Young Cayucos

Two of these rare photographs were supplied by Barbara (Hochstetler) Brebes and Donald Hochstetler from a family album. The third is from Roberta Canet's collection.

Among the early settlers in Cayucos beside the aforementioned Vincente Felez, Martin Olivera and James McKinley are James Cass, Angus Hardie, Don Domingo Pujol and Chauncy Phillips. Both James Cass and Angus Hardie arrived in 1867 and each acquired over 300 acres of land. James, it is said, tired of farming and along with John Harford (Port Harford), William Beebe and L. Schwartz developed the pier and shipping to and from Cayucos. Angus Hardie became road supervisor of the San Simeon Township in 1869 and was elected assessor of the county in 1879. James Mckinley grazed cattle on his eight thousand acres but at some point Domingo Pujol (perhaps an heir) acquired the ranch. Chauncy Phillips purchased the land from Pujol in 1875. Phillips and Pujol surveyed the land and divided it into lots and ranchos.

click for a photo of Captain Cass

This Presbyterian Church was built in 1880 and our guess as to when this picture was taken is 1890 to 1900. The Presbyterian Historical Society informs us that the church remained active until 1920. Michael D. Peterson from the San Francisco Theological Seminary Library provides us with the following. "The church first appears in the statistics in 1885 under the San Jose Presbytery of the Synod of the Pacific. The first pastor was the Rev. Samuel Slocombe (serving as "stated supply" minister, that is, not the permanent minister)...Slocombe was an Englishman (possibly from Bristol) and was married to Jane Brake Kington of Bristol, the sister of Capt. James Cass, the pioneer settler of Cayucos". It is interesting that Samuel Slocombe's name appears in some of his papers as Sidney Kington Slocombe. His naturalization record (1890) indicates "Samuel" so maybe that was what he preferred. His wife Jane was obviously a Kington widow but you wonder about Samuel's middle name. They seemed to prosper as Jane purchased 250 shares in the Producer Mining Company of Clear Creek Colorado and they bought 136 plus acres in the Cayucos area. This may have been purchased from James Cass.

The adobe building is of historical interest. According to Cayucos by the Sea--vol. 1, p.12, this was known as the Cooper Adobe named after an Indian inhabitant called Cupis. It was a store for Levi of San Francisco and a way station. The builder remains a mystery but an educated guess might be James McKinley since Felis and Olivera only held the land for a few years. The building is in rough shape when this photograph was taken (circa 1900). The church was demolished about 1935 to build the Cayucos Elementary School. The church had a cemetery that was unknown to anyone locally until grading commenced. The remains of these unknowns were removed to a cemetery in San Luis Obispo.

No one wanted to live by the sea, as is obvious in Hochstetlers very rare photograph. In the center, Whale Rock is quite evident. This is Old Creek which in earlier times was a large aboriginal encampment extending through and beyond Whale Rock Dam spillway. The creek is still open only to the extent that water is discharged from the dam. According to William Hartzell, (a living encyclopedia of Cayucos) the fence indicates a holding pen for cattle to be driven to San Luis. Obispo.

This Roberta Canet photograph is later than those above. Orientation is South and the street is an early Ocean Avenue. The trees and fence are long gone and the well is situated approximately under the Italian restaurant. That is lumber stacked against the fence. The arc like structure on the right has wheels and is on tracks that ran out on the pier. Catttle are in the sunken area behind these carts.

Here is a familiar name around Cayucos. His building remains and is located at the north end of town.

If you are interested in the archaeology of this area, the next link contains excerpts from Rebecca Anastasio's 1993 copyrighted study.
Archaeology of Estero
Gold in Cayucos? Not likely, but fun to read
Cayucos Gold
Visit this site about old Cayucos and the history of the Catholic church provided by St. Joseph's Church.
St. Joseph's