Friday, November 21, 2008

The First Carmel

Before Carmel-by-the-Sea became a community for artists, an investor tried to develop it as a summer retreat for Catholics. In 1885, Santiago Duckworth, a Monterey land agent, bought the area between what is now Highway 1 and Junipero Avenue, from Carmel Hill down to Ocean Avenue. He thought the Southern Pacific would extend its railroad tracks from Pacific Grove and run trains through Pebble Beach and over Carmel Hill to the Carmel Mission. That line would go right through the land he envisioned as "Carmel City." He subdivided it in 1888 and started selling residential lots for $20 to $25, sites in the business section for $50. Duckworth promoted his Catholic retreat idea as a rival to the Methodists in Pacific Grove, and sold about 200 lots before it was clear the railroad wasn't coming. He sold what was left of his land to another investor in 1892.

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