MONTEREY, a city of the United States, the capital of California up to 1847, is situated on Monterey Bay, 125 miles south from San Francisco by the southern division of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Originally founded in 1770 as a mission station and presidio (garrison) by Junipero Serra, it is still in the main a Spanish-looking town, with Spanish talked in its streets and painted on its signboards. At the meeting of the first constitutional convention of California Monterey was a port of entry with a flourishing trade and a promising future ; but it soon suffered from the rivalry of San Francisco, and it is now a sleepy place, straggling and dirty, with many of its adobe buildings abandoned to decay. The flourishing Monterey whaling company (chiefly Portuguese from the Azores) has its station under the old fort ; and, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company having erected (1881) a magnificent hotel, the place bids fair to become one of the leading watering-places on the Californian coast. The mission church of San Carlos, about four miles from the town, is a curious and striking ruin. Population is now (1883) about 1400.
See Franc. Palou, Vida del yen, padre fray J. Serra, Mexico, 1787 ; Lady Duffus Gordon, Through Cities and Prairie-lands, 1882 ; and Harper's Monthly Magazine, October 1882.