Monterey in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Historic Cannery Row
Real people and places in the neighborhood of Monterey’s old Ocean View Avenue inspired fictional characters and establishments in the mind of John Steinbeck. Published in 1945, his novel Cannery Row vividly captured the essence of life during the cannery era of the 1930s and 1940s.
Steinbeck’s longtime friend, biologist Ed Ricketts, is immortalized in the character Doc in Cannery Row and its sequel Sweet Thursday. Doc’s Western Biological Laboratory was based on Ed Ricketts’s real lab, Pacific Biological Laboratories located today at 800 Cannery Row.
The Wing Chong Market at 835 Cannery Row was owned by Chinese entrepreneur Won Yee, whom Steinbeck cast as the grocer Lee Chong in the novel. The La Ida Cafe, located at 851 Cannery Row, was actually a brothel in the cannery days, as was the Bear Flag Restaurant, operated by Flora Woods, whom Steinbeck named Dora Flood. The site of the old Bear Flag is now Mackerel Jack’s Trading Company at 799 Cannery Row.
In 1958, long after the publication of Cannery Row, the city of Monterey renamed Ocean View Avenue after the famous novel, forever tying the street to the
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce • Science & Medicine • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1945.
Location. 36° 37.013′ N, 121° 54.101′ W. Marker is in Monterey, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Monterey Recreational Trail and Bruce Aris Way (Irving Avenue), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Monterey CA 93940, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Filipino Community (a few steps from this marker); The Japanese Community (a few steps from this marker); Jone Quock Mui (within shouting distance of this marker); The Spanish Community (within shouting distance of this marker); A Day in the Canneries (within shouting distance of this marker); One Man, Two Worlds (within shouting distance of this marker); The Real “Docs” (within shouting distance of this marker); The Del Mar Canning Company, 1927-1947 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monterey.
More about this marker. The trail also goes by the name Monterey Bay Coastal Trail and other variations. The trail was formerly the location of the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks.
Also see . . . John Steinbeck biography - Nobelprize.org. Steinbeck's novels can all be classified as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labour, but there is also a streak of worship (Submitted on May 5, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 5, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 899 times since then and 92 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 5, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.