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. From the Naval Post Graduate School website,

Hotel Del Monte was the catalyst for Monterey’s modern-day tourism industry and a trendsetter in the development of sports and recreation. At its zenith, Hotel Del Monte encompassed 20,000-acres spread across the Monterey Peninsula. Guests included American presidents; world leaders; industrialists and business executives; famous artists, poets, musicians, dancers, comedians, film stars and other notables.

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. Specifically, per the newspaper clipping below, the construction was set to start the week after December 20, 1889. 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.

From The Californian, dated September 20, 1889:

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.


The Naval Postgraduate School. (accessed June 15, 2013 and April 1, 2022).

“Del Monte Chapel.” The Californian, December 20, 1889. Friday, p. 2. (

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.

8 thoughts on “St. John’s Chapel, Del Monte, California

  1. Took photos of this chapel in 2011 when attending a dinner at nearby Hyatt. Chapel closed so I could not get info. Lovely flowers. Thanks for all the details. I am including in my photo book on the history of the Monterey area. Thanks!

  2. The Hotel del Monte property consisted of 125 acres, not 20,000 acres. Although Charles Crocker donated land for the chapel, it was his daughter Hattie Crocker Alexander and her sister-in-law Emma Crocker (not “others at the hotel”) who assisted in the planning of the building. Construction was begun in 1890 not the late 1880s.

  3. Thanks so much for your comment, Elizabeth. The Naval Post Graduate School (current site of the former Hotel Del Monte) indicates on their website (see sources listed at the end of the post) that, “At its zenith, Hotel Del Monte encompassed 20,000-acres spread across the Monterey Peninsula.” Though, admittedly, this leaves me wondering if the 20K was uninterrupted property or in chunks of land on the said acreage. (Then of course, the key phrase there is, “at its zenith.”) As to when the construction of the chapel was begun, an article dated December 20, 1889 in The Californian, states construction was going to start in the following week. (I’ve attached the article in the post). This is splitting hairs, for sure, so, the very end of December 1889 or January 1890 one would assume, if there was a delay. As far as Hattie Crocker Alexander and Emma Crocker assisting in the planning of the chapel, I’d be happy to correct my post, if you can direct me to the source for this information. But again, thank you for the comment, and I appreciate your interest. Anne

  4. Thanks so much for responding. I will try and fill in some of your questions. The 200K acres was referring to the entire property holdings of the company that owned the Hotel del Monte (not that the hotel itself owned the 200K acreage, so if someone at NPS published that, well…..) and the 200K acres included the present area comprising Pebble Beach, and other peninsula properties. The hotel property alone was 126 acres. Below is a link to the application for listing St. John’s Chapel del Monte on the National Register of Historic Places that I hope you will follow and read. The first portion describes in detail the church architecture and the second part presents a history of the planning and dedication of the chapel itself. You can find out more information on Charles Crocker’s family ties such as his daughter and daughter-in-law on My husband and I wrote the National Register application below. It was a two-year labor of love involving a great deal of research. Recently we were shocked and disappointed to discover that an individual plagiarized this hard work of ours, reworded part of to add numerous errors, and then presented it as his own work on a Wikipedia page titled St. John’s Chapel del Monte. I spent several hours going in and editing it back into the correct presentation. Here is the link and I hope you will enjoy it! Wishing you all the best, and thank you for contacting me!

    • Thanks Elizabeth, and goodness! That’s very detailed info in the link. Good for you and your husband, definitely a labor of love! And yes, I’m sure the 200K acres refers to the grounds in total for the Hotel, including the polo grounds, gardens, pool, racetrack, golf course, etc. Truly a hangout for the rich and famous.

    • Dear Elizabeth,
      I have been desperately trying to contact you and your husband about this chapel, but so far without success, unfortunately! When I discovered this postcard and your reply I thought I might give it another try…
      My name is Mariela Dittrich, I’m an architectural historian and assistant professor at the TU Wien, the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria, where I’ve been teaching a lecture course on American Architecture for almost 20 years now. In 2020 I held an accompanying elective seminar with the subject of the Craftsman Style, covering different aspects from the British origins to architects contributing to the San Francisco Bay Area Tradition to Parkitecture and bungalow architecture and finally famous Craftsman architects like Greene & Greene. I’m working on a publication, and the paper about the San Francisco Bay Area Tradition with Ernest Coxhead and St. John’s is among the chosen ones. I’m still looking for pictures, especially interior ones for the book! It’s close to impossible to find anything with the right to publish. Any help would be highly appreciated! Maybe you could get in touch with me so I can explain a little more about the project?
      Thank you so much in advance, kind regards from Vienna,
      Mariela Dittrich

      • Dear Mariela,

        I sent your message to Elizabeth at the email I have on file. Best of luck!

        Anne, Laurel Cottage Genealogy.

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