Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Monterey in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

John Steinbeck

Historic Cannery Row

 
 
John Steinbeck Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
1. John Steinbeck Marker
[Photograph captions:
[Top:]

Photograph by Sonya Noskowiak, by permission of Arthur Noskowiak and Stanford University Library,
[Bottom Left:]
Ed Ricketts’s Pacific Biological Laboratories building, circa 2008,
[[Bottom Left:]
Photograph courtesy of donors James and George Vermilyer and the Monterey Public Library, California History Room.
Inscription. The real neighborhood of John Steinbeck’s 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 novel’s creator, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck.
 
Location. 36° 37.013′ N, 121° 54.101′ W.
John Steinbeck Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
2. John Steinbeck Marker
The stairs are part of Bruce Ariss Way
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.
 
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 of the soil in his books, which does not always agree with his matter-of-fact sociological approach.
Ed Ricketts's Pacific Biological Labratories today image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
3. Ed Ricketts's Pacific Biological Labratories today
(Submitted on May 5, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicNotable Persons
 
The Wing Chong Market today image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
4. The Wing Chong Market today
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 5, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 506 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 5, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement