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

HISTORY FEST - October 6-7 & 13 - 14, 2018!

Monterey Peninsula Archives Crawl, Living History Day, Civil War Encampment, Adobes Open, Treasure Hunt for History, and many more events this year!

The City of Monterey, Monterey State Historic Parks, Fisherman's Wharf and Monterey History & Art Association bring you History Fest 2018. 

For the HISTORY FEST PROGRAM, please visit /Portals/3/History-Fest-2018-Program-Events.pdf to view the entire schedule of Historic Fest events for October 6-7 and 13-14.

The Archives Crawl and Reception are two separate events. Please visit links below:



Exhibits at Alvarado Gallery

View "Coastal Visions" by Julie Foudy August 10 - October 22, 2018

 The City of Monterey, Museums and Cultural Arts Commission, and the Monterey Conference Center are pleased to announce the current Alvarado Gallery exhibit: "Coastal Visions" featuring local artist Julie Foudy.

Julie Foudy’s inspiration comes from daily walks and trips around the Monterey Peninsula where she captures a moment in time that is translated onto canvas in acrylic paint.  She was an art major at UC Berkeley and has lived and taught in Carmel her whole adult life bringing her love, beauty and joyful expression of art to her students and now to the public.

The exhibit will be on display August 10, 2018 through October 22, 2018 in the Alvarado Gallery, located at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza.

Please contact the Museums & Cultural Arts Division at 831-646-5648 to purchase artwork. Proceeds from the sale of artwork support the cultural arts programs for the City of Monterey.

Please visit

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. 

2018 Schedule for Free Tours of the Pacific Biological Laboratories

Second Saturdays: Three more tours left in 2018 - Sep 8, Oct 13, Nov 10

Make your plans to attend these free tours of Ed Ricketts's Lab. Phone 831-646-5640 to reserve your space for these one hour tours.

Tour times: 9 and 10:30 am, 12:30, 2 and 3:30 pm. Tour capacity: 15 people. The tours start promptly so schedule some time for parking down at Cannery Row and walking to the Lab. 

The Museums & Cultural Arts Staff appreciate the time and talents of our PBL Volunteers: David Barker, Doug Borer, John Castagna, Mike Guardino, Randy Hamilton, Randal Johnson, Scott Johnson, Jack Maheen, Susan Murphy, Kimberley Peake, Mike Sovereign, David Spradling, Richard Warren, and Laverne Webb.

PBL Docent David Barker 

PBL Docent Scott Johnson