18 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 11-17, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com ered with tall dark pines, and near the house is a field of about 100 or more acres, fenced in, where we have fine feed for our mules. His books are still here—a strange collection on science, art, astrology, romance, infidelity, religion, mysteries, etc. Old harness, spades, implements, harpoons, etc., are stored in large numbers. I know not why he had them. He had invented a new harpoon which no one would use. By the way, Monterey Bay is a great place for whaling. Two companies are at work, and already over half a dozen whales have been taken here. On Wednesday we saw them towing one in, and on Thursday morning went down to see them cut him up. He was a huge fellow, 50 feet long. Last year they caught one 93 feet long which made over a hundred barrels of oil. After stripping off the blubber, the carcasses are towed out into the bay, and generally drift up on the southeast side. The number of whale bones on the sandy beach is astonishing—the beach is white with them. Hundreds of carcasses have there decayed, fattening clouds of buzzards and vultures. The whales are covered with thick black skin. The tail is horizontal. They have no fins, but a pair of huge “paddles,” one on each side—oars, as it were—like great flat arms covered with skin, 3 or four 4 wide and 12 or 15 feet long. The ball-and-socket joint which attaches the paddle to the body is wonderful—the ball is as large as the end of a half-barrel. Barnacles grow on the skin in great numbers; I will try to collect some if they do not stink too badly. To return to Pescadero. We came on Thursday. I had letters to several persons. Wednesday evening I had called on a prominent Monterey citizen, and spent an evening in female society, and heard a piano for the first time in many months. On Friday we rode a few miles to Judge Haight’s. He is a wealthy San Francisco gentleman and has a fine ranch here, where he spends a part of the year with the whole or a part of his family. We presented our letters, but did not find him at home. We visited the old Mission of Carmelo, in the Carmelo Valley, near his ranch. It is now a complete ruin, entirely desolate, not a house is now inhabited. The principal buildings were built around a square, enclosing a court. We rode over a broken adobe wall into this court. Hundreds (literally) of squirrels scampered around to their holes in the old walls. We rode through an archway into and through several rooms, then rode into the church. The main entrance was quite fine, the stone doorway finely cut. The doors, of cedar, lay nearby on the ground. The church is of stone, about 150 feet long on the inside, has two towers, and was built with more architectural taste than any we have seen before. About half of the roof had fallen in, the rest was good. The paintings and inscriptions on the walls were mostly obliterated. Cattle had free access to all parts; the broken font, finely carved in stone, lay in a corner; broken columns were strewn around where the altar was; and a very large owl flew frightened from its nest over the high altar. I dismounted, tied my mule to a broken pillar, climbed over the rubbish to the altar, and passed into the sacristy. There were the remains of an old shrine and niches for images. A dead pig lay beneath the finely carved font for holy water. I went into the next room, which had very thick walls— four-and a-half feet thick—and a single small window, barred with stout iron bars. Heavy stone steps led from here, through a passage in the thick wall, to the pulpit. As I started to ascend, a very large owl flew out of a nook. Thousands of birds, apparently, lived in nooks of the old deserted walls of the ruins, and the number of ground squirrels burrowing in the old mounds made by the crumbling adobe walls and the deserted adobe houses was incredible—we must have seen thousands in the aggregate. This seems a big story, but hundreds were in sight at once. The old garden was now a barley field, but there were many fine pear trees left, now full of young fruit. Roses bloomed luxuriantly in the deserted places, and geraniums flourished as rank weeds. So have passed away former wealth and power Pebble Beach, 1880. It was formerly known as Pescadero Ranch. Downtown Monterey, 1868. Near the top left, San Carlos Cathedral is visible. This is thought to be the earliest known photo of Monterey’s downtown. Up and Down Monterey County, 1861 | Part III - Monterey Peninsula Roses bloomed luxuriantly in the deserted places, and geraniums flourished as rank weeds.