Cresap Family Reunion 2018 June 28th - July 1st Asilomar Conference Grounds Pacific Grove, California
Take a deep breath and settle in for a time of serene relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. Celebrated as Monterey Peninsula's "Refuge by the Sea" - Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds is a breathtakingly gorgeous 107 acres of ecologically diverse beachfront land. Situated within the quaint and scenic town of Pacific Grove, Asilomar offers guests the simple comforts of cozy cottages and historic lodges - and an unforgettable escape from the demands of everyday life.
Cresap History at Ford Ord The Asilomar Conference Grounds, where the Cresap Society will gather next summer, is a California State Parks facility in Pacific Grove, a town on Monterey Bay about a hundred miles south of San Francisco. Asilomar dates to 1913, when the YWCA opened a campground there to host summertime leadership conferences for young women. Accommodations were spartan at first—meals were served in a tent—but by 1928 the camp boasted sixteen structures designed by renowned California architect Julia Morgan, the woman who designed the Hearst Castle another hundred miles or so to the south at San Simeon. About a dozen of Morgan’s buildings still grace the Asilomar grounds. Hard times forced the YWCA to offer the facility for sale in 1934, but there were no takers. From 1936 to 1940 it was leased as a motel. During World War II it housed families of servicemen at nearby Fort Ord, named after Edward Otho Cresap Ord, an engineer and Army officer who arrived at Monterey in 1847 in the company of his former West Point roommate, William Tecumseh Sherman, and took command there of an artillery battery. You will learn much more about the westward pioneer descendants of our Thomas and Hannah Cresap at the reunion. Ord was a great-great-grandson of Thomas Cresap, the line of descent running through his mother, Rebecca Ruth “Miss Becky” Cresap Ord (born 1794 in Cumberland, Maryland, died 1860 in Santa Barbara, California), granddaughter of Daniel Cresap Sr. Ord’s father, James Ord, was by one account the morganatic son of King George IV of England (a morganatic child being the product of a subsequently annulled marriage). During a stay of two years or so in California, Lieutenant Ord supervised the construction of a fort at Monterey and conducted two notable surveys, one of the site of the future city of Sacramento, and one of a small Southern California community, originally El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula, that would expand dramatically even as its name shrank to become Los Angeles. Ord served with distinction in the Civil War, by the end of which he commanded an army that helped force the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, Virginia. After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, General Ord oversaw an investigation into whether the Confederate government had played a role in the assassination conspiracy. His finding that it had not done so helped stifle Radical Republican calls for a postwar policy of revenge on the South. Upon retiring from the Army in 1881, Ord was hired by former President Ulysses S. Grant to help construct a railroad from Texas to Mexico City. Ord contracted yellow fever in Mexico and died in Havana, Cuba, en route to New York, on July 22, 1883, at the age of 64. His lifelong friend and associate Sherman later said of him “a more unselfish, manly, and patriotic person never lived.” After World War II control of Asilomar reverted to the YWCA, which in 1951 put it up for sale again, sparking a campaign spearheaded by Pacific Grove Mayor John Nelson to save it as a conference grounds. On July 1, 1956, the YWCA property, along with an adjacent stretch of beachfront, was officially dedicated as a unit of the California State Parks system. Guest services at Asilomar are provided through the Aramark Corporation of Philadelphia. In addition to the lovely tree-shaded and architecturally rich grounds themselves, Asilomar offers visitors convenient access to all the gorgeous scenery and attractions of the Monterey Peninsula, including the towns of Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and its breathtaking and breathtakingly pricy golf courses, Carmel with its mission and astoundingly abundant art galleries, Monterey with its historic presidio, fabled cannery district and world-famous aquarium, Point Lobos State Park, the 17-Mile Drive, and the Fort Ord National Monument, its 14,000 acres featuring more than 83 miles of hiking trails and lots of spectacular views of the ocean.