The Casa Munras was one of the first residences built outside the walls of the old Monterey Presidio. Constructed in 1824 by Spanish diplomat Don Estéban Munras, the property was initially named La Granja (Spanish for ‘the farm’) and soon became the heart of his sprawling Rancho San Vicente, a veritable principality of 20,000 acres stretching all the way to Carmel.
The original residence was constructed with individual handmade adobe bricks. These historical roots have been protected and maintained; a portion of the original structure featuring the 32-inch thick adobe walls is still standing, encompassed in the walls of the Marbella Meeting Room.
The last generation of the Munras family to live in Monterey was Maria Antonia Field, Estéban Munras’ great granddaughter, who died in 1962 and is buried in the cemetery at the Carmel Mission Basilica. Born in the Casa Munras in 1885, she lived at the residence until 1941, when the Jack Dougherty family purchased the property to use as Monterey’s first garden hotel. A plaque can be found on the outer wall of the existing lobby building today that reads: “In Memory of Don Esteban Munras, last Spanish Diplomat of California of the Spanish Era for whom this was built in 1824. Dedicated by his great granddaughter, Maria Antonia Field, October 28, 1951.”
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