Early History

Prior to 1800: The area that includes Pacific Grove was originally inhabited by the Rumsen Ohlone Native Americans.

1853: Chinese families from the Kwangtung Province settled in the Pacific Grove area, where Hopkins Marine Station now stands, to establish a fishing village as Monterey’s fishing industry boomed.

1874: Reverend J.W. Ross visited the area and decided that it would be the perfect place for a Methodist summer seaside resort, the first west coast Chautauqua retreat.

Christian Resort Development

1875: David Jacks and his Pacific Land Improvement Company donated 100 acres of land to the Methodist Episcopal Church for the proposed seaside resort. Summer tents were set up on the rocky site named “Lovers of Jesus Point.” At the end of each summer, the tents would be dismantled and stored in Chautauqua Hall while the wooden tent frames would be left standing.

1879: The first assembly of the Pacific Coast branch of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle was conducted in Pacific Grove.

1883: The city’s first listing of rules and regulations was published, including strict mandates to ensure the community remained morally controlled.

1889: Pacific Grove was officially incorporated as a one-square-mile city.

1906: A suspicious fire, thought to be the result of arson, destroyed the Chinese fishing village as the settlers were fighting eviction. The Chinese settlers relocated to different areas outside of the city.

1910: The third increase to city limits was added since incorporation. Tents were all replaced by small cottages.

Modern Era

1920s: Pacific Grove had become known as an artists’ haven, attracting famed painters, architects, writers, and other artists to its idyllic location.

1969: Pacific Grove ended its reign as the last dry town in California, finally serving alcohol at the grand opening of the Pacific Grove Art Center.

Current Day: The city lists over 1,200 historic structures on its official Historic Register, resulting in more historic houses per capita than anywhere else in California. Tourism has become a major industry as visitors seek out the rich history, scenery, and beauty that Pacific Grove offers.