Hopkins Marine Station, China Point

Hopkins Marine Station, China Point

by | Dec 27, 2018

Hopkins Marine Station is the marine laboratory of Stanford University, located on China Point (also called Point Almeja, Mussel Point, or Cabrillo Point) on the Monterey Peninsula adjacent to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in Pacific Grove, California. The marine station is named after Timothy Hopkins, the founder of the city of Palo Alto and an early supporter of Stanford University.

China Point has archaeological shell middens from the Ohlone Native Americans that inhabited the area for thousands of years. In 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was the first European to sail into Monterey Bay and the land was claimed for Spain. The land eventually became part of a Mexican land grant known as Rancho Punta de Pinos, a 2,667 acres (1,079 ha) estate given in 1833 by Governor José Figueroa to José María Armenta, and regranted to José Abrego in 1844. Following the Mexican-American War and the cessation of California to the United States in 1848, José Abrego sold Rancho Punta de Pinos, a process that would lead to David Jack becoming Monterey’s dominant landowner.

In the early 1860s, Jack leased the headland to a group of Chinese fisherman and their families who had lived on the site since 1853. The Chinese shanty town occupied much of the present site of Hopkins Marine Station, and by 1870 it was a community of more than 60 people. Using small boats launched from what is now Agassiz Beach the Chinese became Monterey’s first squid fishermen, and they developed a lucrative export trade. In 1880, Jacks sold his land holdings to the San Francisco-based Pacific Improvement Company. This led to a long conflict between the Chinese residents of the point and their corporate landlords who wished to evict them. In May 1906, the conflict came to a sudden conclusion when an extensive fire of unknown origin destroyed much of the village. Eventually the land was transferred to Stanford and it became the home of Hopkins Marine Station in 1916. Read more here and here. Explore more of China Point and Monterey here:

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