Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First Congregational Church of Pescadero

The church is located at 363 Stage Road in Pescadero, California.  California state historical marker number 949 is located directly in front of the building.

The First Congregational Church of Pescadero was built in May of 1867.  There are older church sites within San Mateo County, but this structure is the oldest surviving Protestant church building still on its original site and foundation.  The architectural style, more suited to Protestant communities found on the East Coast, reflects the social and religious profile of the settlers who were moving to this area in the mid-19th century.

The city of Pescadero dates back to the Spanish settlement of California when the area was a part of the Rancho Pescadero, given to Juan Jose Gonzales in 1833.  The Rancho fell into the area controlled by the Mission Santa Cruz.  The first American settler to move into the area, Alexander Moore, built his home in the Pescadero Valley in 1853.  Since the area offered fertile soil and easy access to the coast, Pescadero was a significant local community by the 1860s.

A quirky local fact of note is that the preponderance of white homes and buildings in Pescadero dates back to either the 1853 wreck of the clipper ship Pigeon, or the 1896 wreck of the steamer Columbia.  Whichever ship it was, and sources vary, the residents of Pescadero salvaged a staggeringly large quantity of white paint from the wreckage, which was then used liberally on any building that was in need of paint.  The tradition of painting homes and buildings in Pescadero white is still continued within the community.

I visited Pescadero for the first time recently and I liked it.  It's a great little community near the coast and it's worth a day trip out to see it and the area that surrounds it.

Getting There By Bike...
This one might be tough.  There are a few ways to get here, but almost all of them require a commitment of time and energy.  You'll be paid back by an absolutely great ride through some beautiful scenery, but it'll mean spending most of the day on a bike. 
The long way is to ride in from Woodside, up Old La Honda Road and then down into the Pescadero Valley.  This is the hardest way and involves lots of climbing.
Pescadero is only 14 miles south of Half Moon Bay.  You could make a day trip of it and ride your bike south to Pescadero, see the city, visit the beach, and then head back up to Half Moon Bay.
I would classify this ride as "advanced", if only for the amount of climbing that you have to do.  The Bike Hut is just a ways up Highway 1 and is worth a trip if you have it in your legs. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Lovely church building as well. Great anecdote about the white paint!