Carmel Magazine

2018-19 Carmel Visitor Guide

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Page 27 of 145

Photo courtesy of Sunset Center In 1769, Gaspar de Portola left Mexico as the head of a land and sea expedition charged with establishing presidios and missions at San Diego and Monterey. Traveling with him was Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan friar whose task was the creation of a chain of missions along the coast of Alta California. In 1771, Serra located Mission San Carlos de Borromeo de Carmelo at the mouth of what is now Carmel Valley, a spot he described as "a locality indeed most delightful and suitable because of the extreme and excellent quality of the land and the water supply necessary for abundant harvests." Serra ultimately founded nine missions, but this remained his headquarters and favorite. He is buried here. By 1835, Carmel, like the other missions, was secularized and its extensive land holdings divided among several large ranchos, pieces of which ultimately formed Carmel-by-the-Sea. The mission buildings slowly fell to ruin and weren't fully restored until Harry Downie began a meticulous restoration in 1931. The Carmel Development Company sent out its first brochure in May of 1903 addressed "To the School teachers of California and other Brain Workers at in-door employment." It promoted "a seaside town on Carmel Beach in the pine forest alongside Carmel Mission." Sales were slow the first year, but soon professors from Stanford and the University of California began to buy lots and build small cabins in the woods. The earthquake of 1906 brought refugees from San Francisco, many of them artists and writers, drawn by the beauty and affordable prices. Enticed by enthusiastic reports of Carmel's charms and affordable lifestyle, a number of these free spirits moved to the village where they became known as the "Bohemians." George and Carrie Sterling formed the center of a loosely structured group of friends that included among its members Mary Austin, Jack London, James Hopper, Herbert Heron and Sinclair Lewis. The Bohemians often gathered at the beach for abalone feasts, fine conversation and libations. Vigilant stewardship has preserved the incomparable natural setting of coastline and beach. Trees are a vital element of the village landscape and citizens hold dear Carmel's history and sense of community. Residents treasure their village. They have resisted change and worked to protect the legacy left by earlier citizens. Find a self-guided walking tour of many Carmel historical points of interest in the pull-out map next to the Monterey Peninsula map on page 16. A Little Carmel History Carmel Chamber of Commerce 20

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