The mission of Monterey State Historic Parks Association is to support interpretation, educational programs, and special events at Monterey State Historic Park in downtown Monterey.

The association also assists all of the California State Parks by raising funds and increasing public awareness.

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News & Events

Current Newsletter

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Upcoming Events

History Fest - October 15th And 16th, 2016

Monterey State Historic Park joins the Historic Monterey Collaborative in presenting History Fest. There will be free walking tours, early California-style dancing at the Custom House, and a treasure hunt.

Replica Ship San Salvador Visits Monterey SHP - September 23rd-25th, 2016

San SalvadorThe full-scale 16th C. replica of Juan Cabrillo's San Salvador will dock at Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf.

Schedule for Public Shipboard Visits in Monterey

(Tickets available dockside)
Sept. 23, 10am-12pm - FREE Admission; 12pm-6pm, Adults $7; Youth $5; Children 3-and under Free
Sept. 24, 10am-6pm - Adults $7; Youth $5; Children 3-and under Free
Sept. 25, 10am-6pm - Adults $7; Youth $5; Children 3-and under Free

31st Annual Christmas in the Adobes
December 9 & 10, 2016

Monterey's Signature Holiday Event
Dates: Friday December 9 & Saturday December 10
Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night

Historic Walking Tour

Join California State Park Guides for an in-depth look at the history of Monterey focusing on the cultural contributions of native peoples, Spanish colonials, Mexican independence and the beginning of American governance. See California Historical Landmark #1, First Brick House, the Old Whaling Station with the last Whale bone sidewalk in Monterey, and California's First Theater.

Limit 20 persons per tour.

Tours leave from the Pacific House Museum at: 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday, and Monday Holidays

Adults (13 and over) $5.00
Kids (12 and under) Free
*Kids must be accompanied by paying adult*

Free Sundays
The last Sunday of every month is free admission and tours for Monterey State Historic Park.

For more information please visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=951

Past Events

Cooper Museum Store Final Day
Thursday, December 31st

Visit us to shop for sales and say farewell to the Cooper Store's old location. It will be moving down to the Custom House in early 2016.

Art in the Gardens
September 12 & 13, 2015

The Old Monterey Foundation series of Plein Air events continues with "Art in the Gardens" September 12 & 13.
Download PDF with More Info.
Art in the Gardens

July 4th 2015 Living History Day

Monterey State Historic Park Association presents July 4 Living History Day at Cooper-Molera Adobe.

Immediately after the City of Monterey July 4th Parade, Monterey State Historic Park volunteers dressed in historic costume will lead you back in time. They'll demonstrate 19th C. fun and games for the whole family! Join the fun by learning fandango, making rope, playing the games of the era. Tours of the Cooper Adobe are offered hourly and free to event goers! See Captain Cooper's restored coach and wagons on display. Tacos and old-fashioned sodas are offered for sale. Fun for all ages.


Cooper-Vallejo Reunion a Great Success

Cooper-Vallejo Reunion
48 descendants attended including the youngest Cash Cooper Haley (front, far right) from San Luis Obispo. All were very interested in the Trust's proposal and want to be kept in the loop. They expressed their interest in another reunion next year.
Cooper-Vallejo Reunion

Missing McCormick Found

The word came Feb. 15 of this year in an innocuous e-mail from a state parks curator in Sacramento: "Hi Kris, We have found a painting by M. Evelyn McCormick, a California artist specializing in Monterey's historic buildings and adobes. We thought you might be interested." That was the first notification for Monterey State Historic Parks curator Kris Quist that a long-sought mural by an acclaimed local artist had finally been located. The McCormick mural, part of a series of six commissioned by the federal Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, had hung in Custom House in the late 1930s.

Stevenson House

The huge, horizontal, oil-on-canvas murals showed people at work utilizing natural resources of the Monterey area. They had been created specifically for the California State Park System. (More than 450 art objects were commissioned by state and federal government work relief programs from 1934-42. The goal was both to create high-quality public art, and also to support artists during the Great Depression.) Three of the murals were already hanging at Robert Louis Stevenson House. Painted by Henrietta Shore (artichoke pickers), William Hyde Irwin (cowboys) and August Gay (fishermen), the bold figures and bright colors are reminiscent of Diego Rivera. They arrived last year from a Sacramento warehouse, and will be on display during Art in the Adobes Sept. 13-17.

Stevenson House
Stevenson House

State park records showed that the original group of six murals included shrimp fishermen by Evelyn McCormick, and quarrying and lumbering by two lesser-known artists. The big name among the six was clearly Evelyn McCormick, whose Impressionist landscapes and adobes now command well into six figures. Coincidentally, she'd also had an art studio upstairs at Custom House in the 1930s. But the McCormick mural had gone missing from state park records sometime in the 1970s. Quist said he had been looking for the mural in state park records for a decade or so, after hearing about it from Scott Shields, author of "Artists at Continent's End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1975-1907". Quist wanted to find it for this year's Art in the Adobes program, and asked state park colleagues for help. When the McCormick finally resurfaced, it was rolled up with a bunch of maps on the mezzanine of a warehouse. The 74' by 30" mural had been removed from its frame. Now cracked and dusty, it was in sorry shape.

The challenge was to refurbish the painting ("conserve" is the art world's term) and get it to Monterey in time for Art in the Adobes. Oh, and find some way to pay for the conservation and transportation. "I have no budget for art."

Stevenson House

State parks was sending a huge shipment of archived materials from Sacramento to Monterey in April, including furniture donated by Frances Molera from her family's many homes and offices. So, if the McCormick could hitch a ride on this shipment, MSHP could save thousands of dollars in transportation. That meant there was roughly two months to finance and complete the conservation.

Two days after learning the McCormick had been found, Quist e-mailed Jim Alkons, an expert in restoring murals. Alkons said he would do the necessary work for $5,000, an extremely low figure by art world standards.

The news was conveyed to Julianne Burton-Carvajal, curator of the Art in the Adobes show. She quickly managed to find two out-of-the-area donors, who together gave $3,500. Quist then tapped Blaine Lamb, chief of archaeology, history and museums for California State Parks, who provided the remaining $1,500. These funds were conveyed to Old Monterey Foundation, which officially funded the restoration.

Alkons finished the conservation, including cleaning, relining and reframing, on April 9. The painting was packed for shipment April 11, and delivered to Monterey April 12, along with the Cooper belongings. "When I first saw it, there were challenges," said Quist. "When I got it back, it was gorgeous."

"Considering that it was missing for 30 years, we really jammed for this year's event. The timing was perfect." A book about Evelyn McCormick is due out in September. Nelda Hirsh has titled her biography "A Bohemian Life: M. Evelyn McCormick (1862-1948), California Impressionist". Its publication is expected to draw additional attention to the mural in Stevenson.

"I like the idea of public art created with public funds to be shared with the public," said Quist. "A lot of the art now in state buildings was originally private. Not much was created specifically for a public building for public view."

--Susan Miller, Newsletter Editor

See this beautiful mural and others at the Stevenson House located at 530 Houston St. in Monterey.


Newsletter Archives

May, 2010: Volunteers Enjoy Enchanted Day at Hearst SHM
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