David Wright (Scottish-born architect and builder) built this long two-story adobe in 1847 for Thomas O. Larkin. A unique feature was a well enclosed inside the south end of the building to provide water free from contamination. Map.
The adobe served in many capacities. By 1850 it had become a hotel for seafaring men, the Pacific House. The newly organized county rented space for a courtroom, a jury room and county clerk's office. Later it housed law offices, a newspaper, a ballroom, a board of education, and a church. The lower floor now houses a museum representing the period of California's past.
The Pacific House was acquired in 1859 by D.R. Ashley, a close business associate of David Jacks. Ten years later, when Ashley was disposing of his Monterey properties, Jacks bought the Pacific House, but, fearing incendiarism in the then hostile state of public opinion, he had the deed made out in the name of another business associate, Matthew C. Ireland. This was explained by Jacks in a letter of February 22, 1868 to Ashley:As I keep the hay for my horses in the Pacific and it might easily be set on fire, I do not think it advisable to take the deed in my own name. And with Ireland's permission I will prefer to have it made out to him.Jacks eventually took title from Ireland in 1880. The property remained in his family until deeded to the State in 1954. The beautiful walled garden developed by his daughters, known as Memory Garden, is the setting for the annual Merienda celebrating Monterey's birthday, the first Saturday each June. Pacific House is a unit of Monterey State Historic Park.
This fine two story adobe houses a museum of California History, the Holman Collection of American Indian artifacts, which were donated to the State by Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Holman, and a costume exhibit maintained by the Monterey History and Art Association.
The Visitor Center is operated by the California Heritage Guides.
Location: Custom House Plaza at Scott Street
- Bestor, A.E., Jr., David Jacks off Monterey, and Lee L. Jacks, His Daughter (Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1945).
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