Magazine article Sunset

Strolling Steinbeck's Salinas; Our 1-Mile Walking Tour Shows You Where He and His Characters Lived

Magazine article Sunset

Strolling Steinbeck's Salinas; Our 1-Mile Walking Tour Shows You Where He and His Characters Lived

Article excerpt

Any quest for what inspired John Steinbeck's portraits of life in central-California in the 30s and 40s begins in Salinas. Our 1-mile walking tour lets you visit old haunts of the author and many of his characters. And to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath (which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940), the John Steinbeck Library hosts literary tours in both Salinas and Monterey this month. Steinbeck (1902-1968) was a native son of Salinas, and he set his novel East of Eden in the town. He spent a good part of his youth and early married life in nearby Monterey. Though he lived out his life in the East, the bulk of his work was set in Monterey County. August 3 through 7, Salinas holds its 10th annual Steinbeck Festival and anniversary events, including tours, lectures, film versions of the novels, a panel discussion by people who knew Steinbeck (some of whom were depicted as characters in the works), and book-signing sessions by authors of several recent works on Steinbeck. For a schedule, write or call the library, 110 W. San Luis St., Salinas 93901; (408) 758-7311. Admission to events ranges from free to $25. An 8-stop stroll through downtown Start your tour at the library. In addition to being stuffed with Steinbeck material, the library (open 10 to 9 Mondays through Thursdays, to 6 Fridays and Saturdays) publishes its own Guide to Steinbeck Country ($5), which provides maps, background information, and Steinbeck lore on Salinas, the Monterey Peninsula, and the Long Valley. (It's also available by mail from the address above.) Try to imagine the Salinas of the early 1900s, with dirt roads, Model T Fords, men in top hats and women in long dresses, maybe even an inquisitive little boy named John following you unabashedly. You'll pass well-kept Victorians on your way to 402 Cayuga, home of Dr. Henry Murphy. He delivered John and was the model for Adam Trask's doctor in Eden. John played with the Murphy children and traded early stories with one, Beth, who was another aspiring writer. John's parents worked in the courthouse -his father, John Ernst, as county treasurer with his mother, Olive, as assistant; the original building stood where the courtyard is now. John and his mother attended the original West End School; the present school was built in 1925. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.