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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)
 

The Old Whaling Station

Where whalers lived and worked

 
 
The Old Whaling Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 29, 2013
1. The Old Whaling Station Marker
Historic photographs courtesy of Monterey Public Library, California History Room.
Inscription. This old adobe was originally built in 1847 by David Wight as a home for his family. The floor plan is reported to be based on Wight’s ancestral home in Scotland. The Wights lived in the house only a short time before leaving for the gold fields in 1850.

Portuguese whalers, working for the Old Monterey Whaling Company, began shore whaling operations here in 1855. The building served as company headquarters and employee residence. Whales were spotted from the second floor windows, and the hunt began. The whale blubber was rendered on the beach in huge iron pots like the one you can see in the back garden.

In 1864 the Monterey Gazette reported that pieces of whalebones, which were “plentiful on the beach,” were cut and trimmed as paving blocks for “neat and pretty sidewalks” in front of Monterey stores.

The Old Whaling Station has one of the nation’s last remaining whalebone sidewalks.

Today the Junior League of Monterey leases this historic site from California State Parks. The adobe and its gardens are used for weddings and other special events.
 
Erected by Monterey State Historic Park.
 
Location. 36° 36.232′ N, 121° 53.698′ W. Marker is in Monterey
The Old Whaling Station and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 29, 2013
2. The Old Whaling Station and Marker
The marker is visible at the far left of the photo.
, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from Decatur Street. Touch for map. Decatur Street is closed to vehicular traffic, foot traffic only. Marker is at or near this postal address: 391 Decatur Street, Monterey CA 93940, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Brick House (a few steps from this marker); Whaling Station (a few steps from this marker); Don Caspar de Portolá (within shouting distance of this marker); Crescent Brand Sardine Company (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John “Bricky” Crivello (about 400 feet away); Mayo Hayes O'Donnell Library (was about 400 feet away but has been reported missing. ); 400th Anniversary of the Naming of Monterey Bay by Gen. Sebastián Vizcaíno (about 400 feet away); Earthquake Bell (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monterey.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
The Old Whaling Station (back) image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 29, 2013
3. The Old Whaling Station (back)
Try-pot in The Old Whaling Station garden image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 29, 2013
4. Try-pot in The Old Whaling Station garden
The plaque reads: Whalers’ Try-pot This try-pot was used for melting down whale blubber into oil. Pots on whaling ships were positioned side by side on the deck. In Monterey the blubber was cut into pieces and boiled into oil on shore in front of the Old Whaling Station.
The Old Whaling Station Vintage Postcard image. Click for full size.
By Genuine Curteich-Chicago
5. The Old Whaling Station Vintage Postcard
The old original Monterey City marker is seen in this older view.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 7, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 324 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 7, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   5. submitted on February 18, 2013. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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