David Wright (Scottish-born architect and builder of the Old Whaling Station) constructed this long two-story adobe for Thomas O. Larkin in 1847, specifying a well enclosed in the building to ensure clean water.
By 1850, it had become a hotel for seafaring men, the Pacific House. The newly organized county rented space for a courtroom, a jury room and county clerk’s office. It 1859, it changed hands again, and in 1868 was purchased anonymously by developer David Jacks.
Over time, it housed law offices, a newspaper, a ballroom, even a church. The walled yard was the site of Sunday bear- and bull-fights. It remained in the Jacks family until 1954, when David’s daughters deeded the entire property to the State of California, transforming the arena into the tranquil Memory Garden, complete with fountain and pool.
Operated by California State Parks, Pacific House contains two museum exhibition areas. The Monterey Museum of the American Indian, located upstairs, presents baskets, pottery and other Native American artifacts; ground-floor exhibits tell the story of Monterey’s role as capital of Spanish and Mexican California.