Isaac Julian Harvey was a successful merchant from Saint Joseph, Missouri when he moved west to capitalize on the prosperity of the Gold Rush in 1853. In 1866, he brought his family to "Salinas City," where there were only twelve buildings and the nearest railroad was in San Jose. Isaac and his son Absalom established Harvey and Company, a successful general store. Soon the family became very active participants in early Salinas life. In late 1868, Isaac built a house of redwood hauled from Moss Landing. Originally located behind his store facing Gabilan Street, the house was later moved around the corner to 138 Monterey Street (see photograph) where it was surrounded by a family orchard, a stable, chicken and rabbit house, woodshed and out houses.
Isaac was becoming a most influential citizen, instrumental in relocating the county seat from Monterey to Salinas, in bringing the railroad through town, and in securing the incorporation of Salinas. Fittingly, he was then appointed the first Mayor of Salinas.
The house was located at 238 E. Romie Lane for many years, but it has recently been relocated to the Salinas Transportation Center (the old Southern Pacific Depot).