- The town of Jolon was located on the site of a small Indian village.
- When Mission San Antonio was established, the Jolon Valley was part of the Mission’s holdings.
- Because of its proximity to the mission, Jolon became a major stage stop on the El Camino Real (which ran roughly along the present day Jolon Road).
- The stage stop began when a residence was remodeled to an inn in approximately 1850, and then the inn was further remodeled to the two-story Dutton Hotel in 1876.
- From 1855 to the late 1800s, the stage coach route was as follows:
“Soledad marked the end of the Southern Pacific line, and at this point passengers transferred to the Coast Line Stage Company. The stage road left the marshy Salinas Valley to follow the Arroyo Seco, with the first horse changing station at Last Chance, fifteen miles from Soledad. Three miles further along the road was the Gulch House inn, operated by Mr. Thompson. Four miles beyond Thompson’s was the store and hotel of A.E. Walker. San Antonio, or Lowe’s Station as it was also known, was four miles beyond Walker’s, where passengers could get supper and sleep. Ten miles further the stage reached the village of Jolon, which was by that time a substantial settlement dominated by the two-story adobe Dutton Hotel”
- The town had a post office and served as a major trading post for the miners heading for the Los Burros gold mines and quicksilver mines about 10 miles northeast of Jolon in the Santa Lucia Mountains. It also served settlers on the Big Sur coast.
- There was a “Littel China Town” of Chinese who panned for gold and a Chinese laundry in the 1850s and two locations called “China Gulch” in the area.
- Because of this, Jolon became a major trade center along the El Camino Real in South Monterey County.
- In the late 19th Century, the town of Jolon grew to a considerable size. Thre town possessed:
- Two hotels (The Dutton Hotel and the Tidball Hotel, and both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places),
- Three saloons,
- Two blacksmith shops,
- A postoffice,
- Two stores,
- A large dance hall across the road from Dutton’s Hotel,
- A jail,
- A granary,
- The Episcopal Church, is still standing and has regular Sunday services.
Books and References
Monterey County Parks Reconnaissance Survey of Agricultural ResourcesIn The South County Planning Area 2008-2009, Certified Local Government Grant, October 2009. http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/home/showdocument?id=37921
Ryan, MaryEllen and Gary S. breschini, PhD. News from The Monterey County Historical Society, Overview of Post-Hispanic Monterey County History. December, 2000. http://mchsmuseum.com/news/0012.pdf