The Fleet arrived in Monterey Bay on May 1, 1908 and was welcomed by large crowds of people from Monterey and the surrounding area.  Monterey Bay is un-sheltered, and as luck would have it, a gale blew up for the fleet's arrival.  Those wishing to see the fleet planned for a fun day along the 17-Mile Drive and maybe a picnic or luncheon.  People who braved the weather to view the arrival returned home drenched for the sea spray from the wind off the coast.  At anchor, Illinois had an anchor chain break and blew 1/2 mile through the formation.  Emergency anchors caught just before she was about to hit the Alabama, but Admiral Sperry's barge was crushed between the ships.  In the above photo, people can be see over the hills watching the ships steam to anchorage.  At right can be seen a motor carriage with viewers enjoying the arrival.


The above card shows the pathfinders that had gone ahead of the fleet around the horn.  "3-29-08  The battleships Tennessee, Washington and California as they were anchored in the harbor.  I went on board of the Tennessee, the flagship of the Pacific Squadron.  Expect all 16 of the fleet on May 1st for 2 or 3 days. Will write soon.  Regards from Jack"

This is a nice RPPC of the USS Louisiana anchored in Monterey Bay.  Two other units of the fleet can be seen to each side.  The photograph was taken by Meddaugh, Watsonville, Cal.  James Edward Meddaugh was born in New York in 1861 leaving to travel out west to the Black Hills and Wyoming.  He was a photographer that shot everything from Native Americans to the earthquake of San Francisco.  James went to California to photograph the earthquake with his partner, Mr. Chapman but never went back east.  James died on his 65th birthday when his car went over a cliff in the San Andreas area.


The arrival attracted people to see the arrival and participate at events at the Del Monte Hotel (now the Naval Postgraduate School).  Mayor Will Jack took 200-officers on the 17-mile Drive and through Pebble Beach.  The Del Monte was host to a grand ball during the Fleet's visit.  Above photos, back from a motor car ride along the 17-Mile Drive, followed by lunch while still wearing a coach goggles, and the gardens at the Del Monte.  These four panoramic photographs are from an unknow photographer.


booth's crescent mackerel and sardines

While in Monterey the local fishing and canning company Booth's Crescent apparently used their fishing launches to assist with ferrying the visitors and sailors back and forth to the ships.  The ticket at left, front and back, was good for one passage "inbound."  It was saved by Midshipman Lofquist in his scrapbook.

Crescent Booth operated a fleet of boats locating schools of Pacific sardines.  Sardines were canned on the west coast starting in 1889 in San Francisco and later moved down the coast.  This company canned sardines in oil, mustard, spices and tomato sauce in different size containers.  The oval red container for sardines became iconic in the industry.


The below cards are from the collection of Charles Stotz on the USS Illinois.  As a CPO is was good about his routine and sent card home at every port.  Going up the California coast he sent a few cards from each stop.  These card show what Monterey is famous for, the Pacific Grove of trees viewed along the 17-mile drive.  The cards also have an added little decorative stamp of buildings in the community.


The events at monterey

Monterey had the fleet from Friday afternoon to their departure on Monday morning with the exception of First Squadron that left early Saturday morning for Santa Cruz.  A variety of event were planned by the small community to honor the fleet.

Friday evening the Mayor held a dinner with the Governor of California and the Admirals and Captains.  

The Feet set up illuminations from the ships for the community to watch and the Baby Opera House and Duarte Hall had socials.

On Saturday the fleet held various sporting events during the day for sailors and the community.  That evening the Hotel Del Monte, now the Naval Postgraduate School, had a reception and ball for the Governor, Admirals, and Officers of the fleet.  


          program of dances          Presidio of Monterey - May 1st

This dance card is part of the collection made by Midshipman Lofquist from the USS Connecticut.  Quite the collector, he carefully kept a scrapbook of all of the invitations, cards, announcements, and programs of the cruise.



cannery row

Fleet landing was at cannery row.  "a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream."  John Steinbeck  Long before his novel, it had been a fishing wharf where the fishing fleet came in with their catch.  The cannery buildings went up to preserve the daily catch and an industry was born.

The card at left, showing a liberty party disembarking, is not dated.  Fleet visits to Monterey were few and far between and this card is from the period of the fleet's visit.



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