Monterey County Points of Interest
There are two identical markers on Harris Road, one at the west end of town and one at the east end of town. Both contain the following text.Spreckels
The town of Spreckels was established by Claus Spreckels in 1898 as a company town to provide a complete community (including store, school, hotel, church, theater, etc.) for employees of the Spreckels Sugar Company. When built, the Spreckels Factory #1 was the largest and most innovative sugar beet factory in the world. It operated here from 1898 to 1982, and was demolished in 1992. The town of Spreckels retains its original street grid, park, and most of the buildings constructed for the Spreckels Sugar Company between 1898 and 1957. Some of the oldest buildings and residences were designed by noted architect, William Weeks.
Spreckels is one of the best-preserved company towns in the United States.
John Steinbeck lived here for a time and used Spreckels as a setting in his early novel, Tortilla Flat. Spreckels was used as a location for the 1955 movie East of Eden starring James Dean.
Some Company Towns