Our Historical Sites
We are proud to showcase a wide range of well-preserved historical sites in Pacifica as part of our rich history. Here are some of our favorites:
Constructed in the 1840’s from timbers salvaged from a wrecked Spanish ship, found on Point San Pedro, Sanchez Adobe’s authentic Monterey architecture is heavily influenced by Spanish design, coupled with relics of the Ohlone Indians and Spanish artifacts. During its first century of its origin, the Adobe served as a bordello, hunting lodge, artichoke packing shed, farm laborers’ quarters and a speakeasy during the prohibition era. It is the second oldest structure still standing in San Mateo County.
The Adobe is open to the public Tuesday through Thursday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm Admission is free except during Rancho Day Fiesta where admission is $1.
School programs feature hands-on activities. Non-school groups can call to schedule a tour. A $2 donation, per person, is suggested for general tours. Sanchez Adobe is located at 1000 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, CA. For information call 650.359.1462 or visit the website at, http://www.historysmc.org/
Little Brown Church
Beginning life in 1910, the Little Brown Church was Pacifica’s first church. It was built of rough sawn fir and redwood and stood just 100 feet from the Ocean Shore Railroad. Known as the Salada Beach Presbyterian Church, it served as a church, community social center, meeting room, public school, well baby clinic and neighborhood movie house. The City of Pacifica bought the church for temporary use of the Pacifica Police Department and now leases it to the Pacifica Historical Society. Currently, the society is focusing on a $500,000 restoration fundraising in recognition of its significant contribution to the Pacifica community. 650.359.5462 Pacifica Historical Society, P.O. Box 752, Pacifica, CA 94044
In 1908, San Francisco rail magnate, Henry Harrison McCloskey, grandfather of Congressman Pete McCloskey, modeled and built Sam’s Castle after his wife Emily’s childhood home in Scotland. McCloskey erected the castle by the sea as a safe haven after his San Francisco home was severely damaged in the 1906 earthquake. With its century-long reputation as a speakeasy, an illegal abortion clinic, a brothel and Coast Guard barracks during World War II, the castle was purchased and restored in 1959 by the late Sam Mazza. Mazza filled it with wondrous works of arts and antiques collected during his career as theater painter/decorator for 20th Century Fox. Sam’s Castle, as it has been known for 50 years, is now in trust and is being renovated. The Castle is occasionally open to the public for tours by the Pacifica Historical Society courtesy of the Sam Mazza Foundation. 650.355.0272 Sam Mazza Foundation, 900 Mirador Terrace, Pacifica, CA 94044
Ocean Shore Railroad
Established in 1905, the Ocean Shore Railroad Company’s tracks started in San Francisco ran along a coastal route through the small villages that later became Pacifica. It hugged the mountain at Devil’s Slide and traveled south through Montara, Moss Beach, El Granada and Half Moon Bay. The route ended at Tunitas Creek, south of Half Moon Bay. Most of the Ocean Shore right of way was paved over and turned into Highway 1, reputed to be the most spectacular road on the West Coast. Signs of Pacifica’s early railroad days can be seen along the Rockaway headlands and along the railway berm in Pedro Point. The huge cut between Fairway Park and Vallemar was created by railroad engineers and three railroad stations still stand.
This L-shaped 1,140 feet long pier is offi cially named the Rev. Herschell Harkins Memorial Pacifica Pier, after the much-admired Reverend from the Little Brown Church. Located at Sharp Park Beach, Pacifica Municipal Pier was opened in November 1973. It was built as a cooperative development of the City of Pacifica, the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Dept. of Fish & Game. Famous for its salmon runs and winter Dungeness crabbing, the pier attracts anglers from around the globe. Other species caught at the pier are Jack Smelt, White Croaker and Striped Bass. The pier also provides a great vista for whale viewing during their biannual migration. The Pier is open daily from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Please note that the pier closes during rough weather.) 650.738.3760, www.CityofPacifica.com