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Painting detail from a mural titled Chumash Indians, these were the first inhabitants of San Simeon; painting detail shows a Central Californian Chumash Native American village with stick and grass houses called áps; an áp sometimes used whale bones for a supporting framework and was covered with small sticks and dried grass. The Chumash Indian mural also shows the Indians doing typical activities like harpooning fish, and boating with their long wooden canoes; Click to see all this beautiful mural painting called Chumash Indians.

Colorful San Simeon village history and vintage small boat shore based whaling historic pictures

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Hearst Pier at San Simeon Vintage Vintage 1800's Photograph: a photograph of the Hearst Wharf and some buildings in San Simeon vintage 1800's ; Click for a larger photograph of this rare historic vintage photograph of the Hearst wharf pier and San Simeon California.
Hearst Pier at San Simeon Vintage Vintage 1800's Photograph
San Simeon Point Aerial Coastal California Photograph: Click for a larger picture of San Simeon Point, once location of historic whaling station and San Simeon Village; Click for a larger aerial photo of this historic tourist point of interest near Hearst Castle State Historical Monument.
Click to enlarge this photograph of San Simeon Point, location of old whaling station & village San Simeon

This pristine looking 12 acre protrusion of California Coastline, San Simeon Point has at times been a bustling vibrant community. Where there now is hardly a sign of civilization have come and gone have been 50 or so buildings; including general store, a blacksmith shop, a barbershop, a saloon, a lavish hotel, a post office and homes for more than twenty families. More San Simeon Area Aerial Photos Like this from

Vintage Whaling Gun and Harpoons Photograph: picture of a visitor point of interest taken at Sebastian's General Store and Cafe, vintage equipment for hunting whales in small boats left from when San Simeon was a from shore whaling station; Click for a larger version of this tourist information photo of a vintager swivel whaling gun and collection of  harpoons at Sebastian's General Store.
Antique Greener swivel whaling gun and collection of vintage harpoons from when San Simeon was a from-shore whaling station & whale processing company.

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Quick Brief history of San Simeon California, Native American Indians, Spanish Cattle Ranchers, Hunters, Whalers, Swiss Dairymen and Senator George Hearst...

Cast Iron Trypots (try-pots) picture: a photograph of a visitor point of interest showing vintage cast iron trypots link the ones used at the San Simeon village whaling station that was on San Simeon Point prior to 1880.
huge cast iron try-pots, you can see similar at the Visitors Center of Hearst Castle California State Historical Monument
Vintage Whaling Photograph: picture of a visitor point of interest taken of from shore whaling, hunting whales in small boats; Click for a larger version of this tourist information photo of two whalers harpooning a whale from a small boat.
from shore whaling being done from a small boat vintage photo

Long long ago a Native American Indian population lived in the area that would later become San Simeon . Later, following secularization of the San Miguel Mission in 1836 the governor of the then Spanish California divided the mission grazing lands into three ranchos: Piedras Blancas, 49,000 acres; Santa Rosa, 13,183 acres; and San Simeon, 4,468 acres. San Simeon was awarded to Jose Ramon Estrada as a Spanish Land Grant. Shortly thereafter came a small community of Chinese seaweed harvesters that settled by the bay around the mid-1800s.

Probably the area's most active period was around 1852 when Portuguese whalers from the Azores established a whaling station at San Simeon Point. Sentinels on top the bluffs and look for the whales spouting as they surfaced to breathe; then when the whales were spotted, small boats were used to harpoon and harvest the whales. The whales were brought to the whaling station, and the oil was processed in huge try-pots (trypots) like the ones pictured above for shipment to San Francisco.

Pictures showing how from shore whaling was done using small boats and on-shore processing: picture of drawings illustrating methods of from shore whaling and on-shore whale processing; Click for a larger version of this vintage hand-drawn whaling information illustration picture.
pictures showing how from shore whaling was done using small boats and on-shore processing

From the north Russian fur traders and Aleut hunters harvesting seals and sea otters came ashore at San Simeon for goods and services. At one time a group of Japanese settlers founded a business drying abalone also at San Simeon. After the drought of the 1860's, grazing land was considered too poor for livestock and the Spanish rancheros began to sell their land, and other settlers began to move into the area among them Swiss who brought in their dairies, and New Englanders brought their orchards. In 1865 California Senator George Hearst bought 45,000 acres including almost all of the San Simeon Rancho except the beautiful 12 acres of San Simeon Point but was eventually purchased by Hearst's widow Phoebe Hearst in 1894. Ships delivered supplies to San Simeon to be distibuted to north San Luis Obispo County, goods were picked up from from Pacific Coast ports from Seattle to San Diego and the port of San Simeon began shipping products of mining (quicksilver/mecury), ranching and whaling.

Steam ships and new technologies like rocket harpoons made it possible to hunt the larger faster whales and by 1880's the small boat shore whaling industry declined and the village on the point associated with the whaling station began to disappear. The general store was moved on horse-drawn skids to its present site, which became the new location of the village of San Simeon. About that same time, Senator Hearst began building warehouses on the bluffs and built a new 1000 foot pier into San Simeon harbor to handle the largest ships of the time. Steel rails were constructed on the warf to allow flat cars to move cargo to and from the new warehouse on shore. Of course later the pier would become the dropping of point of the many treasures which would be combined to make the marvelous Hearst Castle.

Nature has erased most of the obvious indications there was a community on San Simeon Point. Sebastian's General Store was pulled from the point to where it sits now; today there is little evidence that the villagers of so many different livelihoods and cultures lived and worked on the land of the Point and around the Bay but if you are out on the on "the Point" and take a silent moment, you can still feel spirits of these amazing pioneers and hear their ancient voices as they go about living on the old California Coast.

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Summary Conclusion: Title: History of San Simeon California, San Simeon Point and the Cove or sheltered Harbor at historic old San Simeon, a few colorful history tidbits and vintage whaling pictures from old whale station days at wonderful San Simeon California.
Description: Brief history of San Simeon California, Native American Indians, Spanish Cattle Ranchers, Hunters, Whalers, Swiss Dairymen and Senator George Hearst, William Randolph Hearst; the San Simeon Point whaling station and the ships landing in the cove, a pier is built into the sheltered Harbor and warehouses on the bluff, the general store is moved for a new location at the colorful historic old San Simeon Village, a few colorful history tidbits and vintage whaling pictures from old whale small boat shore whaling days like at wonderful San Simeon California.
Catagories: vintage whaling methods, old san simeon village, Missions, Rancheros, cattle, whaling, whaling stations, small boat shore whaling, villages, Senator, William Randoph Hearst, San Simeon California visitor information, tourist info, tourist spots, vacations, sightseer, Pacific Coast Highway 1, PCH 1, highway one, California Coast, scenic roads, places
Tags: whales whaling grey whales gray rendering render quick silver mercury swiss Portuguese Spanish San simeon history historic harbor cove point san simeon point pier whaling whalers try-pots (trypots) try-pot trypot render whale whaling whaling station whale blubber whale oil boats harpoon village san Miguel mission spanish land grant portuguese visitor tourist information points of interest activities hearst california ca calif hearst castle historical monument photos photographs image images coast beach pacific coast highway highway pch 1 one sightseer

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