By June Morrall
“The only road to Pebble Beach was ‘a kind of a zig zag…never laid out by anybody…[and it looked like]…a cow trail because it was crooked, but wider because wagons crossed over it…”–Alexander Moore, Pescadero pioneer who built the first wood frame house in 1853.
Nobody knew where the shiny, colorful pebbles that covered Pebble Beach came from, so the beach was tagged a “nautical wonder,” a “geological freak.” There were theories, though: Half of the townfolks said the glacier of pebbles originated in the cliffs and were pulled into the Pacific. The other half said the tides brought them to Pescadero from somewhere else.
Roma T. Jackson, the controversial editor/publisher of the Coastside Advocate often wrote of Pebble Beach and its charming little pebbles.
“Many are valuable gems,” Jackson wrote, “such as carnelians, opals, cats eyes, agates, moonstones and water crystals making it a profitable as well as a pleasant pasttime to search the pebble banks.”
All this was hyperbole, making Pebble Beach sound like a big beach teeming with priceless jewels, similar to the Great Diamond Hoax (1872) where the pricey, glittering stones were said to be growing on the ground and in trees.
Pebble Beach was only a quarter mile in width and several hundred yards long.
“The first that I knew of it being called Pebble Beach was in 1864,” Alexander Moore said. “I heard them talk about the pebbles….A lady by the name of Hale, an old lady that used to come down from a boarding house and a fellow by the name of Bill Carr…Ever since that time Pebble Beach has been a place of public resort.”