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)
 

Custom House

 
 
Custom House Marker image. Click for full size.
By James King, October 5, 2014
1. Custom House Marker
Inscription. Constructed in 1827 by the Mexican government to collect custom duties from foreign shipping, a principal revenue source when Monterey was the capital of Alta California, Mexico's northernmost province. Thomas O. Larkin, US consul to Alta California, contracted with the Mexican government in 1841 to rebuild and enlarge the Custom House. Commodore John Drake Sloat raised the American flag over this building on July 7, 1846 to signal the passing of California from Mexican to American rule. Restored through the efforts of the Native Sons of the Golden West with the assistance of the people of California.
State registered historical landmark No. 1

Registered June 1, 1932

National historic landmark designated 1960

 
Erected 2014 by Native Sons of the Golden West and the California State Parks Foundation. (Marker Number 1.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 36° 36.205′ N, 121° 53.608′ W. Marker is in Monterey, California, in Monterey County. Marker is on Olivier Street. Touch for map. The Custom House is on the edge of the plaza near Fisherman's Wharf. This part of Olivier Street is closed
Sealing the Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Patricia Clark-Gray, October 5, 2014
2. Sealing the Plaque
Past Grand President Barney Noel places ceremonial mortar seal onto the plaque.
to traffic. This plaque is mounted on a granite boulder near the flag pole at the north end of the Custom House. 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. Site of Original Flagstaff (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Custom House (a few steps from this marker); Sloat's Landing (a few steps from this marker); Monterey Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Fisherman's Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Monterey Customhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); John “Bricky” Crivello (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monterey.
 
Regarding Custom House.
Custom House State Historical Landmark No. 1
Plaque Rededication/Ribbon Cutting

Remarks: Amy H. Crain, State Historian II
Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks
Sunday, October 5, 2014


The California Historical Landmarks Program is the oldest of California’s three registration programs, created in 1931. The very first Landmark, the Custom House, was
Cutting the Ribbon image. Click for full size.
By Lisa King, October 5, 2014
3. Cutting the Ribbon
registered in 1932. The State Historical Resources Commission, originally the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee, reviews nominations, for final approval by the California State Parks Director. As part of the 150th anniversary of California State Parks, the Office of Historic Preservation introduced the 150th Legacy Landmarks Project to designate new Landmarks, and update nominations and plaques at existing Landmarks, located in state parks. A usual year might include one or two California Historical Landmark nominations. In 2014 the Commission approved five new California Historical Landmarks and six updates to earlier Landmarks, bringing the total to 1,055 registered Landmarks. Nine of the eleven nominations, four new and five updates, were part of the Legacy Project.

In addition to the Custom House, this included updates to California Historical Landmarks Number
• 179, Castro-Breen Adobe and 180, Plaza Hotel, in San Benito County
• 210, Camilo-Ynitia Adobe, in Marin County
• 368, Reid-Baldwin Adobe, in Los Angeles County, and
• 390, Bridgeport Historic District, in Nevada County
New California Historical Landmarks began with Number 1050, Crystal Cove Historic District in Orange County, approved in November and dedicated in January, followed by
• 1051, Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge, in El Dorado and Placer Counties
• 1052, Asilomar,
Cutting The Ribbon image. Click for full size.
By Paula Wong
4. Cutting The Ribbon
This plaque was a joint venture between the State Parks Department and the Native Sons of the Golden West Historical Preservation Foundation so the ribbon cutting was shared.
in Monterey County
• 1053, Sierra Railway Shops, in Tuolumne County, and
• 1054, Tomo-Kahni, in Kern County

A property must meet at least one of the registration criteria. It must be:
• The first, last, only, or most significant historical property of its type in the region: Southern, Central, and Northern California.
• Associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California.
• Or notable for its architecture or design
The original nomination for the Custom House recognized the resource for its role in Commodore John D. Sloat’s proclamation of California as part of the United States.

When the Custom House was identified as one of the Parks’ California Historical Landmarks to be updated, I volunteered, because this building represents a personal landmark, a turning point, and the start of a journey that brought me back to Monterey today. Twenty years ago, my husband and I saw each other, without meeting, in the Custom House during Christmas in the Adobes. Steven was a member of the Alta California Dance Company, performing the annual holiday fandango. I was invited to join the dance company, and started rehearsals one week after Steven had knee surgery. We finally met ten months after the fandango. It was at a Monterey State Historic Park event across the plaza in the Memory Garden behind Pacific House,
Native Sons Dedication Team image. Click for full size.
By Lisa King, October 5, 2014
5. Native Sons Dedication Team
From left to right:
Grand 3rd VP Erik Christeson
Grand Marshall Jeff Schmidt
Grand Trustee James King
Past Grand President Barney Noel
Past Grand President David Allen
Grand Trustee Carey Pearce
District Deputy Grand President Phil Dowden
where we were married ten weeks later. We were fortunate to be part of numerous living history events, many of them taking place right here, to share the magic and significance of historic Monterey with visitors from across town and around the world.

From State Historic Park volunteer to State Park Historian, it was my honor and privilege to update the Custom House California Historical Landmark nomination, to document the building’s significance as a physical representation of an important phase in the history of California and the United States, a period of great transition. The building played a critical role in the functioning of the Mexican government, as duties from foreign commerce were the prime source of revenue. It was the site of the official takeover of California by the U.S. military in 1846, and remained an important building during the transition to American rule.

Though its importance waned following the Gold Rush and the later moving of customs activities to San Francisco, the building became a symbol of an earlier age.

The Custom House was a catalyst in the preservation movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, led by groups such as the Native Sons of the Golden West.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Native Sons of the Golden West image. Click for full size.
By Patricia Clark-Gray, October 5, 2014
6. Native Sons of the Golden West
From left to right:
District Deputy Grand President Phil Dowden
Grand Trustee Carey Pearce
Grand 3rd VP Erik Christeson
Grand Marshall Jeff Schmidt
Past Grand President Barney Noel
Grand Trustee James King
District Deputy Grand President Steve Wong
Past Grand President David Allen
Ceremony image. Click for full size.
By Paula Wong
7. Ceremony
NSGW Grand Trustee Carey Pearce speaks on the history of California and the Custom House.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 6, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on April 6, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 6, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California.   4. submitted on December 2, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California.   5, 6. submitted on October 6, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California.   7. submitted on December 2, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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