Hopkins Seaside Laboratory 1892

1st Building of the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory, 1892

Hopkins Scrapbook, Photographer is likely Charles K. Tuttle

Agassiz Laboratory 1920

Agassiz Laboratory at Hopkins Marine Station, 1920

Photo by Dr. W. K. Fisher, Courtesy of Stanford University Archives


See video of Donald Kohrs talking on October 3, 2016


The Hopkins Seaside Laboratory (1892-1917)
Pacific Grove, California

The Hopkins Marine Station (1918-1950)
Pacific Grove, California


In 1892, the first building of Stanford University's Hopkins Seaside Laboratory was built for about $700. This 60 x 20 foot wood frame building contained 3 general laboratories, a library, a store room, and 7 private rooms for investigators. The wood braces on the corners were added to keep it from being blown over by the wind. Two years later a second building was added. In 1905, for reasons that are explained within the chapters below, the name of the facility was changed to the Marine Biological Laboratory of Stanford University.

Then Hopkins Seaside Laboratory, while carried on under the auspices of the University, was by no means to be regarded as simply a provision for members of that institution. Its advantages were planned for and freely offered to investigators from whatever source. The regular sessions of this laboratory were held during the summer months, when teachers, students, and others desiring to attend, had their vacations, while the use of the buildings was allowed to investigators at all times of the year. This regular organization of the facility provided for three classes of participants, 1) the undergraduate and graduate students of Stanford University, 2) the scientific investigators, and 3) schoolteachers and students. See images.

In 1918, the Marine Biological Laboratory of Stanford University was relocated from Lovers Point to its current location of China Point and became a year round facility with a resident director and faculty. It was during this time that the name of the research facility was changed to Hopkins Marine Station. The chapters below are the initial efforts aimed at presenting the history of the twenty-five years Hopkins Seaside Laboratory (i.e. Marine Biological Laboratory) was located at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove.

In 1916, through the efforts of the third President of Stanford University, Ray Lyman Wilbur and the Stanford Board of Trustees, a land exchange was negotiated with the Pacific Improvement Company that secured five acres of land at a rocky headland named Point Almeja for the immediate purpose of relocating the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. Having been the site of Pacific Grove's Chinese fishing community for many years, this particular location was known to the residents of the Monterey peninsula, as China Point. During the first years of the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory, this vibrant and picturesque fishing village became particularly dear to a number of students and researchers, as it was the home of Quock Tuck Lee; an exceptionally skilled collector whose efforts provided the necessary material for important research associated with the comparative embryology of primitive fishes.

With the China Point property secured, the next stage in the development of the research facility at this location was initiated in January of 1917, when the Board of Trustees of Stanford University approved plans and authorized the construction of a new building at a cost not to exceed $23,000.

On October 26, 1917, with the construction of the new building in process, the Board of Trustees, in recognition of the financial support provided by long-time Stanford Trustee, Mr. Timothy Hopkins, during the life of the original seaside laboratory, named this new facility 'Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University.'

Draft Book Chapters Draft Book Chapters

1 pdf

A Summer School of Science
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873)
Louis Agassiz as Mentor
The Museum of Comparative Zoology
Louis Agassiz's Aspirations
The Anderson School of Natural History, 1873

2 pdf

David Starr Jordan, M. D., Ph.D. LL.D.
The Education Of David Starr Jordan
Instructor, David Starr Jordan
David Starr Jordan and Louis Agassiz
Charles Henry Gilbert, Ph. D.
Oliver Peeble Jenkins, Ph. D.

3 pdf

The Hopkins Laboratory of Natural History
The Necessary Requirements for a Seaside Laboratory
Nominally a Part of Stanford University
An Early Announcement
Aims of This Branch
Point Aulon (Abalone Point) Lover’s Point
The Financial Resources For Construction

4 pdf

The First Days
The First Building
The Second Building
The Freshwater & Seawater Supply
Animals Fill the Aquaria
The Work of the Laboratory Provides for Three Classes of People

5 pdf

The Penikese Of The Pacific
Regular Summer Sessions For Twenty-Three Years
Offering Students Advanced Instruction In Zoology
Notable Students
Visiting Scientists
Library And Publications
The Equipment Available For Use
The Water Glass

6 pdf

As for the Gathering of Fishes
The Chinese Fishing Village
The Quock (Kwok) Family
Quock Tuck Lee
Quock Tuck Lee and Hagfish Embryos
Bashford Dean, Tuck Lee and Chimera Eggs
Ray Lyman Wilbur, Tuck Lee and Chimera Eggs

7 pdf

Limited Financial Resources Beyond The Initial Funding
The Many Names of Hopkins Seaside Laboratory
Directors of The Seaside Laboratory
The Final Years of Hopkins Seaside Laboratory
In Recognition of Oliver P. Jenkins and Charles H. Gilbert

8 pdf

Memorial Resolution George Clinton Price (1860-1950)
Memorial Resolution Frank Mace MacFarland (1869-1951)
Memorial Resolution Harold Heath (1868-1951)
Memorial Resolution Clara S. Stoltenberg (1865-1950)
Memorial Resolution Timothy Hopkins (1859-1936)
References PDF

Occupants of Hopkins Investigator Rooms

1 pdf

The establishing of Hopkins Seaside Laboratory
The establishing of Hopkins Marine Station
The first building at Hopkins Marine Station
Early literary perceptions of Hopkins Marine Station

2 pdf

Walter K. Fisher, director
Advanced instruction in biology
A diverse group of visitors
Additional resident faculty for Hopkins Marine Station

3 pdf

Instruction in ecology: scientific natural history
Early taxonomic studies and the great tide pool
Early ecological research at Hopkins Marine Station

4 pdf

Edward F. Ricketts
Ed Ricketts' 3 x 5 invertebrate survey cards
Letters of correspondence
In his own words
Contributions to museum collections of natural history

5 pdf

The influence of Jacques Loeb
The Hertzstein laboratory
Notes on the assignment of Chinatown Point to the Hopkins Marine Station
Jacques Loeb Laboratory of marine physiology at the Hopkins Marine Station
Alexander Agassiz Laboratory of the Hopkins Marine Station


Contact, Don Kohrs, the author of both texts, if you have questions, comments or would like to inquire about the possibility of a talk on the subject: Don Kohrs, Harold A. Miller Library, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3094, (831) 655-6229, dkohrs@stanford.edu            

See also: