pacific Grove Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle meeting held.
 
October: Robert Louis Stevenson takes a walk through Pacific Grove and writes about it in The Old Capital
1880
 
131 19th Street built for Elihu Beard. The house is still owned by the Beard family. 
 
First "Feast of Lanterns" held to mark the close of Chautauqua every year. 
 
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.
1881
 
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.
1882
 
Pacific Grove Reservoir built by Chinese laborers.
1883
 
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.
 
March 31: First "Rules and Regulations" published by the Retreat Association.
 
June 6: Sinclair Harper becomes the first white child born in Pacific Grove. 
 
June 21: The Retreat Association, through David Jacks, sold the land upon which Pacific Grove was situated to the Pacific Improvement Company. 
 
106 7th Street, still one of the most unusual homes in the Grove, is built for Everett Pomeroy. 
1884
 
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 across top of Grand between Laurel and Pine. 
   
June 19: Carrie Lloyd teaches the first school classes in Pacific Grove in Chautauqua Hall. 
   
225 Central built for Senator Benjamin Langford (aka Judge Langford). It is now the Gatehouse Bed and Breakfast Inn. 
1885
 
J. A. Pell opened first undertaking establishment in the Grove.
 
312 Central built for Margaret Tennant. 
 
December 11: Pacific Grove Volunteer Fire Department organized with Cypress Johnson as its first chief. 
1886
 
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.
 
May 4: Post office is first established in Pacific Grove with John B. Norton as postmaster. Closes in November for lack of business. 
 
The "Page Cottage" is built at 104 Fountain. Now the Seven Gables B& B Inn. 
1887
 
January 6: Post office is re-established with R. G. Mitchell as postmaster.
 
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. 
 
May 20: 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 on Lighthouse and remains open for over 50 years. 
1888
 
Pacific Grove Police Department opens with only one person, Edward Rich, the marshal.
 
Dr. E. J. Snell becomes Pacific Grove's first established physician with an office on Forest Ave.
 
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 the Grove. 
 
104 5th Street built for William Lacy. Known as Ivy Terrace Hall and later as Green Gables.
 
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. 
1889
 
The town of Pacific Grove incorporates as a city.
   
Dr. J. V. Horner becomes the Grove's first dentist. 
   
June 29: Southern Pacific Railroad begins passenger service to the Grove. Station opens on August 1. Service is discontinued on September 15, 1957, when the station went out of business. 
   
R. L. Holman builds his grand home at 769 Lighthouse. 
   
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. 
1889
 
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.
1891
 
April 13: First public school building opens on Pine, where Robert Down School is now.
 
April 30:The Monterey and Pacific Grove Street Railway begins service from the Del Monte Hotel through Monterey to Pacific Grove and back.
Starting with horse drawn cars, the line was electrified in 1903. Service discontinued in 1923. 
 
April 30: President Benjamin Harrison visits Pacific Grove and rides on the first trip of the Monterey and Pacific Grove Street Railway. 
1892
 
Hopkins Seaside Lab is built on Lovers Point and used until 1916.
1893
 
Dr. O.S. Trimmer builds his large house at the corner of 6th & Laurel. Still called Trimmer Hill.
1894
 
649 Lighthouse is built for Dr. Andrew J. Hart and remains a familiar downtown landmark.
1895
 
Pacific Grove School District formed.
 
March 9: Electric lights are turned on for the first time in the Grove.
 
The Brandt "mansion" is built at the corner of Lighthouse and 17 Mile Drive. Referred to as Pinehurst, and later as the LaPorte Mansion. Featured in the 1959 movie, A Summer Place. 
1896
 
The Christian Church is built at the corner of Central Avenue and Carmel Street.
1898
 
First streetlight put up by Charles Tuck in front of his house at 502 Forest. Simultaneously, he was City Marshall, Tax Collector, Truant Officer, Health Officer, Dog Catcher and Curfew Bell Ringer.
1899
 
October 20: Pacific Grove Museum is organized with Miss M.E.B. Norton as curator.
1901
 
First brick building in Pacific Grove built for the post office at 208 Forest. It is still there.
 
President McKinley visits Pacific Grove and gives a speech from his carriage stopped on Lighthouse Avenue. After his speech, he visits the Methodist Church. 
1903
 
Women's Civic Improvement Club founded with Julia Platt as President.
 
May 16: President Theodore Roosevelt rides horseback from the Del Monte Hotel, through Pacific Grove, and on through the 17 Mile Drive. 
1904
 
The Japanese Tea Garden at Lovers Point opens to the public. Remained in business until 1918.
1905
 
Monterey County's first SPCA is established in Pacific Grove.
 
December 19: Pacific Grove Public Library established on Central Avenue. 
1906
 
Fire destroys Chinatown and the Chinese relocate elsewhere.
1907
 
450 Central Avenue built for noted artist William Adam as his home and studio.
1908
 
May 12: The new building for the Pacific Grove Library opens to the public. It is renamed the Carnegie Public Library. In 1938, it is renamed back to the Pacific Grove Public Library.
 
June 29: At the Mayflower Church, the first concert on the Monterey Peninsula's first pipe organ is given. 
1909
 
February 19: Mammoth Stables burns to the ground. Many horses die.
 
429 Ocean View Blvd. built for John Pryor and still in his family. 
1910
 
1910 Julia Platt builds her home at 105 Grand and names it Roserox. Now the Grand View Inn.
 
Mayflower Congregational Church built on site where original burned down 8 months earlier. 
1911
 
Pacific Grove High School, designed by William Weeks, built on Forest Ave. Now used as the Middle School.
1912
 
September 6: City Hall completed at corner of Forest and Laurel and first meeting held.
 
Asilomar opens its doors for guests. Actually gets its name in 1913. Buildings designed by noted architect Julia Morgan. 
1915
 
The Lovers Point Dahlia Gardens wins the gold medal for their horticultural display at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
 
February 15: Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce officially incorporated with Ed "Casey" Simpson as its first president. 
 
The assets of the Pacific Improvement Company, including its unsold lots and undeveloped land in Pacific Grove, taken over by the Del Monte Properties Company under S.F.B. Morse. 
1916
 
104 1st Street, designed by Julia Morgan, is built for Lena Dinsmore.
1917
 
First building erected for the newly renamed Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University at Cabrillo Point.
1918
 
Pacific Grove (formerly the El Carmelo) Hotel is dismantled for lack of business. The lumber is used to help build the Lodge at Pebble Beach.
1923
 
Ed Ricketts opens his first Pacific Biological Laboratory at 165 Fountain. Building now gone.
1924
 
Holman's Department store built on Lighthouse Avenue.
 
Grove Theater becomes the first theater built with a pipe organ on the Monterey Peninsula. 
1926
 
August 7: Chautauqua's final appearance in Pacific Grove.
1927
 
City Manager form of government went into effect in Pacific Grove with John P. Pryor as mayor.
1928
 
May 31: Original St. Angela's Catholic Church opens under Fr. Kerfs at 8th & Central.
1930
 
John Steinbeck and his new wife, Carol Henning, move into the Steinbeck family cottage at 147 11th Street. They live there until 1936, when they move to Los Gatos.
1931
 

Top two floors and an elevator added to Holman's Department Store building, bringing jobs and hope to Pacific Grove during the Depression.

Julia Platt, Ph.D., noted zoologist, is elected first female mayor of Pacific Grove at age 73. 

1932
 
Julia Platt uses an axe to chop down a locked gate and allow public access to Lovers Point.
 
July 9: Municipal Golf Course opens and Mayor Platt hits the first ball. 
 
December 21: New Museum building opens at the corner of Central & Forest.
1938
 
T. A. Work's First National Bank of Pacific Grove opens for business, anchoring the just-completed Work Block on Lighthouse between Forest & 16th.
 
October 8: Current Pacific Grove post office building opens on Lighthouse and is dedicated.
1939
 
Pacific Grove passes an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to molest a butterfly and gains international attention.
1941
 
John Steinbeck returns to Pacific Grove in February. He buys and moves into 425 Eardley. In September, he and Carol separate and he moves to New York.
1946
 
City council passes an ordinance naming the fuchsia as the official town flower.
1950
 
January 14: Pacific Grove Youth Center dedicated by Bing Crosby.
1963
 
The old Methodist-Episcopal Church on Lighthouse Avenue is demolished.
1969
 
Residents vote to allow alcohol in Pacific Grove, the last "dry town" in California.
1976
 
Heritage Society of Pacific Grove founded. First plaque awarded to 225 Central in 1978.

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