About MSHPA

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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Happenings


Stevenson House is now open Saturdays,
from 1 to 4 pm. at 530 Houston St.

Robert Louis Stevenson House (1840-1897)
Reading more like a Robert Louis Stevenson tale of travel and romance than real events, the story of Stevenson's courtship of Fanny Osbourne, his future wife, comes alive amid Stevenson family paintings, furniture, and Stevenson memorabilia. Information about the house's beginnings as a Mexican era home, a late 19th century boarding house (The French Hotel), and early 20th century uses, such as an artists' studio and workshop, are included in the building's foyer.


CSU Monterey Bay Students
Tour the Larkin House Garden

CSU Monterey Bay Students

Upcoming Events


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 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Holidays

Admission:
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.

*Credit Cards not accepted for admission fee ~ exact change is greatly appreciated.*



Past Events


Day of Dead Artisan CraftsHandmade Artisan Crafts Celebrating Day of Dead

During the fall season, the Cooper Store featured handmade artisan crafts celebrating Day of the Dead. A longtime Mexican tradition, this annual November 2nd celebration of the memories of our ancestors and loved ones features flowered skulls and skeletons made of clay, tin, and paper mache. Our selection included wares from artisan families throughout Latin America and is like no other!


News

MSHPA Wins $60k Match

Major General Anthony JacksonThere's now an additional $60,000 in MSHPA's fund for opening State Park adobes to schoolchildren and the general public. In November, MSHPA learned that its request for funds to match all monies it has raised in the past several years was approved by parks director Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson.

Jackson signed the proposal Oct. 29 — the day after he visited Cooper adobe.

The money will be used to open Custom and Pacific Houses more days of the week, and to provide tours of Cooper, Larkin and Soberanes adobes, as well as walking tours of downtown.

The matching funds come from a special one-time State Parks allocation. MSHPA's initial $60,000 includes funds raised through Christmas in the Adobes and the Cooper Museum Store, Monterey County Weekly's "Monterey Gives!" program, and from the fandango fundraiser sponsored by Association of Monterey Area Preservationists.

During his visit, Jackson noted that the first priority for the matching funds had been parks that were on last year's closure list. He said about $1 million was still left for other parks. Monterey district superintendent Mat Fuzie observed the only reason MSHP wasn't on that closure list was that there was no money to be had by closing it. (All buildings except Cooper had been closed already. The only reason Cooper wasn't closed was that State Parks' contract with the National Trust for Historic Preservation required Cooper to be open a specified number of days each year.)


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


MSHPA Responds to the National Trust

MSHPA has responded to the Trust's plans by asking for a "better compromise," and for a "true dialogue" with serious listening. Co-presidents Betty Crowder and Jan Houser outlined MSHPA's position in a letter to David Brown:

"We are very concerned about the National Trust for Historic Preservation's plans for conversion of buildings at the historic Cooper adobe site.

"We can accept putting a restaurant in the 1830s Spear Warehouse. That building had commercial uses from the beginning.

"We can live with leasing the 1840s general store to a retail client. Even though Monterey State Historic Park Association (MSHPA) volunteers have served as docents and operated a museum store there since the 1980s, we understand the need for additional revenue to pay for maintenance at the site.

"(All our profits have gone to children's educational programs at Cooper. We hope Monterey State Historic Park, which has operated Cooper for the Trust, can find another location for our store.)

"What we cannot condone is gutting the downstairs of the family home for a second Cooper restaurant. The 1833 Restaurant in the historic Stokes adobe is barely a block away on Hartnell and Munras streets.

"Meanwhile, Cooper is the only adobe home in downtown Monterey that (1) has never been remodeled or modernized, and (2) is furnished with all of the family's original furnishings.

"We think it would be a travesty to lose this historic treasure. We remain optimistic that a better compromise can be reached between generating revenue and preserving a public treasure for current and future enjoyment.

"We hope the Trust will seriously listen to our concerns and those of local preservationists, State Park staff, and members of the public. We hope that presentations by the Trust June 4-5 are just the beginning of a true dialogue among all interested parties."

Copies of this letter are also being sent to State Parks director Gen. Anthony Jackson, Monterey city officials and as a press release to local media and letter to the editor to local newspapers.


NEWS

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