Colton Hall Museum, Monterey

Colton Hall Museum, Monterey

Colton Hall, constructed in the 1840s by Walter Colton, originally arrived in Monterey as a chaplain aboard Commodore Stockton's vessel. He later assumed the role of Monterey's inaugural alcalde (mayor) during the American Period.

Initially, Colton Hall served as both a public school and a venue for government meetings. It gained historical significance as the site of California's inaugural constitutional convention in 1849. At that time, California's military governor convened the convention in Colton Hall, situated in Monterey. Delegates from ten districts gathered in Monterey on September 1 to deliberate and draft California's inaugural constitution. The California Constitution was ratified on October 13, voted upon in the same year's November, and subsequently forwarded to Congress in January 1850. San Jose was designated as the location for the first Legislature, as per the official definition of a State Capital, which is where the Legislature convenes; hence, Monterey never held the title of State Capitol.

In 1903, the Native Sons of the Golden West played a pivotal role in securing legislative funding for necessary repairs to Colton Hall. Over the years, Colton Hall has served various public functions, including housing Monterey's City Hall, a public school, the county courthouse, the sheriff's office, and Monterey's city police headquarters. Presently, some city offices, such as the city Planning Division and Building Safety Division, occupy the main floor, while the second floor functions as a museum. This historic building remains in continuous use and holds a central position in the history of Monterey County.

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Colton Hall Museum on Map

Sight Name: Colton Hall Museum
Sight Location: Monterey, USA (See walking tours in Monterey)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Monterey, California

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