History Fest, October 15th &16th, showcases Monterey’s important role in California’s early history. From the Royal Presidio Chapel to the Lower Presidio of Monterey with stops in between, the past can be easily explored over the weekend’s “Open House” of activities and tours of many of the historic buildings, sites and new activities.
Saturday & Sunday 12 - 4 The center of the festival will be the at the Old Custom House where you can gather information from Cultural Heritage groups from all around Monterey County. Groups will provide information, presentations, demonstrations and hands-on-activities for all ages. Visit the Custom House’s new store highlighting unique items and purchase your discount tickets for this year’s Christmas in the Adobes.
Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf will celebrate its 171st birthday! Enjoy delicious wharf-themed birthday cake (while it lasts) at 3:00 on both days at the Wharf tent.
Plus, Free Wharf Walk with Historian Tim Thomas, “The Fascinating Fishing History of the Monterey Bay”, Saturday only 11 am – 1 pm.
Enjoy, learn and participate in an early California Fandango, with the Monterey State Historic ParkDancers from noon to 3:00pmMonterey each day in the garden adjacent to the old Custom House.
We are happy to share the Custom House Plaza with the annual Monterey Bay HarvestFest Arts &Crafts Faire put on by the Pacific Repertory Theater. The Fest is free to the public and will offer original works including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, and more. Enjoy international food and live entertainment both days from 10am – 5pm.
The Lower Presidio Historic Park will serve as the weekend home for a Civil War encampment complete with tents, period artifacts, cannon and musket detail demonstrations and a horse drawn ambulance. In addition, Saturday morning offers a bus tour covering the history of the U.S. Army’s Presidio of Monterey from the Spanish era to present at 9:30 am.
Space is limited, reservations required – 831-646-5640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walking tours of the Lower Presidio, Saturday afternoon only, will recount explorer Sebastian Vizcaino's landing, Capt. Don Gaspar de Portola’s claiming of California for Spain and Argentine revolutionary Bouchard’s attack on Monterey. The tours visit the first Spanish burial, the fortifications of El Castillo and Fort Mervine, as well as monuments to Father Junipero Serra and Admiral John Sloat.
Saturday also includes tours of the Pacific Biological Lab on Cannery Row (Doc Ricketts Lab).
Visit our website at www.monterey.org/museums for times and space limitations. Reservations required: call (831) 646-5640 or email - email@example.com
Sunday 12-4 Activities continue at the Custom House Plaza including, displays and ceremonies, surprise appearances, and music.
Monterey State Historic Park offers free admission to the Custom House, Pacific House and Stevenson House on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 – 4:00. Designated State Historic Landmark #1, the Custom House the center of trade and government as well as a social center for Mexican California from 1827 to American occupancy in 1846. Today, it displays trade goods that would have traveled thousands of nautical miles to reach this remote Capital of Alta California.
Pacific House was built in 1847 for the Mexican government by the former American Counsel to Mexico, Thomas Oliver Larkin. it served many uses, including clerk’s office, court house, and saloon. Today’s it features Monterey history from the first Rumsien people to California statehood. Visit the second-floor to see one of the finest privately assembled Native American collections in California.
Stevenson House, the two-story adobe will be open for guided or self-guided tours 0n Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 4. Learn about the famous authors stay in Monterey in 1879.
Treasure Hunt for History! (Sunday only) – Family Fun for all ages! It’s a hunt for history inspired by Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Pirate costumes are encouraged! Pick up your treasure hunt map packet at Stevenson House at Noon, follow the map and return at 3:00 pm for prizes and refreshments.
Sea Shanty Review and sing a-long will begin at 3:00 p.m. (Sunday only). Wrap up your treasure seeking by joining Monterey’s favorite children’s musician Nancy Raven. Free with optional $5.00 donation to support Monterey State Historic Park’s Children’s Education programs.
Free Walking Toursleave from Pacific House at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:00 – Approximately45 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. Led by State Parks Guides, the tours of Monterey’s nearby historic sites include the wharf area, Pacific House, Custom House, First Brick House, California’s First Theater (exterior) and Memory Garden.
Casa Gutierrez will feature a special WPA art exhibition of rare and important murals and paintings created by local California artists working for the Works Progress Administration during America’s Great Depression. (Sunday only – 11:00 – 4:00).
House of Four Winds Adobebuilt in the early 1830’s has been used as a private home, a store, Monterey’s first Hall of Records, and Thomas Larkin’s house while his family home was being built. The adobe flaunted California’s first weather vane, hence its name. One of the buildings treasures is the desk that was used for the signing of California’s first constitution. The building is now owned and operated by the Monterey Civic Club and will be open for public tours on Saturday from 11 – 4.
On Sunday, 2:00 – 3:30 the California Constitutional Convention convenes in the House of Four Winds 540 Calle Principal Street (Colton Hall is not available for public assembly at this time) just as it did in 1849 to reenact the birth of California as a state. The audience can watch history in the making with local actors portraying the California delegates as they collaborate to create California’s landmark constitution of 1849.
Reservations required – 831-646-5640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colton Hall and Old Jail 10:00 – 4:00 both days. Tour the site of the state’s first constitutional convention and first public school. Learn the stories and issues that shaped our state’s first constitution, see original school items and photographs in the building where it all happened.
Step back in time as you enter the thick granite rock building constructed in 1854 and served as an old jail for more than 100 years.
Casa Serrano built in 1845 by Thomas Larkin and sold to Florencio Serrano where he opened one of the first schools in California. The building was later leased to various tenants including the locally famous Cadamatorie’s Restaurant. It was here that the Monterey History and Art Association was proposed over dinner. The association purchased the building in 1959. Enjoy viewing antiques and early California art work while enjoying refreshments provided by MHAA docents. Saturday only 11 – 4.
Royal Presidio Chapel founded on June 3, 1770, this National Historic Landmark is the oldest building in Monterey and the oldest church in continuous use in California. The Heritage Center will be open for visitors to view displays and artifacts on Saturday and Sunday from noon - 4. The Chapel will be open on Saturday until 2 and Sunday after 1.
Admission to all events and historic sites participating in History Fest is free. Some events have limited space and reservations are required.
For the full schedule visit www.historicmonterey.org.