Photographs of Adobes of Northern and Southern California, ca. 1912-1960 (bulk 1930-1949)

Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Photograph Collections, 1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
(626) 405-2129

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photographs of Adobes of Northern and Southern California, ca. 1912-1960 (bulk 1930-1949)
Dates: ca. 1912-1960 (bulk 1930-1949)
Collection Number: photCL 528
Creator/Collector: Soberanes, Lucius Panfelo "Paul"
Extent: 278 photographs in 1 album; prints 26 x 32 cm. (10.25 x 12.5 in.) and smaller. See itemized list under “Additional collection guides.”
Repository: Huntington Library. Photo Archives
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: A disbound album of primarily amateur snapshots of 19th century California adobes taken during the 1930s and 1940s. The album was compiled by Lucius Panfelo “Paul” Soberanes, who may have been documenting the adobes on a family trip. A strong emphasis is given to adobes in Monterey County, especially in downtown Monterey. Many of the adobe structures pictured are houses and hotels, with some views of soldiers’ barracks, a mill, and a winery. Soberanes, his wife, and his children appear posing on the adobe grounds in some of the photographs. The album’s strength is in the documentation of lesser-known adobes, which include not only houses, but also commercial and military buildings such as hotels, soldiers’ barracks in Sonoma, and the Bale Grist Mill in Napa.
Language of Material: English


Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

Photographs of Adobes of Northern and Southern California, ca. 1912-1960 (bulk 1930-1949). Huntington Library. Photo Archives

Acquisition Information

Given by Mrs. Lois Soberanes Lambert on May 4, 1995.

Scope and Content of Collection

Soberanes put much of his energy into personally photographing adobes in Northern California for his album; not only did he travel through Monterey County, but also Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Sonoma, Solano, and Ventura Counties. He also added a small number of professional photographs by L.A. Sanchez and E.R. Jackson and a photograph of a drawing by E.A. Burbank into the album. Some of the adobes are shown to be in disrepair while others had been restored by the then adobes’ owners, state agencies, historical societies, or service organizations. Of the Monterey adobes featured, the best known include Casa Soberanes (House of the Blue Gate), the Cooper-Molera Adobe, Alvarado Adobe, Casa Gutierrez, Casa de la Torre, and Casa Amesti. Various adobes in Monterey County were held by the Soberanes family, including the Alta Vista Adobe, and the Rancho El Alisal and Rancho Ex-Mission Soledad properties. Other prominent adobes in Northern California are the Vicente Martinez Adobe, Petaluma Adobe, Castro Adobe, and Dana Adobe. There are some photographs of Southern California adobes, especially in Santa Barbara and San Diego; adobes from these areas include the Gonzalez House, Casa de Bandini, Casa de Estudillo, and Rancho Camulos. Photograph captions in the list of photographs are transcribed exactly as they appear in the album. The dates mentioned most often refer to an adobe’s construction date; photographs are printed later. Photographs from pages 119, 121, and 144 are missing from the album. In addition to the prints, there are 2 postcards, a photomechanical print, and one cyanotype. NOTE ON SOURCES USED IN THE CREATION OF THIS FINDING AID: Albertson, Dean. “Dr. Edward Turner Bale, Incorrigible Californio.” “California Historical Society Quarterly” 28 (1949): 259-269. / Autry National Center. “Braun Research Library.” Accessed May 21, 2013. / eHumanity. “eHumanity: free portal for digital native-american cultural items.” Accessed May 21, 2013. / Hoover, Mildred Brooke, Hero Eugene Rensch, and Ethel Grace Rensch. “Historic Spots in California.” 3rd ed. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1966. / Library of Congress. “Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.” Accessed May 21, 2013. / Mathes, Valerie Sherer, and Diane Moll Smith. “Sonoma Valley.” Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2004. / Winslow, Carleton M. “Discovering San Luis Obispo County.” San Luis Obispo, Calif.: [s.n.], 1971.

Indexing Terms

Adobe houses—California
Alvarado Adobe (Monterey, Calif.)
Alviso Adobe (Milpitas, Calif.)
Boronda Adobe (Monterey, Calif.)
Building, Adobe
Casa Amesti (Monterey, Calif.)
Casa de Bandini (San Diego, Calif.)
Casa de la Guerra (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Casa de la Torre (Monterey, Calif.)
Castro Adobe (Watsonville, Calif.)
Castro-Breen House (San Juan Bautista, Calif.)
Cooper Molera Adobe (Monterey, Calif.)
Dana Adobe
Estudillo House (San Diego, Calif.)
Gonzalez House (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Gutierrez Adobe (Monterey, Calif.)
Historic buildings—California—1800-1900
House of the Four Winds (Monterey, Calif.)
John Marsh House (Brentwood, Calif.)
Lachryma Montis (Sonoma, Calif.)
Lara-Soto House (Monterey, Calif.)
Lugo Adobe (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Officers’ quarters—1840-1850
Olivas Adobe (Ventura, Calif.)
Pacific House (Monterey, Calif.)
Petaluma Adobe (Petaluma, Calif.)
Pio Pico Adobe (Whittier, Calif.)
Rancho Camulos (Calif.)
Rancho Milpitas
Rios-Caledonia Adobe (San Miguel, Calif.)
Salvador Vallejo Adobe (Sonoma, Calif.)
Sanchez Adobe (Pacifica, Calif.)
Vasquez Adobe (Monterey, Calif.)
Vicente Martinez Adobe
Alameda County (Calif.)
Contra Costa County (Calif.)
Los Angeles County (Calif.)
Monterey (Calif.)
Monterey County (Calif.)
Napa County (Calif.)
New Almaden (Calif.)
San Diego (Calif.)
San Fernando (Calif.)
San Juan Bautista (Calif.)
San Luis Obispo County (Calif.)
San Miguel (Calif.)
Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Santa Barbara County (Calif.)
Santa Cruz (Calif.)
Santa Cruz County (Calif.)
Solano County (Calif.)
Sonoma (Calif.)
Sonoma County (Calif.)
Ventura County (Calif.)
Photograph albums
Photomechanical prints

Additional collection guides