St. John’s Chapel, Del Monte, California

St. John's Chapel, Del Monte, CAback of St. John's Chapel

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Pacific Novelty Co., San Francisco & Los Angeles. Series or number:  S-632.

Availability status:  SOLD.

St. John’s of Monterey,  (officially the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist) is part of the fascinating history of Monterey County, California. This Episcopalian chapel was originally built for guests staying at the very posh Hotel del Monte, part of the 20,000 acre resort complex built by railroad entrepreneur Charles Crocker, of “Big Four” fame. (Del Monte was an unincorporated community in Monterey County at that time, but later became part of Monterey.) Charles Crocker and C.P. Huntington (another of the “Big Four”) and others at the hotel were involved in the planning and construction of the chapel which started in the late 1880’s. The chapel was dedicated on June 14, 1891, and consecrated in 1894. In 1957, because of the need to widen the nearby road, it was necessary to move the chapel across the highway to it’s present location on Mark Thomas Drive in Monterey.

The “Shingle Style” chapel, with it’s wonderful fairy-tale, English cottage feel, was designed by Ernest Coxhead, an English-born architect who was active in California, and is well-known in the architectural world for his churches and residences. From an article in the SFGate by Dave Weinstein, “Few architects have created buildings as quirky, playful and personal as Coxhead (1863-1933), or as historically informed and serious. And few architects cast the same spell.”

A present-day trip to view the chapel finds such friendly and welcoming people, and among other things, beautiful flower gardens, including the not-often-seen-in-these-parts Mock Orange, unusual small round stained glass windows, reminding this author of ship portals (like standing inside a beautiful old ship,) an old marble wall plaque dedicated to a Scottish-born world traveler, (very intriguing from our genealogy standpoint,) and a thrift store for the treasure hunter.

Sources:  St John’s website. www.stjohnschapel.com

Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del_Monte,_California

The Naval Postgraduate School. http://www.nps.edu/About/Publications/HotelDelMonte_updated_Final.pdf

SFGate, Special to The San Francisco Chronicle. “Signature Style/Ernest Coxhead/Strange talents/Idiosyncratic homes helped define bay tradition” by Dave Weinstein. Published 4:00 am, Saturday, June 5, 2004. http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Signature-style-Ernest-Coxhead-Strange-2715942.php