The California State Office of Historic Preservation recently announced that the original Morro Bay State Park trailer and tent campground has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the California Register of Historic Resources. The listing culminates a 6 year long process that started with a cultural landscape study and report prepared by the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation under the auspices of the National Park Service.
In the 1920s the land was originally planned as a speculative, residential, development surrounding a yet-to-be-built 18 hole golf course, along with tennis and croquet courts, lawn bowling greens, stables, and a yacht club. With the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the project failed with little more than a 9 hole golf course and clubhouse completed. The State purchased the Cabrillo Country Club and surrounding land in 1934 allowing it to become one of the first California State Parks. The thirty acre campground located between the shore of Morro Bay and the golf course was originally constructed by President Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1934 and 1939 as a depression-era public works project. The campground featured trailer and tent sites with 47 stone masonry picnic tables, masonry sided grills, and a restroom and shower building constructed in the “park rustic” architectural style, all of which still stand today. Other original features such as stone masonry walls, curbs, and drains can also be seen today.
The campground was expanded following World War 2 and again in 2003 to meet accessibility requirements. It now includes 135 sites with 5 restroom and shower buildings (including the original one still in service) and easy walking access via numerous trails to the 18 hole public Morro Bay Golf Course; the Museum of Natural History; a marina; a new elevated boardwalk along the pristine salt water marsh; the Bayside Café; the kayak launch, the Heron Rookery Natural Preserve; and a monarch butterfly roosting area. The listing of the historic structures in the national and state registers will ensure their protection and preservation for future generations.
For camping reservations call 800-444-7275 or go to reserveamerica.com/camping/morro-bay-sp
Reporters & Editors: Photos of the original CCC trail and tent sites are available upon request. Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at [email protected] or via RSS feed
California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. For more information, visit www.parks.ca.gov.