Carmel, Carmel Mission, Fr. Serra,, Saint

Father Junipero Serra Canonized Saint Junipero Serra September 23, 2015

For the last nine months, ever since the day Pope Francis unexpectedly announced, while flying to the Philippines from Sri Lanka that he planned to canonize Fr. Junipero Serra the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea has been buzzing with opinions.  And as you would expect, the town was far from united in their opinion.  In fact opinions were clearly polarized as usual into opposing factions. 

On Wednesday September 23, 2015 I witnessed Father Junipero Serra canonized – Saint Junipero Serra in the Carmel Mission Basilica courtyard. 

With Father Paul in Washington at the actual canonization, Father Miquel Rodriguez and Deacon Bill precised over our noon mass.  The Basilica was filled with residents, visitors and lots of press.  

Junipero Serra School was closed 

so that the students could participate serving and attending Mass. 

After Mass, Father Miquel reverently carried the First Degree Relic of Saint Junipero Serra to the front door of the mission. 

Here hundreds of us lined up to have a personal moment of blessing as Father Miquel gently touched each of our foreheads or our rosary or religious object with the relic whispering the words, Saint Junipero, pray for us.  

From here the crowd filed into the mission courtyard where more press, security, and a jumbotron awaited. 

We now stood or sat patiently waiting to hear Pope Francis announce Serra’s sainthood.  The day was perfect, sunny, warm with a slight breeze as if the Holy Spirit was putting His kiss on the day.  

At 1:15 the crowd turned their attention to the jumbotron showing the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., and listened to the words of Pope Francis.   

“Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it….Having given mature deliberation and having begged the help of Divine Grace and the opinion of many of our brothers, Blessed Junipero Serra, we discern and define to be a saint, and we inscribe him in the catalog of saints, establishing him in the universal church among the saints who should be appealed to with devotion. in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” 

And with that announcement, the mission bells rang loud and strong for minutes while the crowd cheered.  

A photography by L.A. Momboisse 
Carmel, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Cypress Inn

16th Annual Carmel Inns of Distinction – 2014 – Part 2 – The Cypress Inn

Cypress Inn 
Northeast Corner Lincoln and Seventh Avenue 
Amenities:  Complimentary Breakfast, Eco-conscious, 
Ocean View Rooms, Pet Friendly Rooms
Terry’s Lounge and Restaurant on Site

The Cypress Inn also enjoys a rich history. It begins in 1906 with artist Sydney Jones Yard. 

Sydney Jones Yard was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1856. In the 1880’s he moved to California and opened a pair of photography studios in San Jose and Palo Alto. In 1898 he discovered the majestic oaks of Monterey County, and married Fannie M. Estabrook.   

Late in 1906 Yard began work building a rustic home/studio for himself and his wife on the south side of Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln in what had come be known as the artist village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. On January 1, 1909, Yard suffered a heart attack and died in front of the Carmel Post Office.

The following year the Yard Studio was purchased by another artist, Mary DeNeale Morgan.

Ms. Morgan was born in San Francisco in 1868.  She studied at the California School of Design under Virgil Williams, the same mentor of Christian Jorgenson. 

After the 1906 earthquake Carmel received an influx of artists. Morgan among them.  Shortly after she arrived in Carmel, she organized the Arts and Crafts Club.  Their clubhouse occupied what is now the Golden Bough Playhouse and was the first cultural center in Carmel.  Six week art classes taught by Ms. Morgan cost $15. 

In 1910, Ms. Morgan had the Yard Studio moved from Ocean Avenue, down Lincoln to what would later become the courtyard addition to the Cypress Inn.

Morgan Building 1993 before it became Courtyard of Cypress Inn photo MorganBuilding2lot16-Copy_zpsd06d9033.jpg
The wooden Yard Studio, the first artist studio built in Carmel, was the nucleus of the Morgan Studio. Ms. Morgan made additions to the Yard Studio in 1920, 1936, and 1937.

In 1927 she and her sister-in-law, artist Charlotte Bodwell Morgan were two of the founding members of the Carmel Art Association.  This organization is the oldest continuously operating gallery in Carmel.    

On October 10, 1948, while lunching at The Blue Bird Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ms. Morgan suffered a heart attack and died.

The Morgan Studio remained in the possession of the Morgan family until around 1998 when it was purchased by Cypress Inn Investors.  The Morgan Studio was demolished, making way for the courtyard suite addition to the Cypress Inn in 2001.

Cypress Inn Courtyard addition on lot of Morgan Studio - 2001 photo 0262_zps3b5b60cc.jpg
The memory of Mary DeNeale Morgan lives on even if her house does not.  Just north of the Cypress Inn is a court named after the artist.  

The original building of the Cypress Inn was built much earlier than 2001 and also has a history. 

In 1927, Dr. Rudolph Kocher, had a building constructed for his medical practice on the northwest corner of Dolores and Seventh Avenue.  The building was the first of three commercial structures designed by Blaine & Olsen in the Spanish Colonial Revival style that would line Seventh Avenue between San Carlos and Lincoln, giving the area the nickname “Spanish Hill.”  This style can best be described as Spanish with Moorish features such as bright tile work, decorative grill work, and the signature tower. Today Dr. Kocher’s medical building is the home of La Bicyclette 

The second building by Blaine and Olsen was built in 1928 for Businessman L. C. Merrill. This building is now the home of Little Napoli.

The third building by Blaine and Olsen was built for Dr. Kocher in 1929 adjacent to his medical office.  This building which was financed with the help of his partner in this project, Grace Deere Veile (of the John Deere Family).  Grace Deere Veile would go on to found the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in 1934.

Dr. Kocher newest building was built on the former site of the Lincoln Inn managed by Mrs. John S. Ball. Dr. Kocher opened his new venture as The La Ribera Hotel in 1929 retaining Mrs. Bell as manager.

At its opening, the Monterey Peninsula Herald called the La Ribera “One of the show places of the peninsula,” offering its hotel guests high tea and wine tasting. Though it opened to great reviews , it did not survive the effects of the Depression and went into receivership in 1930. 

The hotel was reopened and managed as the La Ribera by A. G. Wood, former manager of the luxurious San Carlos Hotel of Monterey. In the 1960’s Earl E. McInnis took over management of the hotel and renamed it Cypress West.

In the mid 1980’s businessmen Denny LeVett and actress Doris Day fully restored the hotel and reopened it as The Cypress Inn.  It became Carmel’s original pet-friendly hotel. Notice the German Shepard enjoying the veranda of the King Suite in the courtyard wing above. 

During the Inns Of Distinction Tour, guests were serenaded by the music of Kenny Stahl in the Doris Day Room.

The inn’s walls are decorated with Doris Day vintage movie posters, reminding us of a simpler time.  

Nearby Christmas cookies hot from the oven of Terry’s kitchen tempt Inns of Distinction guests 

as they decide which wine from Heller Estate Organic Vineyards to pair with their treat, the 2011 Merlot or the 2012 Chardonnay. 

Over the past three years on the Inns of Distinction Tour, I have had the opportunity to tour a number of the Cypress Inn rooms in the newer courtyard wing (the area built where the Yard/Morgan studio once stood).  This year it was a treat to tour rooms in the original part of the hotel.  The following is a video of all the rooms I have toured at the Cypress over the years.  

Just three block to our next hotel Tally Ho Inn.

Landscape with Sheep by Sydney Yard – Sydney Yard Tonalist.
Black and white photo of Mary DeNeale Morgan – Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Point Lobos Cypress and the Deep Blue Sea – Mary DeNeale Morgan – Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Black and white photo of Morgan Building 1993 Historic Content Statement, Carmel Historic Survey –  courtesy of Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Color photo of the Courtyard Suite Wing of Cypress Inn added 2001 – courtesy of Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Black and white photo of La Ribera Hotel c. 1929 – Carmel Historical Resources Binder Harrison Memorial History Library.
All other photography and video by L. A. Momboisse –

McGlynn, Betty Hoag.  The Root of Carmel’s Art Galleries, (November 13, 1998). Harrison Memorial Library History Department.
Morseburg, Jeffrey. The Magic Hour Light of Sydney Yard.

Carmel, Carmel Poodle Day, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Poodle Day

Carmel Poodle Day

5th Annual Poodle Day

September 27, 2014 

Poodle Day is a day that unites Poodle’s and their poodle people with others of like mind.

They come from all over California and beyond to celebrate a day all about them in one of Dog Fancy Magazine’s top ten most dog-friendly cities in America.

The day began precisely at 9:30 am at the Carmel Crossroads Shopping Center with a peaceful Poodle parade consisting of 700 Poodle participants and their people. 

The Poodle’s paraded and proudly preened in their most popular varieties, colors and styles. 

First out of the gate were the tiny Teacup Poodle’s, and then the ever so slightly bigger Toy.  

 Many wore their favorite outfits and 

these proudly paraded as pumpkins. 

Sometimes their people companions also got into the act. Such as Ms. Little Bo Peep and her pretty Toy Poodle made up as a sheep. 

Next were the Miniature Poodles.
Not sure if that color is natural.

But these pretty pink Poodles sure were personable!

The Standard Poodle category featured more pink and some popular Poodle cuts such as the Continental Clip with a plethora of puffy pompons.  How long does it take her to get ready in the morning? 

 These precious poodles are showing off their perfect Bikini Clip with pretty pastels.

Bikini Clip Patriotic Poodle

Cowboy Cut Poodle

Why am I wearing my mom’s shoes – aka Patient Poodle.

 There were 700 pretty Poodle participants and I had to narrow this down so these are the final popular picks.  

Peace Poodle from Brentwood Police Department, 

and not just another My Little Pony Poodle –

Which we will see more of during Poodle play at the beach later this afternoon. 

With the parade over it is time for the Poodles to attend some profoundly practical classes.  The one entitled “How to Extend Your Cut,” was packed. 

After a short break and a few treats the Poodles met at 13th and Scenic 

for a playful romp on Carmel Beach. 

Precisely at 1:45pm – because we all know Poodles are prompt – all assembled for a perfectly priceless photo with their precious families.  

With back to the waves, they proudly posed for portraits. 

By 3pm, ready to retire to their rooms, the Poodles scattered throughout the lovely village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, lounging in spas, putting their paws up and having PETicures. 

At 4pm the Poodles, dressed in their best duds, were off to their well deserved Yappy Hour.  This year with six options it was hard to choose.  But with the available seating at a premium, and all events sold out our attendees were yapping with pleasure at whichever venue they were able to attend.   

Anton & Michel, with prominent seating surrounding a pleasant pool and fountain –  so refreshing.  

Grasings opened their upper veranda for precious Poodle pleasure. 

At Vino Napoli, who could resist a place on the table by the fireplace. 

At Jack London’s we met 

our first Sheepdoodle. 

Those who were able to attend the Bistro Beaujolais were pleased as punch to drink from the Fountain of Woof. 

And for those who were able to obtain the most popular ticket, The Cypress Inn

they had a perfect time with plenty of room to lounge on the patio by the fire or in the Doris Day Room.  

Make your reservations early for next year’s Annual Poodle Day.  A pleasurably perfect day where all Poodles are proud to present their perfectness and properly enjoy some well deserved praise and pampering.  

Photos – L. A. Momboisse – 

Carmel, Friends of Carmel Forest,, Self- Guided Tree Tour, Tree Tour, Trees

Friends of Carmel Forest Tree Tour with Dr. Matt Ritter

“In the beginning, there was the forest on the seaward-tilting slope of the land.  The thick straight trunks of the mighty Monterey Pines held billowy green canopies high against the sky.” (1)

To this day all who make the journey from Monterey over the hill to Carmel witness this majestic forest stand of Monterey Pines.

In 1888, Monterey native brothers Santiago and Belisario Duckworth acquired the rights to develop 324 acres of the Las Manzanitas Rancho from Honore Escolle.  The brothers filed the first official map of what was then called Carmel City with the Monterey County Recorder’s office in Salinas the same year.  Carmel City was laid out in a grid pattern with one hundred thirteen blocks which would contain both the residential and business district of town.

“In 1901, Santiago Duckworth came to Frank Devendorf … he wanted to exchange all of his unsold Carmel City lots for whatever Devendorf had to offer in return.  Devendorf proposed to trade him some land in Stockton for the Carmel lots and the two men agreed.” (2)  Devendorf would go on to plant Monterey Pine trees down the center of what could come to be called Ocean Avenue.

Today we reap the benefits of Devendorf and all those who continued in his manner to plant trees in Carmel-by-the-Sea, now known as “a village in a forest by the sea.”

Friends of Carmel Forest, founded in 1989, a citizens group committed to the enhancement and perpetuation of Carmel’s forest environment is one such organization.  Besides the spectacular surroundings, another wonderful reason to live in Carmel is the unlimited option for life-long-learning experiences.

On July 11th, 2014 Dr. Matt Ritter botany professor at Cal Poly lead our group on a 3 hour tour of Carmel’s trees.  This was his third year leading a walk and lecture that highlighted thirty plus varieties of trees. We viewed and learned how to identify trees in a 9 square block area bordered by Dolores to the east, 5th Avenue to the north, Monte Verde to the west and 7th Avenue to the south. (I have included a map at the end of this post for use as a self-guided tour).  

With the information Dr. Ritter provides along with his very user friendly book A California’s Guide to the Trees Among Us anyone, no really anyone can learn to identify the trees among us.  

“I have always been drawn to trees and believe that I am not alone in this sentiment.  Growing up among the remnant stands of large valley oaks in a small interior valley of California’s North Coast Range…I knew there was something inspiring about trees…Those who live in California need not travel to exotic places to see an eclectic mix of trees from all corners of the earth; one only need stroll down a local street and look up.” (3) 

That is exactly what we did, beginning at First Murphy Park next to the First Murphy House home to Carmel Heritage Society.  

One of the rarest trees in the world, the Monterey Cypress occurs naturally in only three areas, Pebble Beach, Point Lobos and Carmel-by-the-Sea.  The large specimen in the center of the park is suffering possibly from the drought.

We have another opportunity on our hike to view a healthier example. In front of Cypress Inn are three trees, (r to l)  a sickly Redwood, Juniper and Monterey Cypress with thick bundles of fruit clustered as globular cones weighting down bows of leaves. 

Our next tree, the Italian Stone Pine is distinguished by its characteristic flat top which can be seen below juxtaposed against the Monterey Pine’s in the distance.  

The leaf of the Stone Pine contains two needles per bundle.

The cone does not produce the usual winged seed; rather inside this seed is the very delicious Pine Nut.

Though the leaves appear to be showing their fall colors, they should not be in early July.  The two Big Leaf Maple’s in First Murphy Park are probably also suffering from the drought.  The few leaves that hang on their limbs are 

chlorotic (not producing sufficient
chloropyll to stay green) and have a fungus. 

Just outside the park we encounter our first eucalyptus, the Narrow-Leaf Peppermint. The name “Eucalyptus” comes from the Greek meaning well covered, referring to the dome-shaped bud cap that falls off as the flowers open.  

At the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Monte Verde are a number of the native Monterey Pine. The leaves contain three needles per bundle and the cones appear slightly lopsided.  

The Monterey Pine is native to the Monterey Peninsula and the coast of Santa Cruz and Cambria.  These that line Ocean Avenue in front of the Normandy Inn and Pine Inn were planted in the early 1900’s.

In front of City Hall on Monte Verde between Ocean and 7th Avenue are very nice specimens of our California state tree, the Coast Redwood.  The Coastal Redwood is the tallest tree in the world with the tallest at 387 feet located in Del Norte County California. 

Our Coastal Redwood is not quite that tall, Dr. Ritter believes the one below may be around 80 to 90 feet. The circumference was measured a few years ago by Friends of Camel Forest at 12 feet.

One of our Coast Redwoods has a large burl, which is where the grain of the tree has grown in a deformed manner.  Burls are popular with furniture makers and wood sculptors, with some trees being harvested for their burl.  Many ancient redwoods in the National Parks of the Western United States have been poached for their burls. 

Across from the L’Auberge Carmel  we find our next two trees.  The first is the Tulip Tree with it’s distinctively truncated (squared-off) leaves with four points.  

Dr. Ritter explains that the Tulip Tree does not do well in coastal climates.  This one has an infection of mealybugs and aphids.  Which led to Dr. Ritter’s interesting story about the relationship between ants and aphids, or what is called herding or farming aphids.

Once upon a time near a Tulip Tree ants became known as protectors of aphid larvae.  The aphids were so thankful that they vowed to repay the ant by supplying them honeydew. Or something like that. 

Dr. Ritter explains it like this, the aphid uses it’s mouthpiece to drain sugar out of the plant. When the aphid becomes so full the sugar is excreted in the form of honeydew. The ant then drinks the droplets the aphid excretes. When the sugar runs out in one area of the plant, the ants herd the aphids to another area and start the process all over again. I wasn’t quite sure I believed it untill I found this BBC video. Nature is amazing. 

Native to China, the Tree of Heaven is usually found in vacant or abandon lots and is even nicknamed “ghetto palm.”  But here in Carmel we find two right in the middle of town.  

The leaves of the Tree of Heaven are compound with palmate leaves.  Meaning they have leaflets arranged along the edges of a central stem. 

In the planter outside the Mandeville Lee Hazen Group  Dr. Ritter introduces us to the Manzanita (left) and Japanese Maple (right). 

The Manzanita is an evergreen bush or small tree that is native to California with reddish brown bark.   


Manzanita means “little apple” in Spanish and when looking at the fruit I suppose they look like little apples.  

The Japanese maple is native to Asia; this species has a spectacular showy purple/red color. 

I used to think that the winged structures below the leaves were just immature leaves. 

They are actually the fruit, which are a pair of winged segments that each contains a seed.  The seeds which are spread by the wind are perfectly weighted in each segment, so that when they detached from the tree they spin like a helicopter. 

Around the corner from the Japanese maple (still trying to hog the camera time) is the Blackwood Acacia.

Okay full disclosure time, I am not the biggest fan of the acacia.  And after reading in the Friends of Carmel Forest Newsletter that in the last eight years, the acacia presence has increased in the Village 40% as compared to the Oak at 14% or the Pine at -15% maybe Carmel-by-the-Sea should not be such a big fan either.  But anyway this specimen is lovely and apparently has no problem surviving, thriving or multiplying in our climate.  

The seeds, Dr. Ritter explains are distributed by the “bird dispersal mechanism.” The black seed on the inside of the pod is attached with an embilicle cord feeding the seed. As it develops the red feniculas wrap around the seed twice. The birds are attracted to the red and pick off, eat, and digest the feniculas.  The excrement from the bird of this seed becomes the new tree.  

Our next tree is native to the Mediterranean.  The Olive tree was most likely the first non-native tree introduced to California by the Franciscans at Mission San Diego.  

It does well here. The trunk of the Olive tree appears older than it is.  Dr. Ritter estimates that this tree is only about 30 years old.  To me this tree is reminiscent of the back side of Michelangelo’s David. 

“Magnolias are an ancient and primitive group of flowering plants that evolved at a time when Earth was covered primarily with ferns and conifers.  The iconic southern magnolia is widely planted throughout California and is the most widely grown ornamental tree on Earth.

It can be recognized by the contrasting sides on its evergreen, stiff, leathery leaves: glossy, dark green above and gray to rust-colored and felted below.  

Its spectacular, fruit-scented, creamy white flowers are borne individually on the deep-green canopy like huge water lilies. They are California’s largest cultivated tree flowers, some reaching a foot in diameter.  These flowers evolved prior to butterflies and bees and were originally pollinated by beetles…” (4) 

The American Linden is native to Eastern North America. Here in Carmel we have two.

The flowers are attached to a bract (modified leaf) and are both male and female.  Once the cluster of flowers are pollinated they turn into a cluster of small fruit and fall from the tree.  When the weight of the fruit is just right, the bract acts like a helicopter dispersing the fruit away from the parent tree in the wind.  

In Piccadilly Park Dr. Ritter points out the Washington Hawthorn, Griselinia and Ginkgo.  The Ginkgo is an ancient organism having been around before flowering plants.  

Trees are male and female.  Though most Ginkgo’s planted are male due to the unpleasant odor of the female fruit. 

There are two Deodar Cedar’s across from the Village Corner.   
Note the upright female cones
that sit atop the branches.  
In front of the Carmel Art Association we view a healthy stand of Coastal Live Oak. 

Native to our area the missionaries saw this incredible tree flourishing throughout the area and believed it to indicate the ground was fertile. They were right.  

Our tour ends back where we started near First Murphy House on Lincoln with a very large Bluegum (not the largest in town that would be found on the NW corner of Ocean and San Antonio).  

The Bluegum is the second most planted tree in the world. Native to Hobart Tazmania it was introduced to California in the 1850’s by a ship captain who sailed between San Francisco and Tazmania.  He liked the tree, and planted a large orchard of them on his ranch in Cordilia, California.  

Thank you Dr. Ritter,
 we look forward to next year.  


(1) Self-guided Walking Tour of the Heritage Trees of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Howard Skidmore.
(2) Dramov, Alissandra. Carmel-by-the-Sea, The Early Years (1903- 1913), Author House Bloomington, IN, 2012. p. 99-100.
(3) Ritter, Matt. A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us, Heyday, Berkeley, California, 2011. p. xiii.
(4) Ibid., 79.

All photography by L. A. Momboisse unless noted below:

– Black and white photo of Santiago Duckworth c. 1890 in his sporting rig above Carpenter Street (Photo courtesy of the Harrison Memorial Library History Department).
– Black and white photo view down Ocean Avenue toward Carmel Beach c. 1888.  The Hotel Carmelo is on the right at the northeast corner of Junipero Street (Photo courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library History Department).
– Black and white photo looking northwest toward the Pine Inn c. 1910.  Frank Devendorf planted the Monterey Pine trees in the median of Ocean Avenue (Photo courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library History Department).
-Color photo of the Southern Magnolia flower Wikipedia public domain.  

Carmel, Cottages Gardens and Cantatas, House Tour,

Carmel Bach Festival – Cottages, Gardens & Cantatas 2014 – Mission Orchard House & Le Papillon

Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous, musical producers and owners of the Dene-Watrous Gallery, believed that Carmel-by-the-Sea should be the epicenter of world-class music, art and cultural expression.  In 1935 they set out to make their dream a reality by founding the Carmel Bach Festival

The festival began as a four-day concert series at the Sunset School Auditorium and the Carmel Mission.  Now in its 77th Season, the Carmel Bach Festival features over 75 performances and free community events at 12 locations around Monterey Peninsula.  

This year the Carmel Bach Festival held their inaugural Carmel Bach Festival Home and Garden Tour in May, featuring three gardens and three homes in the Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Point area.  Many sites offered live classical music performed by musicians from the Festival’s Young Musician Concert.  Our first stop, Mission Orchard House.

 Mission Orchard House 
3100 Rio Road 

Many of us pass the Mission Orchard House daily while driving along Rio Road, but few have the opportunity to go behind the gate to visit the extraordinary casita garden and view what is considered the oldest residential dwelling in California.

There are two main houses on the property, one built of adobe and one of wood. The two structures, c. 1929, (adobe left, wood right) are seen in the picture below.


Though this property has a facinating history, this post will concentrate on the structures and garden in their present state.  

Just inside the gate stands a very old cork oak tree.  A native of Western Europe, namely Spain and Portugal, this oak may have been planted by Fr. Palou at the same time he planted the pear orchard next to the mission in 1774. 

The cork oak forms a thick bark that may be harvested every 9 to 12 years.  The harvesting does not hurt the trees, some of which can live for up to 250 years. 

The adobe wall shown in the picture above was part of the original orchard wall built in 1774 to surround Fr. Palou’s pear orchard.  Today this wall is the north wall of the adobe living room, giving this adobe casita the distinction of being considered the oldest residential dwelling in California.               

In 1812 mission records show that a lean-to was built against the orchard adobe wall to provide housing for the mission orchardist and caretaker. 

Over the years the lean-to would grow to double its original size. 

In 1921 Carmel Mission pastor Father Ramon Mestres hired Jo Mora to restore the adobe house. 

Joe Mora’s paintings decorate the walls.

Mora hired stonemason Juan Martoral to build the large field-stone chimney into an addition to the north wall of the living room.

In the 1920’s the adobe house would be opened as a tea house by Carmel’s second mayor and first female mayor, Eva DeSalba. 

Adjacent to the adobe,

the second house on the property, the pink wood structure, was originally built by squatters beginning in 1850.  

Legend claimed that the house was built on piers of whalebone vertebrae.  In 1996 when the house was restored, this was proved to be true.

As I walked the gardens, the tranquil sounds of the cello, played by high school freshman Robert Percell, filled the air. 

The various owners of this property have added to the gardens over the years. An uneven brick walkway leads past a ramada for al fresco dinning.

The gardens are overflowing with flora in every direction. 


pride of Madeira, and

bird of paradise.

Variety of roses, 
 flowering aloe vera,
and prickly pear cactus.
In 1976, antique dealer Harry Lewis Scott purchased the property and decorated the home and garden with museum worthy antiques.  
He even incorporated pieces of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, damaged in the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, into the garden.
In the mid 1990’s, Mr. Scott sold the property which had come to be known as “Mission Orchard House,” to the Monterey Diocese.  He maintained a life estate on the property and after his passing in 2011, the Mission Orchard House property became part of the Diocese of Monterey.  The Diocese is currently investigating what must be done to preserve and restore this important piece of our history.

Le Papillon 
25091 Hatton Road 

Our next property, Le Papillion, is owned by Brenda and David Mauldwin.  Brenda runs a garden design and consulting company, The Window Box. 

Her creative touch appears throughout. From wine bottle oil lamps which illuminate the property at night, 

to the large spirit nest, a memorial to the homes previous owner, Brenda’s love of whimsy is everywhere.

As I tour the garden, recorded mandolin music of Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg accompany my walk. Enjoy this video of Le Papillon gardens.

Next up, an artist’s dream home, The House with the Red Gate and Cimarron a home with lovely Carmel Beach view. 
Part 2 The House with the Red Gate and Cimarron
Part 3 Rivermouth and Winton Garden

All photos and video by L. A. Momboisse except those listed below:

– Black and white of adobe and wood house taken after 1921. (Kent Seavey, Images of America Carmel A History in Architecture, (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) p.17

– Black and white photo from 1929 – the Mission Tea House. Photo used with permission from Casa Q Events. Casa Q Events planned the dinner at Orchard House given in honor of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Father Junipero Serra. 

Carmel, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel History, Carmel Mission, Mission Orchard House

Mission Orchard House – Historical House Carmel-by-the-Sea California

Mission Orchard House Property

Most of us have driven by this historical property on Rio Road, nestled between the Carmel Mission and Larson Baseball Field, but few have the opportunity to tour the grounds.

It has been open for special events in the past decade such as: the Carmel Heritage Society’s Home and Garden Tour 2003, the California Mission alfresco dinner in 2013, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Father Junipero Serra, and the inaugural Carmel Bach Festival House and Garden Tour in 2014.

There are two main houses on the property, one built of adobe and one of wood. The two structures (adobe left, wood right) are seen in the picture below.

It is a special place with quite a bit of history. In fact the adobe on this property is considered the oldest private residence in California.  Well at least one of the walls of this residence can claim to be almost 250 years old having been erected in 1772.

Carmel Mission
1770 – 1834

Pentecost Sunday, June 3, 1770 Blessed Father Junipero Serra said Mass and erected the cross that would establish the second mission in California, Mission San Carlos Borromeo (Carmel Mission).  The mission was originally located near the Monterey Presidio beside the Bay of Monterey. 

On August 24, 1771, Blessed Father Junipero Serra moved the mission from Monterey to its present site in Carmel. 

He began construction on the mission and an adobe wall that would surround the future mission orchard in 1772. 

Two years later, Fr. Palou planted a pear orchard within the adobe wall. Three of those pear trees still exist today. 

The picture, above shows the side of the orchard adobe wall that would have faced the Mission.  This is the present day adobe living room wall.  

In 1812 mission records show that a lean-to was built against the orchard adobe wall. This lean-to would have provided housing for the mission orchardist and caretaker.  The 1774 wall of the lean-to is the current north wall of the adobe living room.

1834 – 1859

On August 9, 1834, Mexican Governor Figueroa passed regulations secularizing mission lands.  If the regulations had been carried out as they were decreed, the Carmel Mission Native American’s would have received portions of the mission lands. Though some were granted land, the majority of the mission lands went to Mexican families. (1)

Native American Juan Romero would come to own 160 acres which included the Carmel Mission, pear orchard and the adobe lean-to. (2)

By 1839 the rest of the land surrounding the mission, some 4,367 acres became the Mexican land grant called  Rancho Canada de la Sequnda, granted by Mexican Governor Jose Casto to Lazaro Soto. Lazaro Soto’s grandfather came to California with the De Anza Expedition. Lazaro was married to Felicita Cantua and by 1849 he had sold his land grant for $500 to Andrew Randall.     

–  Back at the Mission, (it is not clear where Juan Romero was during his years of ownership), by 1846 squatters had begun to occupy the mission ruins and the adobe lean-to. One of the squatter families by the name of Cantua (possibly a relative of Felicita Cantua Soto) filed a claim with the U.S. Lands Commission for possession of the property. This was denied. 

In 1850 the squatters used whalebone vertebrae gathered from the beach and wood beams taken from the abandoned Carmel Mission to build a one story wood house next to the adobe lean-to. 

The two downstairs rooms of the wood house that exist today would have represented this structure.  

Though squatters were living on the property Juan Romero still owned the land.  In 1852 he would deed this property to William Curtis a Monterey store owner for $300. 

In 1856 Mr. Curtis sold the property to one of his clerks, Mr. Loveland.

In 1859 John Martin purchased the property from the Loveland’s and lived in the adobe lean-to.  Later that year, the United States Land Commission confirmed ownership of nine acres of the Martin purchase (the land surrounding the Carmel Mission) back to the Catholic Church. (3) John Martin moved his family into a ranch house he built on his property at Mission Ranch.

The picture below is the 1859 U.S. Government survey of land restored to the Catholic Church.  In the north east corner of the orchard two squatters houses are drawn. One being the adobe lean-to consisting of the living room and entry area of the current adobe and the other the two downstairs rooms of the current wood house.   

Back in Church Hands
1860 – Present 

May 27, 1861 -“We visited the old Mission of Carmelo…it is now a complete ruin; entirely desolate…we rode over a broken adobe wall into this court.  Hundreds (literally) of squirrels scampered around to their holes in the old walls…About half of the roof had fallen in…the paintings and inscriptions on the walls are mostly obliterated…The old garden was now a barley field, but there were many fine pear trees left, now full of young fruit.  Roses bloomed luxuriantly in the deserted places, and geraniums flourished as rank weeds. (4)  

Around 1870 Father Angelo Casanova would be appointed pastor of Carmel Mission.  He leased the orchard land to Christiano Machado, a whaler from the island of St. Michael’s in the Azores.

Machado would serve as the mission caretaker and orchardist until 1920.  During that time he added extensively to the garden and the orchard.

In the garden a “ramada” for al fresco dining was built of adobe, along with an oven for baking. 

In 1881, Machado’s brother-in-law, whaler Captain Victorine, (who built the whaler’s cabin at Point Lobos which still stands) would add a second story to the wood squatters shack next to the adobe for the Machado’s twenty-five children.

In 1921 Carmel Mission pastor Father Ramon Mestres would hire Jo Mora to restore the adobe house. 

The main entrance of the adobe was moved to the east side facing the entrance to the wood house.  

An entry room in the adobe led to the living area. The painting decorations on the interior walls were originally painted by Joe Mora.

Additional space was added to the living room to make room for a fireplace.  Mora hired stonemason Juan Martoral to build the large field-stone chimney, which would be built into an addition to the north wall of the living room.

The adobe still resembles the lean-to, with sloping roof off the north wall. (The room seen above off the living space to the west was added in the 1940’s)

To make the ramada and gardens more accessible to guests, doors were added to the south elevation. 

In 1924 Father Mestres sold the restored house to three women.  One of these women was Eva DeSalba, the second mayor and first woman mayor of Carmel. 

These women opened the adobe as the Carmel Tea House, which became a popular Carmel spot for lunch and afternoon tea.  It closed in 1929.

In 1929 the Lloyd Pacheco Tevis Family purchased the property. They would further expand the existing buildings over their years of tenancy. 

The Trevis Family added separate living quarters for their butler and gardener toward the rear of the property,

as well as an art studio for Mrs. Tevis, 

and a billiard room for Mr. Tevis.

In the early 1940’s the Tevis Family hired Sir Harry Downie, curator in charge of the Carmel Mission restoration, to expand the existing adobe home, with the aim of keeping it with its original character.

A new kitchen, 

dining room and butler’s pantry

were added following 
the long axis of the building
opening to the gardens. 

These additions would double the size of the original adobe house.  Downie would also install one of the first water-circulated radiant heating systems in the country within a new concrete slab floor in the adobe.

In 1976 antique dealer Harry Lewis Scott purchased the property from the Trevis family.  Mr. Scott operated Keller & Scott Antiques in downtown Carmel.  At the time, his store was across from the Carmel Art Association on Dolores. 

Scott decorated the home and garden with museum worthy antiques and original painted designs found at the Santa Inez Mission. He also incorporated pieces of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, damaged in the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, into the garden.  

In the mid 1990’s Mr. Scott sold the two and a half acre property, which had come to be known as “Mission Orchard House,” back to the Monterey Diocese. Mr. Scott maintained a life estate in Mission Orchard House so that he could live the rest of his life on the property.

In 2003 he opened up his beautifully decorated property to the Carmel Heritage Society for their annual House and Garden Tour. 

Mr. Scott passed away in 2011 and Mission Orchard House passed to the Diocese of Monterey in October of that year. Currently the diocese is investigating what must be done to restore this important and historic property.  

(1)Randall Millken, Laurence H. Shoup, and Beverly R Ortiz, Ohlone/Costanoan Indians of the San Francisco Peninsula and their Neighbors, Yesterday and Today (Archaeological and Historical Consultants Oakland, California, 2009), p. 154,155,161,162.

(2) Helen Wilson, “The Mission Ranch – A Brief History,” The Herald Weekend Magazine, April 20, 1986.

(3) Martin J. Morgado, Serra’s Legacy (Mount Carmel Publishing Pacific Grove, 1987), p. 113.

(4) Up and Down California in 1860 – 1864 – The Journal of William H. Brewer:  Book 1 Chapter 7 Salinas Valley and Monterey. 

Monterey Father Serra’s Landing Place (Painting of first Mass Pentecost Sunday June 3, 1770) – Oil on canvas depiction by Leon Troussett 1877. 

All photos and video by L. A. Momboisse except those listed below:

– Black and white of adobe and wood house taken after 1921. (Kent Seavey, Images of America Carmel A History in Architecture, (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) p.17

– Black and white drawing of Carmel Mission c. 1794 by John Sykes (picture taken from wall in Carmel Mission courtyard).

– Picture of water color of Carmel Mission c. 1827 by Richard Beechey (picture taken from wall in Carmel Mission courtyard).

– 1859 U.S. government survey of land restored to the Catholic Church (Martin J. Morgado, Serra’s Legacy (Mount Carmel Publishing Pacific Grove, 1987), p. 113).

– Two black and white photos from 1929 – the Mission Tea House inside and out.  Photos used with permission from Casa Q Events. Casa Q Events planned the dinner at Orchard House given in honor of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Father Junipero Serra. 

Carmel, Carmel Meadows, Carmel River State Beach, Crespi Cross, Hike,

Wildflower Hike to the Portola Crespi Cross – Carmel River Beach

The river too is quiet, except when the winter floods rage down the valley to battle the waves across the sand-bar, or surge out in a tremendous bore through new-cut channels. At most times it spreads out like a placid lake, and trickles into the adjoining water-meadows. Here among reeds and tough grasses the pools reflect every changing hue of sky and clouds, and the shadow of the hills lies darkly.”
 (Una Jeffers describing the Carmel River Wetlands)

The historic Portola Crespi Cross is an easy one mile loop that can be reached from either the Carmel River Beach (Carmelo and Scenic)  or Carmel Meadows (Highway 1 and Ribera Road) see map.  

Today we hike from the Carmel River State Beach.  The first thing when making the hike from this side at this time of year, is to look southwest toward the highlands 

to see if the Carmel River has broken
through the sand bar.

If it has, care should be taken to make sure not to be trapped on the Crespi Cross side.  The picture below shows the river flowing to the ocean from the Carmel Meadows side in April of 2013. 

Though this does happen, 

Today this will not be a problem. With an unseasonably high temperature of 78 degrees, the entire town has descended upon the river side of the beach. 

 Our destination is the field 

of yellow beyond the beach and 

the Portola Crespi Cross.

On our hike we will first pass the Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands, a protected sanctuary for migrating birds.  This lagoon is formed by the opposing forces of the Carmel River and the Pacific Ocean.  This force is also what causes the Carmel River to periodically break through the sand dunes, as shown in some of the earlier pictures.  

While the ocean currents continuously deposit sand on the beach, the lagoon rises and falls according to the seasons. During the summer and fall the lagoon waters are low, tule reeds visible two feet above the marshy wetland water.   (Below  the Mission Ranch is seen in the distance during the summer over the lagoon.)

After winter rains, in early spring the lagoon is high and the tule reeds barely visible with most of the beach on the lagoon side covered in water. Below a Mourning Dove observes the high waters of winter over the lagoon. 

Walk past the lagoon
 and scan the reeds for Mallards.

 By the shore watch for Sandpipers. 

In the distance on the sand bar,
look for the meeting of the gulls.

Today the gulls appear to have invited a couple of Caspian Terns noticeable in the back. 

At the end of the beach,
climb the stairs to the loop trail

 to the Portola Crespi Cross.

Which is still in the distance.

The trail is clearly marked and goes in a circle. During wildflower season this is a spectacular hike. Word of caution, stay on the path! 

 There is a lot of poison oak,
and the only way to be sure of avoiding it,
 is to stay on the path. 

Since moving to Monterey County two years ago I have taken advantage of the Let’s Go Outdoors program a life long learning program for all ages.  It is here that I was introduced to the wonders of wildflowers (and numerous other things in the wild). Through the direction and knowledge of Michael Mitchell and Susan Hubbard the art of identifying the gazillion varieties of wildflowers became manageable.

Michael and Rod M. Yeager, MD, wrote Wildflowers of Garland Ranch – a field guide and manage an incredible web site Monterey County Wildflowers, Shrubs and Trees

Susan Hubbard, of the California Native Plant Society, lectured on the identification of wildflowers and their families. The information provided in this lecture made identifying flowers easier, by breaking everything down to the basics.  


The predominate flower on this hike is the yellow Field Mustard. There is an urban legend surrounding this plant.  It is said that Blessed Father Junipero Serra introduced the Field Mustard seed to California by scattering it as he walked from mission to mission.  As the years went by the seeds provided him with a “golden pathway” between missions. 

Mixed with the Field Mustard is the purple Wild Radish.  

Wild Radish and Field Mustard are both from the same family.  One of their distinguishing characteristics is that their four petals form the shape of a cross.

There are about 25 different forms of Lupine found in Monterey County.  I believe this one is Summer Lupine (don’t hold me to that). Lupine’s are a member of the pea family and they have flowers that look like Pac Man.

There were a whole gathering of Lupine
hanging out by the stairs and the
Angler Survey box. 

Besides the Pac Man shape flowers notice the palmate leaves. A palmate leaf is like a circle with leaflets growing out of the center. Remember it by thinking of the palm of your hand.

The next few wildflowers are a bit harder to spot.   So be on the lookout for Red-stemmed Filaree, a member of the geranium family.

Fun fact about the Filaree is their seed dispersal method.  The long seed heads in the picture will coil into a twisted tail; the seed at the end.  After the tail dries and falls to the ground it will act like a corkscrew, responding to wet or dry conditions, alternating between coiled and uncoiled, eventually planting the seed in the ground.  Amazing!

Don’t overlook our state
 flower the California Poppy.

Or the Seaside Fiddleneck which
 gets its name from
 the curve in the neck of the flower.
Think of the neck of a Violin.

They also have distinctive leaves
with sharp hairs and bumps.

The Fiesta Flower was a common corsage for women of Early Monterey. On their way to the fandango, a gentleman would pick a flower from the Fiesta Flower plant and place it on his dates lapel. The small “hooks” on the stem and leaf would stick to the fabric, becoming one of the first corsages. 

The Morning Glory always reminds me of my sister, it is just a joyful flower. Morning Glory’s varieties have different leaves.  This one is the Beach Morning Glory, you can tell because the leaf is kidney shaped.  

Sticky Monkey Flower
Who names these things?  
It is easily recognized by its bright orange
 tubular flowers that almost always are in pairs.

Beside wildflowers, be on the lookout for the large boulder which points the way to the Portola Crespi Cross. 

This cross is one of two crosses erected in 1769 by Captain Gasper de Portola and Father Juan Crespi. You may read more about the history here.   

From the location of the cross the view north 
over the Carmel River Wetlands is spectacular. 
When ready follow the path back down past 
a hillside of Seaside Coastal Paintbrush.

 The Coastal Paintbrush is from the
Broomrape family which can be parasitic.  
Parasitic or not, it is stunning in bloom!

If all goes according to plan you have
 made a full circle ending up back at the
top of the stairs to the Carmel River Beach. 

Until next time, get outdoors!

Photography – L. A. Momboisse –
Quote (Una Jeffers 1938 – From Jeffers Country, page 12)

Carmel, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel History,

Carmel Heritage Society and First Murphy Park

Old Carmel Foundation / Carmel Tomorrow
“It’s Your Town Start Running It”

In 1976, “born of frustration and nurtured by anger, a grassroots movement sprang up in Carmel with the avowed intent of halting deterioration of the village.  The group Old Carmel was conceived and gained notoriety through its efforts to save the Village Corner, long a favored stopping place of local residents. 


When threatened with a loss of lease and possible conversion to some other purpose, the Village Corner became a rallying point for residents concerned with the proliferation of tourism as Carmel’s chief source of business. With well over 300 members, Old Carmel rapidly established itself as a potentially powerful political movement.” (1)  

Old Carmel counts the saving of the Village Corner as their first victory. “Ben Lyon, Randy Reinstedt, George Faul, Mindy Faia and several others banded together to help then owner George Rockwood to keep the popular restaurant on the northeast corner of Dolores Street and Sixth Avenue.  The group initially named itself The Old Carmel Foundation which eventually evolved into Carmel Tomorrow.” (2)

In their first general membership meeting, Carmel Tomorrow leaders, Frank Lloyd a newspaperman, Arthur Strasburger, vice president of Carmel Realty, Leslie Gross former building inspector, and Howard Brunn owner of Carmel Bay Co., raised a set of diverse objectives – from saving the north field at Sunset Center for baseball games to establishing a system of preferential parking for local citizens.  Their moto, “It’s your town. Start running it.”

Carmel Heritage Society 
“It’s Ours to Protect”  

Carmel Tomorrow was dubbed a “politically potent organization” and fell into disarray. In 1984 it was reborn as a new non-political group called Carmel Heritage.

“Virginia Stanton, the first president of Carmel Heritage told the Carmel Pine Cone/Carmel Valley Outlook that the group plans to work toward preservation of the village’s past without dabbling in political controversies.” (3)  

Thirty years later the Carmel Heritage Society, a non-profit organization, is still serving the City of Carmel. Their mission is to protect, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the community in a way that encourages public recognition and participation so that people will have a greater knowledge and appreciation of the community of Carmel and its sphere of influence.

Carmel Heritage Society provides the community of Carmel with a variety of historic gifts and venues.
Besides their current project of cataloging and archiving numerous historical documents and photos from the last 100 years, the Carmel Heritage Society hosts two charming and informative tours yearly. The House and Garden Tour and Inns of Distinction are well worth the price of admission. Check out Carmel Heritage Society’s Facebook page for more details.  

Carmel Heritage Society‘s home is First Murphy House, which is a living history museum of the 100 year history of Carmel-by-the-Sea.  One piece of this living history stands just outside the front door.  It is the wooden Milk Shrine, once used by Carmelites for their milk deliveries. 

First Murphy House is staffed by volunteers and the hours are posted on the front door at Lincoln and Sixth.  

First Murphy Park

First Murphy Park is a wonderful addition to the grounds of First Murphy House. It is an area of native plants and benches, and a delightful place to sit and just let time pass. 

In 1994, The Valentine, a bronze sculpture figure by George Wayne Lundeen, of an elderly couple seated on a bench was purchased by the City of Carmel for $40,000 to grace the southeast corner of the park.  
As someone views and touches a piece of my work, it is  my sincere hope that they will look past that hard surface of bronze to find the life which I try so much to capture within.” (George Wayne Lundeen)
Mr. Lundeen most certainly captured life in The Valentine.  Every time I walk by this statue, I am reminded of my parents who honeymooned at the Pine Inn in 1940, and were married for 70 years.  

If you visit the living history museum at First Murphy House, take time to meander the paths of First Murphy Park.

Rest on a bench,
or check out the upper deck
with it’s ocean view. 

The landscape 
with it’s wall of large boulders, 

was designed for Carmel’s
maritime climate with native and drought
resistant plants such as Sea Lavender,

and Rockrose.

The newest addition to the grounds is a commemorative bench dedicated in honor of Enid Sales, a historic preservationist, who was also instrumental in the community effort to save First Murphy House.   

The First Murphy Park is open sunrise to sunset.  There are public restrooms at the southwest corner of the park.

(1) Michael Butowotch, “Frustrated Residents Form Old Carmel,” The Carmel Pine Cone, (10/14/76): 3.
(2) Michael Gardner, “Carmel Heritage Hopes to Preserve Village History,” The Carmel Pine Cone (4/19/84).
(3) ibid. 

Photo Credits
Photographs – L. A. Momboisse –
Except those listed below:
.– Black and White Photo by Ben Lloyd of The Herald of Carmel Heritage Society Honorees, Marjory Lloyd, Virginia Stanton, and Helen Wilson. (The Herald (11/27/1990), 3D)
Carmel, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel History,, Michael J. Murphy

First Murphy House – Home of the Carmel Heritage Society

Michael J. Murphy

Born on June 26, 1885, Michael J. Murphy was one of the twelve children of Michael and Emma of Minden, Utah.  He grew up on the family cattle and horse ranch in Utah until his father’s untimely death in a horse accident in 1893. 

The ranch became too much for Emma and her five unmarried children, so she moved the family to Los Angeles.  Here Michael learned the trade of carpentry. 

In 1900 Emma learned of a small settlement starting up near Monterey, called Carmel-by-the-Sea and decided to take Michael and his ten year old sister Myrtle north for a visit. They traveled by train to Monterey and then took a stagecoach over the hill to Carmel. 

In 1902 Mr. Murphy built his first home, for his mother and sister.  By 1904 he had become associated with Franklin Devendorf as a builder for Carmel Development Company. 

Franklin Devendorf had purchased much of the land in Carmel and was subdividing and selling the parcels. He wanted to sell the lots with homes.  So in 1903 Devendorf ordered 100 “portable houses,” to put on the lots he had for sale.  What was delivered however, were 100 doors.

Devendorf used the doors to create one house. (Insistently this house, “Door House,” still exists and will be part of the Carmel Heritage Society House and Garden Tour 2014.)  But Franklin Devendorf needed more than one house for all the lots he had for sale.  So he asked young M. J. Murphy who had only built one house, to help him build the houses he needed.    

Murphy developed his own designs and did most of the building himself. As his reputation grew, more and more people wanted Murphy homes.  “In 1914 he became a general contractor and in 1924, he established M. J. Murphy, Inc., a business which sold building supplies, did rock crushing and concrete work, and operated a lumber mill and cabinet shop business situated between San Carlos and Mission streets.” (1)  The lumber mill was located where the Wells Fargo Bank and parking lot are today, and the lumber yard where the Carmel Plaza is today.    

Over 300 buildings in Carmel are attributed to Michael J. Murphy, most notably The Highlands Inn, the Carmel Art Association, the Harrison Memorial Library, the Pine Inn, Sea View House and First Murphy House.  Murphy’s influence on the character of both residential and business districts was tremendous.  

Mr. Murphy was also hired by Robinson Jeffers to build Tor House.  During the first stage of construction Jeffers studied under Murphy as an apprentice.  After learning all the trades, Jeffers went on to finish the house and build Hawk Tower.

Mr, Murphy retired in 1941 and turned his business over to his son Frank. Today, M. J. Murphy, Inc is operated by his grandsons out of Carmel Valley.  

First Murphy House

Michael J. Murphy was not a proponent of any particular style when he built his first house for his mother and sister in 1902.  This home, an 820 square foot cottage, is a mixture of Victorian (Queen Anne bay windows) and a Craftsman Bungalow (rectangular single story style).

Over the years the home was remodeled, moved, and eventually ended up in the middle of the commercial district on Mission between Fifth and Sixth for use as a storage unit.

In 1990 Murphy’s first house was purchased by developers who planned on tearing it down.  

With the lack of funds, need for a new location for the house, and the developers pressuring for demolition, the odds of saving the house seemed insurmountable. 

But Carmelites can be tenacious.  To save the house from demolition, and with the support of the Carmel Heritage Society, the citizens of Carmel formed the First Murphy Foundation, which raised $16,000 for the relocation of First Murphy House.  

The City of Carmel offered city-owned property at Sixth and Lincoln for the relocation site, and the house was declared historical.  

One morning residents awoke to find the
First Murphy House rising above the trees,

being transported through town
 (almost as if leading a parade),

and deposited at its present location
 next to what would become First Murphy Park.

After relocation, renovation of the little cottage began. Project Architect, Brian Congelton of Congleton Architect,  spent a great deal of time insuring that the First Murphy House would conform to its original design. 

The project was completed in the summer of 1992 and First Murphy House became the home and welcome center for Carmel Heritage Society.  

Inside visitors will find a living history museum of Carmel.  They may also purchase the video Don’t Pave Main Street.  This video on Carmel history is narrated by former mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea Clint Eastwood.

Also available for purchase is The Comstock Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel, by Joanne Mathewson, the second edition, published by Carmel resident Stephanie Ager Kirz of White Dog Press.  

 First Murphy House
Welcome Center 
Carmel Heritage Society 

Next History of Carmel Heritage Society and First Murphy Park

(1) Hale, Sharron Lee. A Tribute to Yesterday (Valley Publishers Santa Cruz, 1980), 20.

Photo CreditsPhotographs – L. A. Momboisse – Except those listed below: 

– Black and White Photo of M. J. Murphy with wife and children, 1910. (M. J. Murphy Hardware Carmel Valley)
– Black and White Photo of M. J. Murphy with his mother and sister in front of First Murphy House. (Harrison Memorial Library Local History Department)

– Three Color Photos of First Murphy House relocation. (Harrison Memorial Library Local History Department)
– Black and White Photo of the dedication of First Murphy House as Carmel Heritage Welcome Center.  Pictured (l to r) Susan Draper, Lacy Buck, Carmel Heritage President Kay Prine, Burney Threadgill, Glenn Leidig, and Jean Draper.  Prine holds a plaque dedicating the house to the late Carmel philanthropist and first President of Carmel Heritage Society, Virginia Stanton. (Deborah Sharp, “Carmel Heritage Officially Opens Welcome Center.”  Carmel Pine Cone, (1992).

Anna Mary Hatton, Carmel, Carmel Mission Ranch, Clint Eastwood,, William E. Martin

Carmel – Mission Ranch

This is where I would have liked to have been raised if I had had a choice…I figured this would be the place…It kind of gets into your blood, this countryside and the people.  So to me it represents my family.  And it just represents a quieter life.  That is why I guess I bought the Mission Ranch to begin with, because I wanted to preserve the history here.” (Clint Eastwood)(1) 

If you happen to walk south from Ocean Avenue on Dolores all the way to the end (about nine blocks) you will be inexplicably drawn by the serene beauty, right – into the driveway of the Mission Ranch, a historic inn, restaurant and lounge. 

While stationed at Fort Ord in the 1950’s, current Mission Ranch owner, Clint Eastwood would experience this same mesmerizing attraction.

If you happen upon the Mission Ranch around 4:00PM, have a seat on the patio, order your beverage of choice, enjoy the sheep who peacefully graze the open meadow land,

and the awesome view of
Carmel River Beach
Point Lobos. 

while I expound on the
fascinating history 
of Mission Ranch. 

Carmel Mission

In August of 1771, Blessed Father Junipero Serra moved the location of his mission in Monterey to a site at the mouth of the Carmel River. The acres surrounding the newly founded Carmel Mission would become a ranch used for farming, grazing and housing. 

In 1834 the Mexican government secularized the missions and divided the mission lands into land grants. Juan Romero would come to own the 160 acres surrounding Carmel Mission.

In 1852 Romero deeded the acres to William Curtis, a Monterey store owner, for $300.  The deed was signed by Romero with an “X” and his name written by someone else.  

This land encompassed the Carmel Mission, the old pear orchard which is now the Carmel Youth Baseball Field, a lean-to house directly below the mission, land up to Santa Lucia Avenue, half of the Carmel Point area and across the Carmel River to land bordering the old Odello artichoke field.

In 1856, Mr. Curtis sold the property to one of his clerks, Mr. Loveland.     

William Martin

News of gold in California, enticed 60+ year old William Martin (originally from Scotland, via Canada) to immigrate to the United States.  He brought along his wife and six children.  

“They took a boat down the Mississippi River to New Orleans; another ship across to Central America. Then across the Isthmus, and still another boat up the Pacific Coast.  They were on “Captain Josselyn’s Schooner”, in the month of March, 1856 when it stopped in Monterey for a half day, to unload some cargo.  The Martins went ashore, past the adobe buildings that comprised the village of Monterey, up the hill, and spread a picnic lunch under the oaks and pines.  They felt the power of the”circle of enchantment”, and they liked the land.  They stayed!” (2) William Martin purchased land at the mouth of the Pajaro, and Salinas Rivers. 

John Martin

In 1859, William Martin’s son John purchased the property surrounding the Carmel Mission from the Loveland’s.  

Due to neglect, the Mission lay in ruins, but John found a small adobe still habitable on the property.  The structure consisted of a kitchen with cook stove and lean-to living room. This adobe was most likely the lean-to built in 1812 to house the Carmel Mission orchardist and caretaker.  

Later in 1859 John and his brother Robert purchased their father’s land interest near the Pajaro and Salinas river to raise stock for dairy.

Martin Farmhouse

In 1871 while visiting Canada, John met Elizabeth Stewart, a 31 year old widow with three sons, and convinced her to marry him and come to California.  

In the 1880’s John and Elizabeth built a one story farmhouse on their property. 
As the Martin family grew to nine members, a second floor was added to the farmhouse.

The picture above, taken by Marcia De Voe, shows the Martin Farmhouse in 1969.  The picture below shows the farmhouse in 2014.

Current owner of Mission Ranch, Clint Eastwood restored the Martin Farmhouse to its former glory… 

with six quaint bedrooms, a delightful common living area with fire place and…

baby grand for
sing alongs.

The Farmhouse is perfect for family reunions or wedding parties.  My niece and her groom rented the charming Martin Family Homestead for their wedding party.  

Martin Dairy
Improper recording of the Pajaro deed, caused the Martin Brothers to lose the land they were using to raise their dairy stock. To avoid this happening with the Martin Ranch John had the property recorded with the U.S. government in 1874.  

The dairy stock was moved to the Martin Ranch and shortly thereafter, the industrious Martin Brothers opened one of California’s first dairies.

They built barns for milking.  The original cow barn is now the Patio Barn. 

And a creamery, now the Mission Ranch Dinning Room, to supply the county with cheese and butter. 

Walker Track
The Martin family worked this land for 60 years.  In 1918 they sold their now 216 acre ranch to Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Walker for $150,000.  The Walker’s earned their money in lumber and were prominent San Francisco socialites. 

The 216 acres were bordered on the north side by Santa Lucia, the east by Hatton Fields, and the south by Carmel River.  The Walkers subdivided the land into what was called the Walker Track, and sold many of the lots.

The Walker’s who had no interest in farming, turned the ranch into a private riding and recreation club.  They built the large barn, now used as the Mission Ranch Office, for Muriel Vanderbilt Phelps to board her riding horses.

Carmelites did not take to the private recreation club idea, and Mrs. Phelps moved her horses to Carmel Valley.  

But as the saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” In 1936 Mrs. Walker converted the ranch into an informal country club with swimming, tennis and badminton

The old ranch house became the clubhouse.  And with the addition of a stage and dance floor, the old milking barn became a swingin’ dance hall. 

In 1937 Allen Knight (Carmel mayor from 1950 – 1952) and his orchestra were the first to open on the new stage at what was then called, the Valley Ranch Club and Dance Hall.  

Today this is the Patio Barn, with stage, dance floor and rustic full cocktail service bar.

The historical milking barn has been fully restored and makes a lovely venue for wedding receptions, cocktail parties or corporate events.

A wall of glass doors on the south side opens to a brick patio with views of the meadow.

See You At The Ranch 
In 1940 Margaret and Bert Dienelt bought the ranch from the Walker’s estate for $40,000.  The track of land now only 100 acres was in a state of disrepair. 

The Dienelt’s decided to keep the property as a club.  After some refurbishments they were ready to open to the public.   

“It was great – even we teenagers could afford the dues of $1 a year.  The big barn was turned into badminton courts, the small barn was used for roller skating, there was also an archery court, and the swimming pool was a real gift to us kids.” (3)   

The Dienelt’s sold about 20,000 $1 memberships and operated the property for about 40 years.  Charles “Skip” Heebner, Mrs. Dienelt’s son managed the cottage ranch and dinner-house until 1976.

 “For years it was a place of enjoyable memories for many, with a homey restaurant and piano bar, with nights of dancing in the bar – the place Carmelites and Valleyites meant when they said, “See you at the Ranch.”  (4)   
War Years 

During World War II and the Korean War, the big barn was used as an Officer’s Club for the Army and Navy.  With its bar, stage and dance floor, it proved quite a popular night spot for off duty service men and women.

In 1950, off duty from Fort Ord, twenty-one year old Clint Eastwood made his way to the Mission Ranch and it was love at first sight.

“The first time I saw the place I thought it was terrific,” he says. “Visually it was something else, and I thought it was the place I’d like to call home.  So I kind of adopted Carmel.”(5) 

100 Acres to 20 Acres

Around 1980 the State of California acquired by eminent domain, the land and lagoon rights to the beach. Carmel School District purchased the property to the west of Mission Ranch where River School resides. The Dienelt’s sold four acres south of the mission for the Carmel Youth Baseball Field, and gave the Carmel Mission four acres.

The Dienelt Family sold the remaining 20 acres to the Mission Ranch Corporation, a group of professionals, most living in the San Francisco Bay Area, for $3 million.   

Mission Ranch Corporation
The City Of Carmel 

Early in 1984 Mission Ranch Corporation won a decision to rezone the Mission Ranch property for the building of a 61 plus unit residential development on 8.24 of the 20 acres.

In the spring of that year, the city of Carmel filed a lawsuit to block development of the wetlands and entered into talks with Mission Ranch Corporation to purchase the property.
City Manager Douglas Schmitz said Mission Ranch Corporation originally asked for $8 million but lowered the price to $6.5.  

In October of 1984, Monterey Superior Court Judge Maurice Jourdane ruled in favor of the city and overturned the rezoning decision for Mission Ranch.  The Mission Ranch Corporation immediately filed an appeal.  

On May 13, 1985, the Carmel City Council secretly offered to buy Mission Ranch for $3.75 million.  Mission Ranch Corporation president Doug Tuck counted with $5 million. 
A number of private and public entities felt that the purchase of Mission Ranch would be a good acquisition for the city of Carmel.  

The city could keep the tennis courts and some property for recreational use.  The Coastal Conservancy would buy the wetlands area so the environmentally sensitive habitat remained open space.The Frohman Academy, a musical theater education organization, would use the facilities for rehearsals, and shows.  And the Carmel Heritage Society was interested in using some of the space for a museum.

Even after petitioning concerned citizens to contribute to the fund to purchase Mission Ranch, the price of $5 to $6.5 million was just too much for the city to come up with.    
Carmel Heritage Society
 Save The Ranch
“About 1983 rumor had it that the property was going to be sold and condominiums would be built there.  All that history gone!  This is a project for Carmel Heritage – Save the Mission Ranch. 

Helen Wilson and Marjorie Lloyd, who were on the Carmel Heritage Board at the time, invited Clint Eastwood to attend a meeting regarding the Mission Ranch.  He was asked if perhaps he could get some of his friends together to form a group that would purchase the Mission Ranch so that it could be preserved.  

At the next meeting Clint reported that he was not able to get anyone to invest – a big groan went up – and then Clint said, “But I will buy the Ranch and it will be preserved.” What a cheer then went up.  And Clint did, he made improvements…”(6) 

Mayor Clint Eastwood

In December 1986, Mayor Clint Eastwood purchased Mission Ranch under the umbrella of one of his production companies, Tehama Productions, Inc. Eastwood vowed to keep the buildings and grounds as they were, except for the upgrading of plumbing and electrical and the eviction of the termite population. Which, according to Eastwood, were keeping some “buildings standing by holding hands.” 

“I think the majority of people in Carmel would like it (Mission Ranch) to remain the same,” said Eastwood.  “Hopefully it can be a place where people can come back in 20 years and it will still be here.” (7)  

“Doug Tuck called Eastwood’s offer an ‘altruistic’ one. “We had never dealt with anyone who was more of a gentleman, more sincere, more easier to get along with than the mayor,” Tuck said.” (8)

“Locked In Time” 

Clint Eastwood and Carmel Development Co., virtually rebuilt the white clapboard dairy ranch, reserving the flavor and facades dating back to the 1850’s, keeping the historic ranch, “locked in time.”

The renovation, which began in 1989, took three and one-half years to complete.  The Martin farmhouse, the Dance Barn, bunkhouse and restaurant were restored.  

Those that were too dilapidated to be saved such as the cottages behind the bunkhouse were replaced with new housing units that look like the original structures. 

In 1992, Alan Williams and Michael Waxer of Carmel Development Co., won an award for excellence in architecture from the American Institute of Architects Monterey Chapter, for their work on the renovation and restoration of Mission Ranch.  

On September 20, 1992, the Carmel Heritage Society presented Clint Eastwood with the Historic Preservation Award for saving the Mission Ranch, and preserving it for future generations to enjoy. 

And that is the history of Mission Ranch.

See you at the Ranch!!  

All Photos by L. A. Momboisse unless except those noted below:
– Black and White photo of land around Carmel Mission c. 1877. (Morgado, Martin. “Junipero Serra’s Legacy.” Mount Carmel, Pacific Grove, 1987, pg 115.
– Black and White photo of Martin farmhouse with Elizabeth Martin (sitting). (De Voe, Marcia. The Martins and The Hattons.” Carmel-by-the-Sea, 1979, pg 14)
– Black and White photo of Martin farmhouse taken in 1969 by Marcia De Voe. (Courtesy of Harrison Memorial History Library)
– Black and White photo Mission Ranch Cottages behind the bunkhouse in 1986. (Pine Cone, December 11, 1986.  Photo Holly McFarland.)

(1) Ed Broyhill. “Ed Boyhill and Clint Eastwood Team Up: Mission Ranch Collection.” Online Video Clip. You Tube. You Tube October 5, 2009, April 11, 2014.
(2) De Voe, Marcia.  “The Martins and The Hattons.” Carmel-by-the-Sea, 1979, pg 9.
(3) Prine, Kay. “Mission Ranch.” (Memories of Kay Prine on a plaque on the wall in the office of Mission Ranch)
(4) Hale, Sharon Lee.  “A Tribute to Yesterday.” Valley Publishers, 1980, pg 120)
(5) Cheever, Susan. “Architectural Digest Visits: Clint Eastwood.” Architectural Digest July 1993: 84 – 91. Print.
Prine, Kay. “Mission Ranch.” (Memories of Kay Prine on a plaque on the wall in the office of Mission Ranch)
(7)Leland, David. “Eastwood Intends to Preserve the property as it is now.” Pine Cone, December 11, 1986.

Other Resources
Wilson, Helen. “The Mission Ranch – A Brief History.” The Herald Weekend Magazine, April 20, 1986.
Barron, Betty. “The Mission Ranch Story.” The Big Sur Gazette, July 1980.
Gardner, Michael. “City of Carmel made $3.75 Million Secret Offer to buy Mission Ranch.” Carmel Pine Cone, November 28, 1985.
Gardner, Michael. “City’s Mission Ranch Offer: Folly or Genius?. Carmel Pine Cone, November 1985.
Gardner, Michael. “Want to Develop Property Say Mission Ranch Owners.” Carmel Pine Cone, January 16, 1986.