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Colton Hall Museum, Monterey
(4.5/5 based on 40+ reviews on the web)
Colton Hall is a government building and museum in Monterey, California, United States. It was built in the late 1840s by Walter Colton, who came to Monterey as a chaplain on Commodore Stockton's vessel and remained to become Monterey's first alcalde (mayor) in the American Period.Colton Hall was originally a public school and government meeting place. It also hosted California's first constitutional convention in 1849. California's military governor called for a constitutional convention, to be held in Monterey's Colton Hall. On September 1, delegates from ten districts arrived in Monterey to debate and write California's state first constitution. The California Constitution was ratified on October 13, voted on in November that year and sent to Congress in January 1850. San Jose was chosen as the seat for the first Legislature. (Officially, a state capital is where the legislature sits; therefore Monterey never was the capital of the State of California.)The Native Sons of the Golden West were instrumental in 1903 in securing a legislative appropriation for necessary repairs on Colton Hall. The building was then registered as a California Historical Landmark in 1934.The most important public office building in Monterey County still in continuous use, Colton Hall has over the years housed Monterey's City Hall, a public school, the county court house, the sheriff's office, and Monterey's city police headquarters. Today the main floor still holds some city offices (including the city Planning Division and Building Safety Division), while the second floor is a museum.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This building was once the residence of the Government of California. It is known that here was written the Constitution of that State before entering in the composition of the United States. The truth of the story of the city as the capital and ended. A year after the writing of the Constitution the State capital moved from here forever, first in San Jose and Sacramento.
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  • When visiting this museum was surprised to learn that before 1850 onwards small Monterey was the capital of the huge California (then an independent State). And if so, then this building can be called a mini White House. The Museum was very informative and worth a visit.
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  • This is one of many choices you have, if you're taking time to walk the Downtown Monterey area, which I recommend. It's in a great location, and the exhibits are very good. 
Google
  • First and foremost: this IS THE place where California was founded; this is the hall in which the CA constitution was chartered and ratified. The docent was phenomenal and the hall has been kept in its original form, decor, and aesthetic. Looking at the original signed documents by men like Sutter, Fremont, etc. was incredible. It is not crowded, there is no fee to pay. THIS IS A GEM OF A SITE.
  • impressive museum that preserves the history of the creation of California, must be seen!
  • this place sucks
  • Californian history
  • Colton Hall is a must see for anyone that appreciates California history. Friendly Plaza in front of Colton Hall is a great place to catch the last bit of daylight on this side of the Peninsula.