Co-evolving Communities


Over time, communities transform to that reflect dominant peoples. The Central Coast is no different. Today’s communities are an amalgamation of all who came before: Chumash, Salinas and Ohlone tribes, Spanish padres and missions,  Mexican rancheros, California settlers and immigrants, and the American expansionists and optimists who believed in the “California Dream”. 

Communities evolve with shifting societies and ethnicities, as well as changing byways, modes-of-transportation, economies, communications, and value systems.

The Central Coast communities along the ancient trade route-cum-El Camino Real-cum-modern highway are fascinating examples of all of the above. They are testaments to the fickleness of nature and the impermanence of man: while simultaneously, they are shining examples of the necessity of invention and man’s resilience in the face of diverse challenges.

In the end, their present is co-evolving with their past to produce the future. 

The Communities in this project are presented geographically, going from south to north. 

  • Northern San Luis Obispo/the Monterey Coast/the Lower Salinas Valley. 
    • Santa Margarita
    • Atascadero
    • Templeton
    • Paso Robles
    • San Miguel
  • South Monterey County
    • Bradley
    • San Ardo
    • San Lucas
    • Lockwood
    • Ft. Hunter Ligget
    • Jolon
    • King City
  • Mid-Salinas Valley
    • Greenfield
    • Soledad
    • Gonzales
    • Chualar
  • Monterey Coast
    • Carmel
    • Pacific Grove?
    • Monterey
  • Upper Salinas Valley
    • Salinas
  • San Juan Bautista? 

Books and References

Anderson, Burton. The Salinas Valley: A History of America’s Salad Bowl. Monterey County Historical Society. 2000.