Category Archives: Past Events

January 18 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Indigenous Tribes

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020: Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Focus on the Indigenous Tribes. Tim Thomas will discuss the indigenous tribes who lived on the Central Coast of California and on the Lower Presidio Historic Park. For over 5000 years, this area was inhabited by the Rumsien/Ohlone. The Rumsien were the first to be seen and documented by the Spanish explorers of Northern California, as noted by Sebastian Vizcaíno when he reached Monterey in 1602.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork; turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.

The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

December 21 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: The 1842 Invasion of Monterey

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, December 21st:
Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Focus on the 1842 Invasion of Monterey.Tim will discuss the mistaken invasion in 1842 by Commodore Catesby-Jones, commanding the U.S. Pacific Squadron and more about the intriguing history of the Lower Presidio.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork; turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.

The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

About the Capture of Monterey

USS United States Commodore Jones’ flagship: USS United States
Date: October 19–20, 1842
Location: Monterey, Alta California, Mexico (now Monterey, California, United States)
Resul:t American victory
United States vs. Mexico
United States: Commodore Thomas Jones
Land: 50 Marines and 100 Sailors
Sea: 1 frigate 2 sloops-of-war 58 Soldiers
1 fort captured
Casualties and losses: None

The Capture of Monterey by the United States Navy and Marine Corps occurred in 1842. After hearing false news that war had broken out between the United States and Mexico, the commander of the Pacific Squadron Thomas ap Catesby Jones sailed from Lima, Peru with three warships to Monterey, California. The Americans’ objective was to take control of the capital city before a suspected British cession could be achieved.American forces included the frigate USS United States and the two sloops-of-war USS Dale and USS Cyane. The squadron arrived in Monterey Bay on October 19 and anchored. Commodore Jones sent his second in command Captain James Armstrong ashore to demand a Mexican surrender by 9:00 am the following morning. The Mexican garrison consisted of only 58 men in an old fort who chose not to resist so when 9:00 am came, fifty American marines and 100 sailors landed and captured the city without incident. It wasn’t until the next day that Commodore Jones learned that war had not begun between the United States and Mexico and that the British were not preparing to take control of California. The Mexican troops were freed and the landing party boarded their ships and set sail, saluting the Mexican flag as they exited the harbor. Jones headed for Hawaii, which was just taken over by the British, and he helped restore the Kingdom of Hawaii. The incident proved unpopular in Mexico and in response Monterey’s garrison constructed shore batteries and other defenses to guard their city from future attack which came in 1846 during the Mexican War. Thomas ap Catesby Jones was relieved of duty though he eventually served in the war with Mexico.

Source: Wikipedia

November 16 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Sebástian Viscaíno in Monterey

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, November 16th: Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Focus on Sebástian Viscaíno. Tim Thomas will focus on West Coast Explorer, Sebastian Viscaino. In 1602, the Spaniard Sebastián Vizcaíno explored California’s coastline as far north as Monterey Bay where he put ashore. He ventured inland south along the coast and recorded a visit to what is likely Carmel Bay. His major contributions to the state’s history were the glowing reports of the Monterey area as an anchorage and as land suitable for settlement, as well as the detailed charts he made of the coastal waters (which were used for nearly 200 years).

There are new signs on Pacific Street and Lighthouse providing direction to the Presidio Museum and Park. Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.

The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

October 19 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: From Serra to Sloat

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, October 19th, 2019: Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: From Serra to Sloat. Tim Thomas will discuss the overall history of the fascinating Lower Presidio Historic Park from Saint Serra to Commodore Sloat.

There are new signs on Pacific Street and Lighthouse providing direction to the Presidio Museum and Park. Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.

The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

Father Serra meeting Portola
Father Serra meeting Portola
California History Room Monterey Public Library
John D. Sloat

September 21 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour to focus on El Castillo de Monterey

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, September 21st: Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Focus on El Castillo de Monterey.

The El Castillo de Monterey was a Spanish fort constructed in 1792 to protect the port and presidio from invaders. It is one of only 3 such forts constructed by the Spanish in California.
About The Spanish Period (1770-1821)

The fort began in 1792 as a crude log parapet with eleven cannons behind it. The cannons were probably brought from the nearby Spanish Presidio of Monterey. The site was on present day Presidio Hill on a flat plain at the 60′ level overlooking the Monterey Harbor.
In 1796, the Castillo was strengthened by adding a new earthen revetment on the seaward side. The improvements included an adobe supported wooden gun platform, casemates and a wooden barracks for the artillery troops. These improvements still did not make the Castillo a sufficient fortification and visitors to the area generally derided its capabilities.

The first test of the Castillo came on November 20, 1818 when Argentine pirate Hippolyte Bouchard attacked Monterey. He failed in a direct attack on the town and decided to land a force on Point Pinos from which they first attacked the Castillo and routed the defenders. They turned the guns on the town and then attacked it, overwhelming the defenders who fled. The pirates end up sacking the town, destroying the Castillo’s cannons and structures. They set fire to the town before they left.
(Source:  www.fortwiki.com/El_Castillo_de_Monterey)

There are new signs on Pacific Street and Lighthouse providing direction to the Presidio Museum and Park. Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.

The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

August 17 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour to focus on the Buffalo Soldiers

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019:   Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Focus on the Buffalo Soldiers.

There are new signs on Pacific Street and Lighthouse providing direction to the Presidio Museum and Park. Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.

The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About The Lower Presidio Historic Park

Free Lecture on The History and Restoration of the Royal Presidio Chapel Wednesday, August 21

Old Monterey Foundation continues its popular season of free lectures sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County with Royal Presidio Chapel and San Carlos Cathedral docent William Breen speaking on The History and Restoration of the Royal Presidio Chapel.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Lecture: 6:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m.
Q & A: 6:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS
499 Pierce Street, Monterey

Free Admission – Reception to follow with wine and cheese.

The parish of San Carlos will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its founding in June of 2020. This, the longest continuously operating house of worship on the West Coast, has witnessed the full span of Monterey’s history. The current home of San Carlos Cathedral began as The Royal Presidio Chapel, serving the officials and soldiers that claimed Alta California for Spain. The building itself is the oldest architecturally-designed, block-construction structure in California. During a recent major renovation, many artifacts and clues to the original design scheme were unearthed. This allowed the project to achieve its goal of returning the interior design as closely as possible to the original.

William Breen, with assistance from Mrs. Kay Horner, will present the highlights of the long history of the Royal Presidio Chapel and the Presidio it served:

  •  The reasons the Spanish returned to Monterey after a more than 160-year absence.
  • The turmoil caused by relying on a spurious report by an earlier explorer.
  • Father Serra’s choice to abandon Monterey as a mission and transfer his efforts to Carmel.
  • Changes in San Carlos’ status, parishioners and architecture over the centuries.
  • Reasons for the major retrofit and the resulting discoveries.
  • And a sample of the lore surrounding the parish: the salvaging of the Serra Oak, pirate invasion, Russian influence, etc.

William Breen is a retired Army Officer, graduate of West Point and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has served as a docent at the Royal Presidio Chapel and San Carlos Cathedral for over ten years.

Bill Wojtkowski, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will also present a brief overview of recent improvements accomplished and planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park.

For more information about Old Monterey Foundation, call (831) 346-3030.

The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.

This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.

The event is hosted by Old Monterey Foundation and sponsored by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

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