Monterey... a living museum

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’s 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 Jose (Joseph) Benito Rodriguez and Vicente Rodriguez, two (unrelated) partners in La Esperanza Fish Packing Company, for use in La Esperanza's fish salting and sardine pressing operation. Ricketts began using the tanks when he moved to the site in 1928.

Featured News and Events

Call for Art Proposals for Exhibitions at Alvarado Gallery!

The Museums and Cultural Arts Commission of the City of Monterey invites artists to submit proposals by November 30, 2018 for art exhibitions beginning in February 2019

Selected exhibitions highlight the quality and diversity of arts and cultural expression in the Monterey area in order to inform, educate and delight Monterey residents and Conference Center visitors. 

Prospective exhibitors must be significant established artists from or living outside Monterey County whose works depict the Monterey area. Artists who have exhibited their work in the Alvarado Gallery during the past five years will not be considered. Proposals may be for group or solo exhibits. The application review and notification process will take approximately one (1) month.

Applications and guidelines and selection criteria can downloaded here or picked up at Colton Hall Museum (daily 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) For more information call 831-242-8743.

Completed applications must reach Colton Hall Museum no later than 4:00 pm Friday, November 30, 2018.


Call for Music 2019!

The Candlelit Music Series Returns to Historic Colton Hall!

The selected musician or group will perform a one-hour acoustic music concert from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday evening of the month:  

February 13, March 13 and April 10, 2019.

Prospective performers must be able to perform acoustic music; pianos are not permitted. Applicants or groups who have not performed in the Colton Hall series in the past two years are invited to apply.


 NO LATER THAN 4 PM ON FRIDAY, November 9, 2018

(No late or incomplete submittals will be accepted)

Application packet must include:

  • Letter of submittal requesting a performance at Colton Hall
  • Performance fee
  • Sample program
  • Compact disc recording of a performance
  • Number of performers
  • Contact person, phone number and address

Submittals should be directed to:

Chalet Booker, Cultural Arts Assistant

831-242-8743, or at          

Museums and Cultural Arts Division

570 Pacific Street, City Hall

Monterey, CA 93940

Battle of Monterey Event, November 17, 2018

Monterey Will Be Attacked Again!!

Relive this exciting historical event on Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 10 am - 5 pm.

Visit this link for the program of events: /Portals/3/BOM-2018-brochure-.pdf


411th Telegraph Battalion at the Presidio of Monterey 1917-1919

The Museums & Cultural Arts Division is pleased to announce a new exhibit at the Presidio of Monterey Museum: The 411th Telegraph Battalion at the Presidio of Monterey, 1917-1919.

Long before electronic media, the telegraph was a major tool for military communications. After the United States entered into World War I, the Pacific Telegraph and Telephone Company issued a bulletin announcing the organizing of a telegraph battalion. First Lieutenant George R.O. Rutherfurd was among the 15 officers and 215 enlisted men who served within the Battalion. The exhibit highlights Rutherfurd's time with the Battalion, a panoramic photograph of Battalion members on motorcycles at the Presidio, terrain maps, Rutherfurd's journal, and the book "Memories of the 411th Telegraph Battalion 1917-1919 in the World War, Here Over There". Rutherfurd's granddaughter, Suzanne Lacey and her husband David, have generously loaned this rich collection for exhibit to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.