19. Hopkins Marine Station
Ocean View Blvd. at Cabrillo Point


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Google Map of Hopkins Marine Station


Originally established at Lovers Point in 1892, moved in 1917 to China Point (now called Cabrillo Point), it was the first marine laboratory on the Pacific Coast. Associated with Stanford University, it specializes in the study of intertidal life.

Steinbeck and his younger sister, Mary, played here as children and later studied zoology and English here in the summer of 1923. Their teacher, C.V. Taylor, was a disciple of the ideas of Berkeley's William Emerson Ritter, whose concept of the super-organism influenced Steinbeck.

During the early 1930s, while struggling to make ends meet, John and his wife, Carol, fished off the rocks here.

Dr. Walter K. Fisher (Director of Hopkins from 1917 to 1943) was an ardent critic of Ricketts' ecological approach in Between Pacific Tides and hindered prompt publication of the book. Dr. Rolf Bolin, who identified some of the specimens from The Sea of Cortez trip, was an ichthyologist associated with Hopkins. Some of Ricketts' papers were donated to Hopkins after his death in 1948.

Click here for Hopkins' home page.

Lee Chong disinters his grandfather at China Point (Cannery Row, Chapter II), and two of the girls from the Bear Flag bring soldiers here (Cannery Row, Chapter XIV). It is the site of Chin Kee's squid yard (Tortilla Flat, Chapters XIV and XVI), and Elizabeth Wayne dreams of the bell buoy off China Point (To a God Unknown, Chapter 21). In the narrative part of Sea of Cortez, the Western Flyer passes by the ringing bell buoy and slips by the town of Pacific Grove on its way out of port. Hopkins' Rolf Bolin, whose name Steinbeck misspelled, is portrayed as the debunker of the Old Man of the Sea legend. 

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