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Colton Hall Museum
Place - Colton Hall Museum
570 Pacific Street
Web Link * (831) 646-5640
Colton Hall can be found in the Old Town
section of Monterey, on Pacific Street, between Jefferson and
Madison. It is open to the public from 10:00 - 12:00 and from 1:00
DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY:
Colton Hall was the first public building
constructed under the American flag, by the U.S. Navy Chaplain,
Walter Colton, described as a just and honest man, who was
appointed to serve as Monterey's first American Alcalde, 1846-1849.
His duties encompassed those of a Mayor and Judge.
This two story, handsome building whose
front is ornamented with a portico, was used for several purposes.
The first floor apartments were used for a children's public
school. Over the apartments on the second floor was a huge public
meeting hall, seventy by thirty feet. There is a porch balcony that
extends across the front of the second floor of the building.
The most famous event that took place in
this upstairs hall was the 1849 California Constitutional
Convention. The state of California entered the Union on Sept. 9th,
1850. From 1850 to 1872, Monterey served as the County Seat for the
newly formed county. Colton Hall housed the Court House offices,
being so close to the local jail.
The porch balcony off the second floor made
a dandy scaffold, and some condemned, and some untried prisoners as
well were hung by a rope off of it, after 1850.
Guides on the second floor have felt unseen
entities watching them, heard footsteps on the porch balcony,
second floor and have walked through some moving cold spots, among
other experiences that let them know that they are not alone.
Photos copyright Tom Carr.