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Cannery Row Fire: 1967

Cannery Row Fire: 1967

Kodachrome slide taken by my dad while we were in Pacific Grove for the Christmas holiday, December, 1967. From the Monterey Herald:

"On Sunday, Dec. 24, 1967, the old Carmel Canning Company on Cannery Row caught fire and burned for more than four hours. The blaze, which had more than 65 firemen respond from Monterey, Seaside and Pacific Grove, caused an estimated $250,000 in damage. Fire and smoke billowed from the structure, causing embers to fall on homes in New Monterey and start smaller fires. Fire Chief Clifford Hebrard said it was his opinion “that the fire was set.” An arson investigation was to take place the next day." View full size.

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Locals don't go to Cannery Row.

Lived in Monterey for a year in the 1970's, going to language school. At that time Cannery Row was fascinating mix of the old, the weird and the new. Can't forget the tiny 812 Cinema, where you laid on cushions to watch the movie, or Odyssey Records.

Came back in the 1990's for a final tour at the language school and have stayed ever since. A great deal had changed on Cannery Row. The 812 was gone, as was Odyssey Records. The Aquarium was there. Cannery Row had turned totally touristy.

We locals only go to Cannery Row to take out-of-town visitors. For us, the character is long gone.

Cui Bono?

This fire was the major event ultimately leading to the complete gentrification of what had long been a picturesquely seedy area. Save for a few bars/restaurants (Neil Devaughn's, The Place, the Outrigger) and a movie theater, Cannery Row largely comprised abandoned canneries and dilapidated shacks, hardly a destination for anyone outside the Monterey Peninsula.

Now, of course, upscale hotels, an internationally renowned aquarium, and bars and eateries galore compete with T-shirt shops and the few remaining original buildings (suitably rehabbed, of course) for the attention of tourists from all over.

There was, of course, considerable malicious gossip, since much of the Row had been acquired by a local development firm prior to the conflagration and there was a longstanding development v. preservation controversy seething at the time. No charges were ever filed, let alone proven, and the Monterey tax base got a nice shot in the arm after things started spiffing up. And any number of young locals, whose parents and grandparents had either fished for sardines or canned them (contributing to what was known to locals as "The Stink By the Bay"), became employed in more genteel occupations.

After the fire.

Ruins of fire-ravaged cannery. This was at the corner of Cannery Row and Hoffman.

Monterey fire from a 1965 Monterey.

It was indeed a Mercury Monterey, although if I remember right, a 1965 model. My dad bought it used.


Are you sure the year is 1967? That looks like the rear end of a late '70's, early '80s Olds - like a Delta 88 or a 98.

[Appears to be a 1966 Mercury Monterey 2-door sedan. -tterrace]

School's out

Seeno St next to Larkin Elementary.

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