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Historic & Literary Monterey

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The historical significance of Monterey and its earliest structures is immense to say the least. Two of these establishments are celebrating 150 years of existence with what else, but a party.

On February 23rd, the Monterey Post Office celebrates its 150th year of service in the Monterey Community. This post office was the first post office to be established west of the Mississippi River. There will be an Open House with refreshments from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

On March 8th, Colton Hall is also commemorating its 150th Birthday with a party. Colton Hall, under the direction of Walter Colton, the first American Alcalde of Monterey, was erected in 1849 as a school house and public hall. The party begins at 2 PM and will continue until 4 PM. The admission is free to all.

Did You Know?

The Old Monterey Jail was built in 1854. Sitting behind Colton Hall, it served as the city jail until 1956. Its claim to fame: no one ever escaped during its history! Open daily.

Historic & Literary Monterey

 Monterey California History The history of Monterey is part of its charm. Throughout the county, the story of Monterey's rich heritage is writ large in its adobes, gardens, mission bells, and lighthouses. Monterey is the most historic city in California, and the allure of the area continues to enthrall writers, artists and retreat seekers. You can explore the history of Monterey County through guided or self-guided tours.

Check out the Monterey State Historic Park web site for details on Monterey's many historical attractions, or click here to read more about the history of the area.

More Reasons to Come Soon


What better way to celebrate the birthday of the literary genius John Steinbeck then for his son, Thomas Steinbeck, to read excerpts of the legendary Steinbeck novel “Grapes of Wrath.”

The Big Read kickoff begins February 24th at the National Steinbeck Centerwith Thomas Steinbeck in attendance on the first two days. The program continues through the end of March with events including book groups, film, dance, and panel discussions. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

For more information on this event please contact the National Steinbeck Center at (831) 796-3833 or visit their website at .

Discover Military History

Open Mondays 10am-1pm, Thursdays-Saturdays 10am-4pm, and 1-4pm on Sundays, the museum is housed on the historic Presidio grounds overlooking Monterey Bay, now home to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Enter the Presidio via Artillery Street; there's free parking on Corporal Ewing Road near the museum.

Visit our new Bookstore
To learn more about Monterey’s fascinating history, or to find books by and about Monterey County writers, click here to visit our new Bookstore page»