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The Hovden Cannery

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In 1902, Jacques Loeb was recruited by the University of California at Berkeley to fill a similar chair to that which he held at the University of Chicago.   When Loeb relocated to the University of California, the plan was to continue his research associated with sea urchin development. Unfortunately, Loeb soon found that his primary source for seawater - the San Francisco Bay - was so polluted that his research was jeopardy of coming to an end.

Shortly after accepting the position at the University of California, Jacques Loeb befriended Dr. Morris Herzstein. As a medical doctor and wealthy San Francisco real estate speculator, Herzstein was interested in advancing science and willing to support Loeb’s research interests. Herzstein would provide this support by purchasing a sizable piece of property in New Monterey. In addition, Herzstein supported the construction and necessary equipment for a laboratory. Positioned at the southern end of Monterey Bay, the Laboratory supported Loeb’s research efforts associated with parthenogenesis, which required his having access to sea urchins and pure seawater.

In the fall of 1905, Dr. Morris Herzstein gifted to the University of California Regents a deed for a four-acre plot of land positioned along the waters of Southern Monterey Bay. Within his comments to the University of California Regents' Herzstein outlined his ambitious plan for the protection of the shoreline of New Monterey.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30, 1905.

To the President and Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, California.

GENTLEMEN : I take great pleasure in presenting for your acceptance the enclosed deed of lot No. 14, block No. 1,  lying in New Monterey, Monterey County, California, and building thereon, in which Professor Loeb is now continuing his scientific experiments. It is my wish that this station be designated as the “Morris Herzstein Research Laboratory at New Monterey.” I might add that the coast where this laboratory is situated is an exceptionally fine collecting ground and should be kept free from contamination by sewerage, poaching upon the rocks, and destruction of animal and vegetable life, which matter can be amicably arranged between the University and Monterey officials. Negotiations are pending and I shortly expect to control the entire water front, from the laboratory to the Presidio of Monterey, whereon no building or trespassing of any kind will be permitted.

With cordial greetings, gentlemen, I remain
Very truly yours,
[Accepted November 14, 1905.]

With Loeb finding his visits to the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory in Pacific Grove scientifically rewarding, a rudimentary lab was established for his use along the shores of New Monterey. Positioned just east of the Chinese fishing village, where is today the Hovden Way members entrance to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, sat a plain, one-story wooden building where Loeb would spend significant amount of time from 1903 to 1910, while professor at the University of California. This small lab being a gift to the Department of Physiology of the University of California by Dr. Morris Herzstein, specifically for Loeb to conduct his research.


Pictured Above - Hertzstein Laboratory, 1910

Mentioned in the Annual Report of the President of the University (Berkeley) 1917-1918, the Herzstein property was leased to Knute Hovden, a leading innovator in canning technology.

Lease to K. Hovden Company

On October 9, 1917, The Regents approved a lease dated September 11, 1917, to the K. Hovden Company of Lot No. 14 in Block No. 1, "Map of the north half of the town of New Monterey," together with the buildings and improvements thereon, for eight years, from September 1, 1917, to August 31, 1925, for the total rent of $800, payable in advance in equal installments of $100 each on the first day of September in each year during the term of the lease, commencing September 1, 1917.16

According to the Annual Report of the President of the University on behalf of the Regents to His Excellency the Governor of the State of California, 1919-1920, the Herzstein property was sold to the K. Hovden Company in February 1920

Sale of Herzstein Property:

The action of the President and Assistant Secretary was approved and confirmed in having executed a deed to K. Hovden Companyfor the Herzstein property in New Monterey.

Picured Above - Hovden Cannery, 1966

In 1967, Stanford University purchased the adjoining 3-acre Hovden cannery property as a buffer against commercial development along cannery Row, for protection of the basin to be used as a source of seawater for Hopkins Marine Station, if further expansion of the facility were permitted.  In 1972, Hovden cannery closed. Stanford eventually sold the cannery to the newly formed Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation for just under $1 million.