The Cooper-Molera Adobe tells the story of the Cooper family, who built it over three generations. It was begun by John Rogers Cooper, a New Englander who immigrated to California and married into a prominent Mexican family, the Moleras. Cooper, a ship’s captain, traveled extensively, trading in hides, tallow, general merchandise and sea otter pelts. His descendants continued to build on the three-acre site until 1900, and the house (fully restored in the 1980s) contains many fine furnishings assembled by the families.
The grounds of Cooper-Molera Adobe are unique in that almost two acres are available for exploration. Behind adobe walls one can find barns, vegetable and fruit gardens, farm animals, and a visitor center.
The property is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Cooper Museum Store (run by the Old Monterey Preservation Society) sells reproductions of typical goods from toys to bygone household items, as well as books that celebrate Monterey and California’s past as well as discuss the future of their cultural and natural resources.