As It Seems: A Chill Semester
About San Kaissa
San Kaissa, California
The City of San Kaissa in Monterey County is located 36 miles south of the City of Monterey, on Central California’s Pacific coast.
First settled 5 years after Monterey became incorporated, it did not gain incorporated itself until 1915.
San Kaissa was originally settled as an ancillary dock to the busier Monterey fisheries. In 1900, the Gade family settled in the area and established a sheep ranch and vineyard, obtaining substantial land grants for the development and support they offered to the developing Monterey. By 1910, San Kaissa had grown into a small town as more and more settlers arrived to bolster the fishing and agricultural industries.
The Great Depression
In the 30’s, San Kaissa’s population boomed with immigrants from the midwest arriving daily and filling out the surrounding countryside with shantytowns. Initially the burgeoning city struggled to provide work and infrastructure to support the influx of a migrant workforce. Then, in 1932, Abraham Gade funded massive expansions to his own property, which he successfully petitioned to establish as the San Kaissa Agricultural College.
When that undertaking was still insufficient to curb unemployment and vagrancy, the Gade family offered to transport 200 families to the nearby Recharte Island and supply them with sufficient material to establish a new township on the island, which was to be named Lovana after his late wife.
These major projects, combined with the influx of New Deal government dollars, San Kaissa was able to weather the Great Depression with little negative impact, and firmly entrenched the Gade family in the city’s politics.