This adobe-brick home was built during Monterey’s Mexican Period by Thomas Oliver Larkin, a Yankee merchant who became tremendously influential in early California politics. He was the first and only United States Consul to Alta California under Mexican rule, serving during President Polk’s administration.
The building, one of the first two-story houses in Monterey, was to serve as both home and store. One of the earliest examples of Monterey colonial architecture, it was started in 1834 shortly after Larkin (a half-brother of John Rogers Cooper, of the Cooper-Molera Adobe) came to California. He adapted East Coast building forms to local materials: adobe and redwood.
After becoming Consul in 1844, and for the next five years, his adobe served as governmental headquarters and the center of California’s social life.
Alice Larkin Toulmin, Larkin’s granddaughter, acquired the house in 1922, and filled it with early 19th-century antiques from many parts of the world. In 1957, she presented the house to the State of California as a historic monument.