Maria del Carmen Barreto Garcia Madariaga was a very fortunate woman given three land grants by the Governor of California, Rancho Los Pinos, Rancho Pescardo and Rancho Manzanita. She 45,000 acres along the central coat including Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and Carmel. She lived with her first husband at Pescardo Point at the furthest tip of Pebble Beach where today the "Ghost Tree" stands. Pebble Beach was (and still is) a cold, foggy and mysterious place. With only a small dirt trail leading down from Carmel Hill it would take hours by horse and carriage through dark and winding forests to come into Monterey.
Maria del Carmen Barreto Garcia Madariaga had lost her first husband, married a boring second husband and truly hated living at Pescardo Point. Seeing no value in her three land grants, Maria was delighted when a man offered to trade her a beautiful adobe right outside the Presido gates. Here she envisioned herself admiring handsome Spanish soldiers riding just past her house into the fort. She quickly agreed to trade 45,000 acres for the adobe, which was worth around $500 at the time.
Within four years, Maria’s original properties traded hands four times and finally sold to a man named Gore, who lived in San Francisco for around $45,000. When Maria del Carmen Barreto Garcia Madariaga heard of this final sale she realized that she had made a huge mistake trading those three land grants for such a small and inexpensive home.
After a few years a man by the name of David Jacks arrived in Monterey. A Scottish dairyman, Jacks was bent on owning the entire Monterey Peninsula. He had purchased all of Sand City and Seaside for $1,004 and turned his eye to the three land grants Gore from San Francisco owned. But Gore would not sell. Approaching Gore's lawyer in Monterey and Maria del Carmen Barreto Garcia Madariaga herself, Jacks put together a deal to purchase these lands from her for a second time, claiming that the original trade was illegal. Maria del Carmen Barreto Garcia Madariaga quickly agreed and signed a second bill of sale under the stipulation that Jacks would not claim the properties until after she died, which she did in 1856.
Upon her passing, David Jacks entered the courts to claim his land, only to have the judge put the brakes on his plans. Citing that Gore was the rightful owner, Jacks lost his bid to claim those lands. Jacks was furious and filed suit in 1856, a battle that lasted 50 years. In 1906 the San Francisco earthquake wiped out the entire Gore family and David Jacks won his lawsuit by default.
Jacks fenced off Pebble Beach, turned it into dairy farms which were instrumental for creating famous Monterey Jack cheese.
Legend has it that the "Lady in Lace" ghost still haunts 17 Mile-Drive in Pebble Beach. There have been records that this particular ghost wears a white lacey gown and walks down the center of the 17-Mile Drive near the "Ghost Tree" at Pescadero Point. She then turns right at the Witch Tree Park, descends near the gigantic boulders and disappears into the Pacific Ocean.
The latest documented sighting was in 1997. A young couple was enjoying the view one evening when the young man looked up and saw a woman in a white lacy gown floating down the middle of the road and headed towards the ocean. Thinking she was suicidal, he chased her to the water, where he claims as soon as her foot reached the sea, she just dissipated right before his eyes. Becoming quite unnerved he packed up his girlfriend, drove into Monterey and filed a report with local police.
Experience hair raising stories and paranormal activities on a 90-minute journey through Old Monterey. Click here to learn more about Ghost Tours of Old Monterey.