Historical Markers in
Monterey County, California

19th Century Sailing Ship's Anchor 400th Anniversary of the Naming of Monterey Bay by Gen. Sebastián Vizcaíno A Coastal Attack the Army Couldn’t Stop A Day in the Canneries A. R. Wilson Quarry Alvarado Adobe American Revolutionary War Historical Site Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds Associated Oil Fire – 1924 Balance Lost and Found Again Baldwin Locomotive Class S – 10 Engine 1237 Bataan Park Battle of Natividad Building Cannery Row Camp Roberts Veterans Memorial Cannery Divers Memorial Captain Don Gaspar de Portola Casa Abrego Casa Amesti Casa Buelna Casa de la Torre Casa Gutierrez Casa Pacheco Casa Sanchez Casa Serrano Centrella Hotel Cesar Chavez Park Chaplain Walter Colton, U.S.N., 1787-1851 Chautauqua Hall Chestnut Tree Colton Hall Colton Hall Colton Hall – Site of California’s Original Constitution Company C 194th Tank Battalion Cooper Cabin Cooper-Molera Adobe Crescent Brand Sardine Company Custom House Custom House Cypress Point Lookout De Anza Expedition De Anza Expedition 1775 - 1776 De Anza Expedition 1775-1776 De Anza Trek Reinactment Depots Don Gaspar de Portolá Duarte's Store Dutton Hotel Early American Baptisms in California Early Canning Processes Early Chinese Fishermen Earthquake Bell Ed Ricketts’s Backyard Edward Ricketts El Camino Real Bell El Castillo de Monterey El Castillo Site End of an Era Eugene Sherwood Fiction First Brick House First Marriage in California First Newspaper in California Fish Hoppers For the Sake of the Children Former Firing Range Becomes a State Park Fort Mervine Frank L. Buck House Fremont Adobe French Consulate Gabriel de la Torre Adobe Giant Kelp Beyond the Breakers Glass Bottom Boat Glikbarg Building Golden State Theatre Gonzales Gonzales Veterans Memorial Gordon House Gosby House Inn Grand Procrastination Griffin Plaza Here ... landed Very Rev. Father Junipero Serra Hill Town Ferry Hippolyte Bouchard Monument Historic Harvey House Home of Juan Bautista Alvarado Hopkins Marine Station House of Four Winds House with a View Hurray for Hollywood J. H. King Memorial James W. Finch House John Denver John Steinbeck John Steinbeck and the Lara-Soto Adobe John “Bricky” Crivello Jolon Jone Quock Mui José Eusebio Boronda Adobe Casa Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga Jose Mario Gil Adobe Juan B. Castro Juan Bautista de Anza Jules Simoneau Plaza Junipero Oak Junípero Serra/Establishing the California Missions/The Ave Maria Bell Kalisa's La Ida Cafe Korean War Memorial La Gloria Schoolhouse La Ida Café Larkin House Local Railway Led the Way to America's Salad Bowl. Lockwood Lone Cypress Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista De Anza Madariaga Adobe Manchester Mary Corning Winslow Black Studio Mayo Hayes O'Donnell Library McAbee Beach Merritt House Metz Field/ Chapin Int'l Airport Misión San Antonio de Padua Mission Cross Mission Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad Mission San Antonio de Padua Monterey and Salinas Valley Railroad Monterey Bay Aquarium / Hovden Cannery Monterey Breakwater Monterey Custom House Monterey Customhouse Monterey Harbor Monterey History Time Line Monterey's Commercial Fishing Fleet Monterey's Historic Railway -- from Passengers to Industry Monterey’s First Fishermen Moon Tree Natividad Old Fisherman's Wharf Old Monterey Jail On Top of the Rock One Man, Two Worlds One Voice Murals Project Orientations At The Marsh Building Padre Florencio Ibanez Perry House Pleyto Point Pinos Lighthouse Oil House Point Sur Light Station Portola Crespi Cross Portola-Crespi Monument Post 694 Presidio of Monterey Museum Quarters of General William Tecumseh Sherman Railroad Station Site Robert Louis Stevenson House Rocks and fog spell disaster Rodriguez – Osio Adobe Royal Presidio Chapel Salinas Temporary Detention Center Salinas Valley Cookwagon, c. 1888 / Cookwagon Sam Morse San Carlos Parish Veterans Memorial Science Sherman Rose Inn Silver Harvest Site of Casa Bonifacio Site of Original Church Site of Original Flagstaff Site of Simoneau’s Restaurant Site of the First Salinas Library Sloat Monument Sloat's Landing Southern Pacific Caboose # 726 Spanish Presidio Spreckels Historic District Spreckels Sugar Beet Factory Stevenson House Stilwell Hall: A Fond Memory Stokes Adobe The Argentine Navy The Calamari Story The California Riviera The Cannery Row Monument The Castroville Japanese Schoolhouse The Custom House The De Anza Expedition in Soledad The Del Mar Canning Company, 1927-1947 The Estrada Adobe The Filipino Community The First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments U.S. Army The Gipsy The Great Seal of the State of California The Hacienda The Irene Masteller Mural The Japanese Community The Mustard Seed Trail The Old Whaling Station The Oldest Home in Salinas The Portolá Expedition The Real “Docs“ The Salinas Railway Station The San Andreas Fault The Sargent House The Spanish Community The Stag Saloon The Steinbeck House The Stevenson House The Underwood – Brown Adobe Thomas Cole House Training to Defend America Trains and Canneries Trimmer Hill Two Women From Two Worlds Vasquez Adobe Vietnam War Memorial Welcome to Fort Ord Dunes State Park! Whaling Station Wind Power Working Women World War I Memorial World War II Memorial World War Memorial
The first drive-in movie theater in the world was opened in California in 1933. The theater, called the Drive-In Theatre, was located in Camden, New Jersey. However, the drive-in movie theater became more popular in California and eventually spread across the country.
Monterey County, located on the central coast of California, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Ohlone, Esselen, and Rumsen, were the earliest inhabitants of the region. They lived along the coast, relying on fishing, hunting, gathering, and cultivating crops for sustenance. Spanish exploration of the area began in the late 18th century when the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá arrived in Monterey Bay in 1769.

In 1770, Monterey became the capital of Alta California, a Spanish colony that encompassed much of present-day California. Under Spanish rule, the Presidio of Monterey and the Royal Presidio Chapel, known as the San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey, were built. The mission system was established, and the Carmel Mission, one of the most iconic missions in California, was founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1771.

In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain and Monterey became part of Mexican territory. The Mexican period saw significant changes in the county, including the secularization of the missions, the distribution of land grants to Mexican citizens, and the rise of ranching as the dominant industry.

The American flag was raised above Monterey in 1846 during the Mexican-American War, and California officially became part of the United States in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The following years saw a surge in population and economic growth as Monterey County became a major center for agriculture, particularly in the cultivation of wheat, cattle ranching, and later, the rise of the fishing industry. Monterey's natural beauty and scenic landscapes also attracted artists, writers, and tourists.

Today, Monterey County is known for its stunning coastal scenery, rich history, diverse agriculture, and vibrant tourism industry. It is home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and plays host to numerous annual events, such as the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Its historical landmarks, natural beauty, and thriving cultural scene continue to make it a beloved destination for visitors from around the world.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Monterey County, California.

  • 1770s - Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza visits the area that would become Monterey County.
  • 1777 - The Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission, is established by Father Junipero Serra.
  • 1821 - Mexico gains independence from Spain and Monterey becomes part of Mexico's Alta California territory.
  • 1846 - The U.S. flag is raised over Monterey during the Mexican-American War.
  • 1849 - Monterey becomes the capital of California after statehood is achieved.
  • 1850s - Monterey becomes a thriving center for fishing, canning, and trade.
  • 1897 - The Del Monte Hotel, now known as the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, opens and becomes a popular resort destination.
  • 1916 - The Monterey Bay Aquarium Society is founded.
  • 1931 - Historic Cannery Row is officially named and becomes a bustling sardine canning district.
  • 1940s - The sardine industry declines rapidly leading to the closure of many canneries in Monterey County.
  • 1960s - Monterey County becomes known for its scenic beauty and attracts artists and tourists.
  • 1998 - The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is designated, protecting the diverse marine ecosystem.
  • 2006 - The Fort Ord military base in Monterey County is officially closed.
  • Present - Monterey County remains a popular tourist destination with a thriving wine industry and stunning coastal scenery.