Custom House, One of the Order’s Gems
The Monterey Custom House is a Spanish Colonial-style adobe structure built around 1827 by the Mexican government in the Pueblo de Monterey, Alta California, in present day Monterey, to collect customs duties at the Port of Monterey. The Customhouse marks the site where Commodore John Drake Sloat raised the American flag and declared California part of the United States in 1846.
The Customhouse was a landmark that the Native Sons determined should not disappear if within their power to prevent it. Although the property belonged to the United States Government, the Native Sons obtained a lease of the buildings and grounds and restored them in the early 1900s. The lease was ultimately transferred to a State Commission appointed under a legislative act passed in 1901, which act also carried an appropriation for further restoration of the building. The Customhouse became the first California Historical Landmark on June 1, 1932, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. It is part of the larger Monterey State Historic Park, itself a National Historic Landmark District along with the nearby Larkin House.