National Register of Historic Places in Monterey County

National Register #00000856: John Steinbeck House in Salinas 24 August 2005
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National Register #00000856
John Steinbeck House
132 Central Avenue
Built 1897

John Ernst Steinbeck was born in this house on February 27, 1902.

His father, John Steinbeck, Sr., lived most of his life in Salinas working as manager of a nearby flour mill, and later as Monterey County Treasurer.

The future author was introduced to the California landscape on long walks with his father, who instilled in him a deep and abiding respect for nature that became one of the salient features of his writing. He developed his love of literature through the encouragement of his mother, Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, a former schoolteacher.

It was here Steinbeck wrote his first short stories, and completed two of his novels, The Red Pony in 1933 and Tortilla Flat in 1935. The home also played a prominent part in his 1952 novel, East of Eden.

The house is also significant as an excellent and intact example of the Queen Anne architectural style.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination.

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