Fog billows gently across Monterey County’s north coast, a white blanket tucked up against the hills of Aromas. Beneath its protective shroud, fishing boats gently rock, artichokes thrive, and shorebirds build nests along Elkhorn Slough. In this muffled landscape of fertile loam crisscrossed by sloughs, settlers built four distinct communities. Juan B. Castro subdivided his family’s rancho to found Castroville, now known as the artichoke capital of the world. Captain Moss and Cato Vierra opened a port, a sea gate to a premier agricultural area. Moss Landing later hosted whalers, a salt works, canneries, and a power generation plant. John Porter’s ranch was a safe haven for Chinese immigrants. Their apple-drying businesses spearheaded Pajaro’s development as a central rail-shipping point with several produce-packing companies. Aromas pioneers judged their valley well suited for growing apricots. Drifts of white blossoms buried Aromas in spring, while summer’s vistas were golden with trays of drying apricots.
About the Author
Author, historian, and museum curator Margaret Clovis, who also authored the Images of America volume Salinas Valley, has gathered images from many public and private archives. Her insightful commentary penetrates the north coast’s misty veil to reveal the fascinating history underlying these coastal communities.