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Carmel-by-the-Sea, usually called just “Carmel,” is a city in California,’120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed up the California coast in 15422 without landing; Carmelite friar Sebastián Vizcaíno explored the area in 1602 and named the Carmel Valley for his patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the title given to Jesus’ mother Mary. (The first Carmelites were Christian hermits on Mount Carmel in Jerusalem in the 12th and 13th centuries.) But it was not until 1770 that the Spanish tried to colonize the area, when Gaspar de Portolà visited the area in search of a site for the 2nd mission in Alta California with Franciscan priests Junípero Serra and Juan Crespí. Portolà and Crespí traveled by land, while Serra traveled aboard ship with the mission supplies, arriving eight days after them. They founded a colony and mission at Monterey, which became the capital of California until 1849, at the time of the American takeover from Mexico. However, the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was relocated to Carmel. Much of the native Ohlone population died from European diseases, as well as overwork and malnutrition at the missions where the Spanish forced them to live. A welder, John Martin, acquired lands surrounding the Carmel mission in 1833, which he named Mission Ranch, and French businessman Honore Escolle bought "Rancho Las Manzanitas" in the 1850s. With Santiago Duckworth, a young developer from Monterey with dreams of establishing a Catholic retreat near the Carmel Mission, Escolle filed a subdivision map with the County Recorder of Monterey County recorder in 1888 and sold 200 lots by the next year. There was another Carmel 13 miles (21 km) to the east-southeast, so Abbie Jane Hunter, founder of the Women's Real Estate Investment Company, used the name "Carmel-by-the-Sea" on a promotional postcard. In 1902 James Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers filed a new subdivision map on behalf of the Carmel Development Company and a post office opened.
In 1905, poet George Sterling, known in San Francisco as the “the uncrowned King of Bohemia," moved to Carmel and helped establish the town's literary base. In 1905, the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club was formed, and after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the village was inundated with musicians, writers, painters and other artists associated with Sterling such as photographer Arnold Genthe, a pioneer in color photography. (He wrote, "My first trials with this medium were made at Carmel where the cypresses and rocks of Point Lobos, the always varying sunsets and the intriguing shadows of the sand dunes offered a rich field for color experiments.") The new residents were offered home lots – ten dollars down, little or no interest, and whatever they could pay on a monthly basis. In 1907, the Carmel Arts and Crafts Clubhouse was built, and poets Austin and Sterling performed their "private theatricals" there. Already by 1906, the San Francisco Call devoted a full page to the "artists, poets and writers of Carmel-by-the-Sea," and in 1910 it reported that 60 percent of the town's homes were built by citizens who were "devoting their lives to work connected to the aesthetic arts." In 1914, poet Robinson Jeffers found his "inevitable place" when he first saw the Carmel-Big Sur coast; in 1918 he began hauling granite boulders from the rocky shore of Carmel Bay to Carmel Point, a treeless, windswept promontory, and apprenticed himself to the building contractor to learn the art of making "stone love stone." Next year, Tor House was completed, and Jeffers wrote all of his major poetical works there. In 1920, he began work on Hawk Tower as a retreat for his wife and sons; built entirely by himself, it took four years to complete. Other prominent writers there included Nora May French, Sinclair Lewis, George Sterling, Clark Ashton Smith, and Upton Sinclair, and Jack London described the artists' colony in his novel, “The Valley of the Moon;” notable visual artists included Anne Bremer, Ferdinand Burgdorff, E. Charlton Fortune, Percy Gray, Armin Hansen, Alice MacGowan, Charles Rollo Peters, William Frederic Ritschel, Sydney Yard, William Merritt Chase, Xavier Martinez, Mary DeNeale Morgan, C. P. Townsley, Matteo Sandona, and C. Chapel Judson. In 1910, poet/novelist Mary Austin and actor/director Herbert Heron organized the construction of the Forest Theater, one of the first outdoor theaters west of the Rockies, and Austin wrote and directed its first play, Fire, in 1913; eventually, Heron reorganized it as the Carmel Shakespeare Festival, which continued through the 1940s. In 1910, the Carnegie Institution established the Coastal Laboratory, and a number of scientists moved to the area as well. Edward G. Kuster, a musician/lawyer from Los Angeles, relocated to Carmel to establish his own theatre and school, leading to the establishment of the Theatre of the Golden Bough in 1924. He also bought out the slightly older Arts and Crafts Theatre. In 1935, after a production of By Candlelight, the Golden Bough was destroyed by fire, and Kuster moved his operations to the Arts and Crafts Theatre, renaming it the Golden Bough Playhouse. (In 1949, after remounting By Candlelight, the playhouse again burned to the ground.) In 1929, Edward Weston moved to Carmel and began shooting the area’s landscape; in 1936, he became the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work in experimental photography; his close friend Ansel Adams moved to the nearby Carmel Highlands in 1962. Early City Councils were dominated by artists, and the city has had several mayors who were poets or actors, including Herbert Heron, writer and actor Perry Newberry, and actor-director Clint Eastwood.
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