Explore Historic Monterey


The Explore Historic Monterey cell phone tours and brochure were made possible by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service.

Preserving History

Restored Pacific Biological Laboratories specimen tanks

Ed Ricketts’ Marine Specimen Tanks, 1928-1948

In October 2010, as part of a grant awarded to the City of Monterey by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, conservators stabilized and protected the concrete specimen tanks located in back of the Pacific Biological Laboratories building. Marine biologist Ed Ricketts used the tanks to store marine specimens for his research and in preparation for shipment to schools, universities and museums. The tanks were originally built by Vicente Rodriguez, the previous owner of the Lab site, who used them for his fish salting and sardine pressing operation. Ricketts began using the tanks when he moved to the site in 1928.

Featured News and Events
"In Perspective" by Kristy Sebok

"In Perspective" by Kristy Sebok

Exhibit at Monterey Conference Center, Alvarado Gallery, January 10 - April 28, 2014

The City of Monterey, Colton Hall Museum and Cultural Arts Commission, and the Monterey Conference Center are pleased to announce "In Perspective" by Kristy Sebok. Kristy is an abstract artist who honors the natural world around her by capturing it through her perspective. She strives to simplify nature using light and color in order to reflect the feelings of life. She also incorporates a tactile quality to her work by painting layers upon layers to fully capture the emotion and texture of her world.

The exhibit will be on display January 10 - April 28 in the Alvarado Gallery, located at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza.

Many thanks for  our Parks Division!

Many thanks for our Parks Division!

1931 Memorial plaque gets a make-over!

We wish to thank the Parks Division for cleaning up the memorial plaque describing the founding of Colton Hall. The plaque was dedicated on the 161st anniversary of Monterey, June 3, 1931 by the Native Sons of the Golden West, a California history preservation group formed in 1875. The plaque originally hung on the east wall (where the Planning Office is located), and was removed when the stucco was removed from Colton Hall in the 1970s.

In 2012, the Parks Division created a concrete base for the plaque, and it sat under the giant cypress tree located on the corner of Dutra and King Streets. The plaque was removed for cleaning during the first week of April 2014. 

Thank you, Parks!

Monterey History Volunteers Recognized for Community Service

Monterey History Volunteers Recognized for Community Service

National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014

The Museums and Cultural Arts Division and the Library’s California History Room recognized its Monterey History Volunteers with an appreciation party in the Community Room on Friday, April 11. Volunteers who served a specified number of hours over a 12-month period or over a course of a lifetime received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award levels are as follows: Bronze: 100-249 hours; Silver: 250-499 hours; Gold: 500+.

Congratulations to our volunteer recipients for receiving the following awards: Bronze: Herb Behrens, Robbie Behrens, Joan Jeffers McCleary and Laverne Webb; Silver: Rebecca Hetter and Harry Powell; Gold: Barbara Furbush.

Special recognition and the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Gold level to Ann Appel and the volunteers from the Monterey Pacific Rotary Club which, over a 10-year period, contributed 3,700 volunteer hours decorating Colton Hall for the holidays and assisting with the annual Christmas in the Adobes event.

Volunteers pictured above: Angel Look, Joan Jeffers McCleary, John McCleary, and Barbara Furbush with the Library's Special Services Coordinator Jeanne McCombs.

Free Public Tours of Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

Free Public Tours of Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

June 21, July 19, August 16 and October 4, 2014

Join us at the Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab) at 800 Cannery Row, Monterey, for free tours sponsored by the City of Monterey. All five sets of one-hour tours are on Saturdays, and our docents will present the history of the Lab, Ed Ricketts, his friendship with author John Steinbeck, and the PBL Club that was instrumental in founding the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Dates of tours:

June 21, July 19, August 16 and October 4

Tour times for each date are:

9:00-10:00 am, 10:30-11:30 am, 12:30-1:30 pm, 2:00-3:00 pm, 3:30-4:30 pm

Make your reservation by phoning the Colton Hall Museum, 831-646-5640 between 10 am - 4 pm daily. Deadline for tour reservations is the Friday before the scheduled tours. Please arrive at the Lab 10 minutes prior to the tour.

Due to the Lab's historic significance, 15 persons can be scheduled for each tour.