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HISTORY
Prehistorically the local area was inhabited by the Chumash people, who settled the coastal San Luis Obispo area approximately 10,000 to 11,000 BC, including a large village south of San Simeon at Morro Creek.

The first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolà expedition, traveled northwest along the coast in September, 1769. On September 12, the party passed the future location of San Simeon. At Ragged Point, about 15 miles past San Simeon, the party turned inland across the Santa Lucia Range.

San Simeon was founded as an asistencia (“sub-mission”) to Mission San Miguel Arcángel, founded in 1797 and located to the east across the Santa Lucia Range. San Simeon became part of the Rancho Piedra Blanca Mexican land grant, given in 1840 to José de Jesús Pico. In 1865, Pico sold part of the rancho to George Hearst, the father of William Randolph Hearst.

The first white persons to settle in the immediate area near the bay of San Simeon were Portuguese shore whalers under the command of Captain Joseph Clark. They had previously been whaling at Portuguese Bend, but came to San Simeon Point in 1864 to homestead land that had been declared to be public. Captain Clark built a small wharf after arriving to tie up his dead whales, but the date of its construction remains unknown.

In 1869, Captain Clark partnered with George Hearst to build a wharf out on the end of the point so sailing ships could tie up and load and unload goods. A small community was growing on the small peninsula near the 1869 wharf, but the wave action near the wharf was too severe for ships to tie up there and the wharf was abandoned. In 1878, Hearst built another wharf far inside the bay and the small community that had been developing near the old wharf now moved to be nearer the new wharf. A general store, Sebastian’s Store, originally located near the old wharf, was put on skids and dragged by oxen to its present location near the new wharf. Shore whaling continued on the point until the mid-1890s. It ceased for a short time, started up again in 1897, and continued to about 1908 when it ceased for good.

In 1953, the Hearst Corporation donated the William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, including the old Hearst Pier, to San Luis Obispo County. It is currently part of Hearst San Simeon State Park.

Source: Wikipedia
Photo Credits:”Hearst Castle02” by Bernard GagnonOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Area Schools

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