San Antonio Dam was constructed by Monterey
County Flood Control and Water Conservation District at a cost
of $13,500,000. A recreation area at the lake was constructed at
the same time.
April 1, 1966
Monterey County Parks Department was
formed. Monterey County Flood Control and Water Conservation
District decided they did not want to be in the recreation
business. The Parks Department hired its first Director, Everett
June 1, 1966
Monterey County Parks Commission was
September 4, 1966
Royal Oaks Park was officially opened to
the public. Originally, Royal Oaks was operated by the Buildings
and Grounds Department. Facilities included a narrow entry road,
parking lot, picnic tables, barbecue pits, two small restrooms,
and no lawn.
The North County Parks system was
transferred to the Parks Department from the Buildings and
Grounds Department. The system consisted of: Royal Oaks Park,
Memorial Park in Monterey, Jetty Beach at Moss Landing, Marina
Beach and Dunes, Zmudowski Beach near Moss Landing, Marina
Community Center, Carmel Del Mesa, Juniopero Serra Monument in
Carmel, Pajaro Tot Lot, and numerous other service areas and
donated parcels of land.
June 16, 1967
San Antonio Recreation Area opened to the
public. Cost $4.5 million.
January 30, 1968
Everett Gael resigned as Parks Director;
went to work for the Merced Irrigation District.
April 30, 1968
Earl Smith hired as second Director of
Parks. He came from Santa Clara County where he was assistant
director under William Penn Mott. Earl’s main goal was to
finalize the acquisition of the property for Toro Regional Park
which had been in process for many years.
Toro Park property was acquired. There were
many parcels of land involved, some gifts. At 4,756 acres, it
was boasted to be the largest regional park in the state.