Monterey, California: Historic Cannery Row and John Steinbeck Walking Tour
Scuba Diving Meeting Place / Gross Canning Company and San Carlos Canning Company
Stop here for a moment and take a look out across the lawn area.
On the weekends this lawn area is packed with scuba divers getting ready for a dive. Monterey Bay Sanctuary, which is directly in front of you off San Carlos Beach, attracts divers from all around the world. Divers enjoy 10 to 30 feet of visibility here, but wear a wetsuit, the water temperature is 50 to 60 degrees.
This area was also the location of two canneries. The E. B. Gross Canning Company opened here in 1919 but burned to the ground in September 1924 when an oil tank on the nearby Associated Oil Pier was struck by lightning and burst into flames. Over 55,000 gallons of crude oil and 600,000 gallons of gasoline burned. It literally set the bay aflame. Not to be deterred though, Gross rebuilt his cannery and maintained it until it was sold in 1943 to Peninsula Packing Company.
Next door was San Carlos Canning Company. It was founded by one of the major players in the Monterey fishing industry, Pietro Ferrante, who opened his sardine plant here in 1927. The cannery continued to thrive through World War II but succumbed in the late 1940’s like many others.
Both the Peninsula Packing Company and the San Carlos Canning Company burned to the ground in a fire on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1956. They were never rebuilt.
Continue walking straight along the sidewalk.