River in Ruin: The Story of the Carmel River

By Ray A. March | Go to book overview

5 A VILLAGE OF ARTISTS
At Odds with the Pacific Improvement
Company

As Monterey, with its Hotel Del Monte, was progressively moving toward establishing itself as a vacation playground with appealing real estate for purchase, Carmel-by-the-Sea was going through its own version of development. The two towns, separated by the hill traversed earlier by Vizcaino and Father Serra, were entirely different from each other in their social, cultural, and economic makeup, but they shared a common dependence on water from the Carmel River.

Frank Devendorf was president of the Carmel Development Company and cofounded Carmel with San Francisco attorney Frank Powers. When the two began their business relationship, Powers was the financial facilitator and Devendorf the manager. Eventually they worked out a partnership where Devendorf became a stockholder in the Carmel Development Company, and between the two of them, they held virtually all the controlling stock. Powers managed the business dealings out of his San Francisco office, trusting Devendorf to sell building sites and handle local matters in Carmel as the man on the streets of the newly formed village. From its beginnings in 1902, Devendorf and Powers had carefully groomed Carmel to fit their image of an intellectually based community nestled in an idyllic forest. They saw that trees were planted and that roads didn’t interfere with the trees. They laid out an irregular town grid to avoid monotony. They purposefully recruited a particular type of “character” to live in their new town. There was a mutual

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