HISTORICAL Morro Bay, California

for Old-timers....(and you too)

The West side of Morro Rock isn't defaced and remains as seen by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (1542) and possibly Pedro de Unamuno (1587). This view is from the North. The Chevron tanker is about loaded and ready to go to a refinery.


Morro Rock is one of the "nine sisters" a volcano formation that extends directly toward San Luis Obispo. There are a couple more farther out--the last one being Church Rock located at about a two hundred foot depth a few miles out. Local lore says Cabrillo landed near Morro Bay. In addition, some 19th century historians claimed he was buried at San Simeon, not San Miguel Island. A link to a treatise about Pedro de Unamuno can be found in our "Links we Like."

On this site we have many old photographs and also some stories about the old-timers of Morro Bay. The time period covered will, for the most part, be the war years, however, we continue to look for earlier events and people.

Copyright July 1999 by Vic Hansen
Please note: It is easy to copy photos from this site but it is also illegal. Many of MY photos I will give willingly to anyone who asks. Please honor the donors to this site by not stealing their photographs. Thanks. vlh.

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Morro Bay and Baywood from the air

Morro Bay Today...Before you delve into the past, you might want to take a slide show tour around the town.

Morro Bay Today...Another more recent tour

A map of historical buildings...before visiting Morro Bay you may wish to print this

A nice old Morro Bay building has an interesting history...new January 2010

A view of Venus from Morro Bay by local astronomer


Mexican Land Grants in San Luis Obispo County

The Canets......1840
the Canet adobe

Cayucos____Rancho Moro Y Cayucos.1842___plus Early Cayucos and Archaeology of Estero

Cayucos____Villa Creek and Rancho San Geronimo___Rafael Villavicencio's land grant and the Villa family today
The Portola Expedition

1848 Treaty

The Quintana Saga.......1874
Maria Chona Boronda and the Dons Finery

The Biography of Francisco Estevan Quintana and Maria de Guadalupe Lujan...by Don Rivara

1840 Spanish maps of Rancho San Bernardo

The Legend of Morro Castle.....1880

As it was--the north channel___there might be one or two around that remember this

Early Steamships....Sailor Brown names twenty-two of them

Very Early panorama of Morro Bay before there was a park.

The Stocking Gallery

The Caccia Family

The Hochstetler Album....Morro Bay Fun in the 1890's

Our earliest picture of Morro Bay...(posted May 2009)

The Post Office....early buildings

1929 Fifth Street (Morro Bay Boulevard)

The First Morro Bay Theater

Women's Golf in Morro Bay and the History of the course

Cal Poly High...about 1918 (?)

Atascadero Beach (Cloisters), Morro Beach Inn and the Mattoon Act
Hard Times in Morro Bay by H. Jesse Walker PhD____Dr. Walker's early life in Morro Bay... also a recent update (July 2008)

The Morro Bay State Park and the CCC

Baywood Park and the dream of Richard Otto__New May 2014...Some of you think you live in Los Osos-- you don't. It's Baywood Park

Bill Huntington, a resident since 1938 tells us about his early life___Some wonderfull old pictures and aerial photos of early Morro Bay (May 2009)

Morro Elementary School____a teacher remembers the early 1930's, by Mary Elizabeth Williams Madonna and photographs of the classes of 1930 and 1938

The Great Depression in San Luis Obispo County 1930's____Dorothea Lange Photos

An outing at the beach__People did get together and have some fun in the 30's

Unemployed...a 1938 painting

Closing the North Entrance to Morro Bay____the causeway 1936

News Excerpts of 1940____plus The Morro Beach Inn and Camp Merriam
Cal Poly at War and some old radio shows

The Harbor Project to be discussed by local dignitaries

January 5, 1940 Morro Bay Sun...the entire edition

The Taffy Men

1936 and 1948 Estero Bay Photographs

The Standard Oil facility at Estero Beach

Leo Ranney House....Morro Bay's only mansion (El Banco Sereno Estate)

Albums and Many Individual photographs
Huntington Library Photos___Morro Bay and Port Harford

Individual Photograph Collections____Joseph Giannini, Bickford, Jorge et al

Morro Beach Inn (with new front view)

Morro Rock Photos and The Ship Cafe

More Rock photos

The Photo Gallery--people

Photogallery two--boats and docks and clam digging

Photogallery three--Maston's Market, Banning School 1913, et. al.

Postcards from the Past
A video of Morro Bay in 1948___new December, 2013

PT Boat Rescues Fishermen 1950___new August, 2018

A slide program of Army training in Morro Bay

Armistice Day 1941 and Morro Bay "Navy Day" poster

Submarine Attack (yes, here!) in December of '41__The Union Oil Tanker Montebello torpedoed--the full story

Morro Bay Sun Archives (Dec 5 '41 and more)

December 7, 1941

Japanese Relocation Photographs and Manzanar 2007

The Pat Nagano Story___a popular Morro Bay farm family since 1917 is relocated

Rare scrapbook newsphotos about the war

Harbor Development During World War Two

Cal Poly at War

The War Years____also War Posters and Rationing

WWII Morro Bay Military Training Video on utube

Lockheed Camouflaged___fear of Japanese air attack led to this

World War II Front Pages___The San Francisco Examiner 1941--1945

Morro Bay men Serving their Country in 1943

Any relatives killed in the Pacific? Take a look at this

Kenneth Hansen USMC and the Palawan Massacre

Getting a P40 back in the fight

Clair Tyler--missing in action

SLO County men killed or MIA in WWII

A new trestle picture and the first Morro beach party.

Morro Bay properties for sale in 1943. Tax sale..find out what your property was worth

The Morro Bay Jubilees 1946...1949

Morro Bay Business people of the late 40's _____remember any of these people?

Travel Brochure 1947_____"Morrobathing" beauties anyone? They are here!

The Parking Meter (1947)

A view of Cayucos and Morro in 1948

High School Girls of the late 1940's

Some Great 1950's Photographs in slide show format...cars on the beach and more

M.B. Bluebirds of 1951

Indian Summer...a treatise on Morro Bay's famous fog (May 2009)...by Joe Dunlap

Morro Bay Was For Kids...nostalgic reflections...by Joe Dunlap

Broken Breakwater...(new July, 2010)

PGE Photographs...(new July, 2010)

Break in the Peninsula...1955 top of the rock photos...(New July, 2010)

1952 Veterans of World War 1 living in Morro Bay


August 18, 1966 Morro Bay Sun...the entire edition...posted May 2009

Morro Bay Cub Scouts 1967...(new May, 2012)


Morro Bay High 1976 Champs!...a once in a lifetime team

Morro Bay Artists
The famous plein air artists of Morro Bay_____Harold Knott, Aaron Kilpatrick and Robbie Robinson

Painting of Morro Bay by famous artist George Demont Otis

Painting by William Wendt of Kilpatrick home

Diana Manseau

Thoughts and poems by a woman who loved Morro Bay (1933)

Don B Williams

Sketches of some early Morro Bay homes

Abalone and Fishing
Morro Bay and Abalone____the people, the divers, processing abalone and the Brebes empire

Earliest Abalone Boats____a rough ride to sea (new July, 2010)

Abalone Divers of Morro Bay 1930--1960

Virg's Fishing...the family, fishermen and some unbelievable fish

Newest Abalone Pictures___Lawrence Carver, William "Wimpy" Pierce, Lanky Tipton

More Abalone Boats and their Operators....(new 08/2008)

Carmel abalone drying___well, it is close by

The Abalone Farm___John Alexander B.S., PhD and his abalone enterprise

Joseph Giannini's Morro Bay influence and his story___from 1946 until present

Morro Bay Fishermen about 1950____A great looking bunch of guys. Do you know any of them?

Bill Casper..Regal Seafood Company____albacore in the 1960's

Barbara Stickel's history of Morro Bay Fishermen

John Ennis..a fishing family 1950's____help with some names anyone?

Happy Jacks Saloon...The names have changed but these are still dumps to avoid in Morro Bay

Yesterday is still here in Morro Bay___Mikes Barber Shop, The Aquarium, The Shell Shop, Tognazzini's and Giovanni's

Changes..."Craby" Joe's et. al.

Links To Sites We Like

The Historical Society Wants You!
(not necessarily Morro related)

Vic takes the California gun test

Where can you find some of the greatest wine in Califorrnia?

A friendly tide pool inhabitant

A poem we can dedicate to all the dogs we have owned

Old San Luis--County Hospital, San Luis Sanitarium, homes

Some Early Avila History

Shell Beach Oil Refinery

The Korean War Memorial

Earthquake 2003, San Miguel Misssion and Old San Miguel

The Camp Roberts Museum

Central Coast Sunsets

Old Time Boxing

Boxing Scrapbook

Fight signing in Jaurez Mexico, 1913

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