Monterey, California: Historic Cannery Row and John Steinbeck Walking Tour
Monterey Bay Aquarium / Hovden Food Products Corporation
After you pass the restroom there will be a wooden amphitheater. Continue walking and have a seat in this area or walk to the end of the pier and stop here to for a view out into the bay.
Monterey Bay Aquarium stands on the site of Cannery Row’s Hovden Food Products Cannery. It was built in 1916, by Knut Hovden, who we already know as the person who revolutionized the fishing industry with not only the Fish Hopper but many other innovations as well.
Keeping to the local script, the original cannery burned down in 1921 and Hovden’s reduction plant was leveled by fire in 1924. But, Hovden moved on and erected what became the largest fish-packing plant in Monterey. The crash of the sardine industry after World War II effected Hovden’s cannery less than others and he was able to stay in operation having expanded into other fish products. Hovden retired in 1951 and the Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station purchased the cannery in 1967.
There's a photo on your screen now of the old Hovden Cannery if you'd like to see.
The space was then rented to the Portola Packing Company. You will see their name on the wall later on this tour. The Portola Packing Company closed in 1973 and was the last of the canneries to close on Cannery Row.
In 1978, David and Lucile Packard created the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation and purchased the Hovden property from Stanford for nearly $1 million and began converting it into an aquarium. Much of what was left of the old cannery was demolished except for the boilers and smokestack which remain in their original locations.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in 1984. For over 30 years it has been an ocean conservation leader, deeply involved in cutting-edge research and an advocate to protect all living aspects of the sea. The Monterey Bay itself is part of the nation’s largest marine sanctuary, a stretch of ocean that runs from San Francisco south to San Simeon.
The aquarium educates visitors about the rich habitats of the bay, from the kelp forest down to its deep sea canyon. It also developed the Seafood Watch program which provides a sustainable seafood advisory list that assists consumers, chefs and business professionals in making informed seafood purchasing decisions.
Now take some time and enjoy this area. It is surrounded by the aquarium and its exhibits. Once you have explored the area, turn around and walk back out to the entrance of Hovden Way and turn right to continue along Cannery Row.