Colton Hall


Billed as the building where the state of California was born, Colton Hall is one of the most significant and popular attractions in Monterey.

Monterey was once the capital of Alta California, a large province under the control of the Spanish Crown until the Mexican government took over control, and then finally the United States. It was here at Colton Hall that the first constitution of California was drafted and sent into Congress in 1850. San Jose, the seat of legislature, was chosen to be the state's capital though Monterey retains the distinction of being the birthplace of the Golden State.

Colton Hall, built around 1847, is a wonderfully well preserved historic landmark on the Monterey Peninsula. It has been in nearly continuous use in one form or another, since its founding, acting as a school, city hall, sheriff's office, and the city police headquarters. Today, the first floor maintains a few offices while the second floor is a museum open to visitors daily from 10 am-4 pm. In the museum, you may explore exhibits on early Monterey, the founding of California, as well as the history of Alta California.