In Honor of the 100Th Anniversary of Carmel-By-the-Sea, Caby Representative Sam Farr
Posted on 2016-01-08
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 8, 2016
Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a native Californian to mark
the 100th anniversary of my hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California's
most charming coastal community. Carmel was founded as a unique and
special city by artists and writers. It is now known around the world
for its charm and scenic coastal beauty. It is also where my parents
Fred and Janet Farr raised me and my sisters, and where my wife Shary
and I raised our daughter Jessica. So I am especially pleased to speak
on the occasion of this special remembrance.
Carmel may be celebrating 100 years as an incorporated city, but its history stretches back much further. In many ways, Carmel and the greater Monterey Peninsula is where California began. The Esselen natives called Carmel's estuaries, canyons, hills, beaches, and forests home for thousands of years. The first Europeans passed Carmel in 1547 when the explorer Juan Cabrillo sailed up the California coast on behalf of the Spanish Empire. In 1770, the recently canonized Father Junipero Serra accompanied the Portola expedition north from Mexico to establish a settlement in Monterey. In 1771, Serra established the now famous mission in Carmel as one of the eventual 21 such missions established along the California coast. Serra, himself, is interred at the Mission.
By the end of the nineteenth century various investors made sporadic attempts to develop a township in the area adjacent to the old mission. Finally in 1902, the Carmel Development Company under James Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers filed a subdivision map and took other steps to found a town at Carmel's current site. By 1905, the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club formed to support Carmel's small community of artists. That arts community grew dramatically following the 1906 San Francisco quake as artists fleeing the destruction of their city were drawn to the beautiful community by the sea with the burgeoning reputation as an arts colony. The new residents were offered home lots for ten dollars down and whatever they could pay on a monthly basis. Many prominent artists became associated with Carmel, including Robinson Jeffers, Sinclair Lewis, and Jack London, to name just a few. All this growth built Carmel to the point in 1916 that it could incorporate as a full- fledged city.
This background gave Carmel a vibrant energy as it continued to develop in the 20th Century. By the 1940s when my parents moved us to Carmel, it had grown into a thriving small town. As I grew up during the 1950s, every street was filled with families and children. My father was a local lawyer who got elected to the California State Senate in 1955 and represented the area in Sacramento until 1966. He returned to save the Robinson Jeffers home and the Odello artichoke fields at the mouth of the valley. Now in the 21st Century, the same beauty and culture that built Carmel has made it a global tourism destination. What will the next 100 years bring? Mr. Speaker, I know I speak for the whole House as well as my fellow Carmelites, in celebrating this first 100 years of our wonderful little city.