What a good question for this time of year when that part of our coastline is ablaze with color. I would be glad to tell you that a “Perkins” is a very important “Who”.

Hayes Perkins was the man responsible for all of the beautiful plantings you and your friend enjoyed. He was an adventurer and world traveler. He was born in Bandon, Oregon in 1878 and became a world traveler and adventurer. Hayes worked as a diamond miner in Africa, sailed extensively in the South Seas and even worked as a caretaker at the Hearst Castle.

He retired in 1942 and decided that Pacific Grove was the perfect spot for him. He was quoted as saying Pacific Grove “wasn’t cluttered up with bars”. Things haven’t changed too much – what do you think?

Hayes lived in a two room cabin on Ocean View near Lovers Point and loved watching the local children play in the empty areas across the street from him. He soon noticed that the area had been taken over by poison oak and the children would develop a rash from playing near the plants.

He discovered that he was immune from the effects of poison oak, so he soon began to remove the plants from the shoreline. The ground then was so barren that he decided to use his remembrances of his travels in Africa to introduce plants that could thrive on our coastline. He chose geraniums, lotus, scarlet aloe, pelagorium and especially ice plant. He carried buckets of water each day to get the plants established. It took about six years to complete his plantings!  Eventually the City installed a water system to keep the park flourishing.

As you saw – it has become a spectacular seaside setting. Photo after photo have been made and published when the park is in full bloom.

Hayes passed away in 1964 and he left all of his belongings to the Pacific Grove Library. His contribution to the City will always be remembered.