Carmel-by-the-Sea, sometimes abbreviated as Carmel, is a small town endowed with a rich artistic history situated on the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey County, California. In 1906, the San Francisco Call devoted a full page to the "artists, poets and writers of Carmel-by-the-Sea" and in 1910 it reported that 60 percent of Carmel's houses were built by citizens who were "devoting their lives to work connected to the aesthetic arts." Early City Councils were dominated by artists and the town has had several mayors who were poets or actors including Herbert Heron, founder of the Forest Theater, and actor-director Clint Eastwood, who was mayor for one term, from 1986 to 1988.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is permeated by Native American, early Spanish and American history. Carmelite Friar Sebastian Vizcaino "discovered" what is now known as Carmel Valley in 1602, which he named for his patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until 1769. In 1821, Carmel became Mexican territory when Mexico gained independence from Spain. Carmel then became part of the United States in 1848, when Mexico ceded California as a result of the Mexican-American War.
Carmel was populated mostly after the earthquake of 1907, when many artists moved here from San Francisco. Today, it has a population of approximately 4,000.
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