History Malcasa Point


Although Malcasa Point was not officially founded until 1853, Melvin Castle, along with his family, first set foot on the soil of California in 1834. A naturalized citizen of Mexico (his parents were from Wales), Castle had won favor with certain people in important positions in the Mexican government through his skill in trading and finance, and in return he had been awarded a rancho in this quickly growing land.

Castle's intention was to use his personal holdings and monies on loan to him from the Mexican government to plant the seeds of a strong livestock and fishing industry, using both native and immigrant labor. To that end, he had brought with him plans, tools, and a not insignificant amount of money.

Unfortunately for Castle, a criminal element had chosen the mountains around his granted rancho for their hideout. Knowing that the establishment of a town would mean an increase in military presence, and knowing that there were many who wished to punish them for the crimes they'd committed all across the lower half of California, these criminals descended upon Castle and his family not long after they arrived. Castle, his wife and children, and the workers and servants who had come with him were all slaughtered, most of them in their sleep.

Local natives, filled with hate for the criminals who regularly harassed and stole from them, descended upon the murderous band as its members were drinking and carousing in celebration of their victory. Not a single criminal made it through the night alive.

With neither Castle's band nor the criminals surviving, the natives took Castle's riches for themselves. They soon, with the help of missionaries, established a strong town which has survived to this day. That town is Malcasa Point -- named for Mel Castle, a man whose name the Natives had only half heard, but whose wealth benefited them for generations.

It is interesting to note that a fictionalized account of Mel Castle's tale was carried in the 1934 edition of Argosy magazine -- almost exactly 100 years after the original events. In this version, titled "Death from the Hills," it is a legendary masked hero and not the natives who avenges Castle's death after arriving too late to prevent it.

In the years since Mel Castle arrived on these shores Malcasa Point has grown and strengthened. We are now the sixth largest tourist community along the cost of northern California (in terms of dollars spent per visitor). Our visitor satisfaction, as measured by Chamber of Commerce survey, is the best it has ever been. And despite what you may have heard, we are one of the safest communities in the state (only sixteen other incorporated cities along Highway 1 with populations under two thousand have a better crime rate than ours when statistics are calculated using crimes that involve only humans).

Of course, the best way to learn about Malcasa Point, our history, and our people is to visit. Remember, we're Malcasa Point "The city with the middle name Fun!"


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