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Bringing Carmel History to Life

Former Point Lobos State Parks Guide Monica Hudson Treats Visitors to Tours with Insider Details

The multitudes that have hiked its meandering miles of trails and have reveled in its gorgeous vistas of sea, land and mountain will tell you: Point Lobos is the crown jewel of the California State Parks system. And those who've been lucky enough to accompany Monica Hudson on a tour of this scenic wonder will attest: she is truly a gem of the Monterey Peninsula. Hudson is the proprietor and sole employee of California Legacy Tours, providing walking outings to Point Lobos and other Peninsula points of historical and cultural interest. But her tours aren't your garden-variety, "John-Steinbeck-slept-here," "oh-look-a-sea-otter," canned commentary. Whether it's describing the residential subdivision that Point Lobos nearly became (and how it was saved from that fate), the details of the whaling, abalone canning and coal mining industries that once thrived there or the flora, fauna and geography of the land, Hudson has the goods. And better yet, often as not she has an intriguing, compelling human story to go with the facts.

Monica Hudson lectures at Heritage Society of Pacific Grove

Author walks Carmel's storied path

Monica Hudson was neither born nor raised in Carmel, Yet 40 years after she married into the historic Hudson family of Point Lobos, she has sunk her roots deep into the sandy loam of the city by the sea.

Ca. 1903, artist Chares B. Hudson arrived in Carmel with his bride Claire, and began painting what painter Francis McComas would soon call "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world." His son, Lester Hudson, eventually married Margaret M. Allen, whose ranching family owned a large parcel of coastal ranchlands, including Point Lobos. The younger Hudsons reportedly were instrumental in preserving the land and encouraging the Allan family to deed point Lobos to the state.

Carmel History Lecture A Hit

The Heritage Society of Pacific Grove Newsletter

Carmel history expert Monica Hudson delighted the audience at her February 10 lecture, part of the Heritage Society's 2012 Lecture Series. A natural storyteller and author of "Carmel-by-the-Sea" (2006), part of Arcadia Publishers' "Images of America" pictorial series, Ms. Hudson complemented her talk with fascinating slides from the Harrison Memorial Library archives and the private collections of Carmel residents.

She noted that Carmel predates the founding of Jamestown and the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. It began with the arrival in 1602 of the Spanish. Carmelite friars named the place after their order, and Father Serra founded the Carmel Mission. By the 1800's the mission had been abandoned and had fallen into disrepair, but its picturesque ruins attracted a steady stream of tourists.

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