oon after Frank's death, his brother Dr. Charles E. Hart, who resided in San Francisco at the time, embarked upon a significant remodel of the HartMansion. Two complete apartments, suitable as living quarters for two families, were made, one upstairs and the other on the ground floor.
The remodeling was reported on Friday, July 17, 1936 in the Pacific Grove Tide:
Hart Residence To Be
The Dr. Charles Edwin Hart house at 646 [sic] Lighthouse Avenue is at the present time undergoing a complete remodeling to make it a suitable apartment house for two families.
Two complete apartments will be made of the famous old house, one upstairs, the other on the ground floor. All the old plumbing, electric fixtures, plaster and paint will be replaced before the contract is completed, sometime about the middle of August.Additions of a service porch, another bathroom, and a two-car garage, the latter at the rear of the house, are also included in the improvements.
L. E. Godfried, the builder, to whom the main contract was lat, stated that the work has been going on for almost a month, and that the end of another week should see the building begin to take on a new aspect.He also stated that hardwood floors throughout the house were a part of the plan of reconstruction.
Sub-contracts which have been let, under Gottfried, are for plumbing, the A. D. H. Company; for electrical fixtures, the Hawes Electric Shop; for plastering, the Lee Plastering Company; and for painting, G. V. Kilgore. Cost of improvements was estimated at $2000.
Mary E. Hart, widow of Dr. Frank Hart, and her son Franklin moved out of the mansion and moved into 604 Lighthouse Avenue [a small house on the corner of Willow?] Street, where Mary Hart lived until 1947. Thereafter, she lived in a retirement home in Pacific Grove. During World War II, Archie’s wife, Rubye Hart moved to 601 Colton.
“Whispering Pines,” the block of fourteen cottages purchased by Dr. Frank Hart in 1922 was sold to Colin Whitehead and her sister Lorena, in early 1937. The sale was reported on March 26, 1937 in the Pacific Tide as being one of the largest real estate transactions in the Grove since the beginning of that year. To this day, the entire block, including the 14 residences on it, remain in the hands of one person, _____________ [Who owns it today?].
As soon as renovations at the HartMansion were completed, Charles rented one of the apartments to Mrs. Jane M. Brigg, widowed to T.B. Brigg, who lived there for two years. The other apartment was rented to Vernon L. West, who worked as a salesman at Holman's Department Store. Vernon lived there with is wife Lois, who was also employed at Holman's, until 1940.
In 1940, the apartments were rented to the Burton family. One apartment was occupied by to Trewman H. Burton and his wife Katherin, and the other by their sons, William L. and Ralph E. Burton. Trewman Burton was a news director for the Postal Telegraph Co. and served as a sales agent for Pacific Greyhound Lines.
At the age of 64, Charles E. Hart died on November 15, 1940. His son, C. Edwin Hart, II assumed responsibility for managing the Hart property. Before long, Edwin Hart II would welcome a long-term tenant who must have substantially relieved his burden of property management.
Knut Hovden, an ichthyologist and graduate of the NationalFisheriesCollege in Bergen, Norway, came to the United States in 1904. He was soon recruited to work for Frank E. Booth who operated a large cannery in Monterey. In 1916, Hovden established a cannery of his own, the K. Hovden Company. Every visitor to the Monterey Bay Aquarium will notice a curious sign near the entrance that says, “Portola Sardines.” The Portola brand of sardines was the trademark of the K. Hovden Company, which, by 1941, was the largest sardine canning company in Monterey during the time that Monterey was the largest sardine canning port in the world. The cannery was located on the corner of Ocean View Avenue and David Avenue in Monterey.
K. Hovden, as he was commonly known, was married to Marie E. Hovden. The couple had two sons, Allan K. Hovden and Norman Harold Hovden.
While a highly successful businessman, Knut Hovden reserved time for community affairs. Most notably, he was an early champion of the establishment of a world class aquarium on the MontereyPeninsula. In 1925, in his capacity as chairman of the Pacific Grove Museum Board, Hovden wrote to the Monterey Peninsula Herald urging that funds be raised to renovate the dilapidated aquarium located in the basement of the Pacific GroveMuseum. “It takes a higher class of civilization to build museums and scientific institutions,” concluded Hovden, “than to build skating rinks and dance halls; and in future years the citizens of Pacific Grove will be proud of their achievement in having looked ahead in creating something worthwhile.”
What brings Knut and Marie Hovden to this history, however, is not their business or civic life, but, sadly, their personal strife. In the late 1930s, the couple was divorced and by the start of World War II, the HartMansion became the new home for Marie and her sons. From that time forward until 1956, when Marie moved out, the building was known in the community as the “HovdenMansion.”
Knut married his second wife Gladys Price on November 20, 1939 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Price had been the secretary to the Pacific Grove city manager and resigned effective December 15. Their marriage was announced in the Pacific Grove Tide on Friday, December 1, 1939 this way: “Elopement Brings Surprise To Many Friends of Couple.” The couple continued to reside at Knut’s home at 901 Pacific in Monterey.
The sons, Norman and Allan, initially bookkeepers, both worked at their father's cannery. After the divorce of their parents, they lived with their mother, sharing the upstairs apartment of the HovdenMansion. Allan was made Vice President of the plant in 1950.Norman died in 1953. Marie lived in the HovdenMansion until 1956.
Knut, with his health failing, had retired from the business in 1951. When he passed away in 1961, the Monterey Peninsula Herald opened his obituary this way (Wednesday, March 29, 1961):
Knut Hovden, a man who outlasted his era, is dead.
Word of his death, which once might have stopped the presses at The Herald, took three days in coming from Guadalajara, Mexico, where he died Sunday at 81.
K. Hovden, as he was called by practically everybody, was the most important name in one of the most colorful eras of Monterey's history. He was the sardine king.
He was survived by his former wife Marie and their son, Allan, who were living in San Francisco at the time. The K. Hovden cannery is now the site of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
In 1957, the apartments of the former HovdenMansion were rented to Robert L. Young, a heavy equipment operator at FortOrd. He lived in the building with his wife Alma L. until in 1962, when the mansion was sold.
On August 5, 1960, Archie J. Hart, the son of Frank and Mary Hart, died after an illness of several months. His obituary appeared in the Monterey Peninsula Herald under the headline, “Dr. Archie Hart, Well Known Peninsula Resident, Dies.” His obituary continued:
He was graduated from Pacific GroveHigh School in 1924, continuing his education at the University of California and receiving his degree from the UC School of Dentistry in 1929.
That same year he began his practice in Monterey.His present office is at 499 Pacific St..
Dr. Hart served in the South Pacific with the Navy Dental Corps during World War II, receiving his discharge as a lieutenant commander.
He was a member of the Naval reserve, a charter member of the Monterey Lions Club and the Pacheco Club, belonging also to IDES. An ardent sportsman, he had membership in a number of hunting and fishing clubs.
Surviving are: his wife, Mrs. Charlotte Hart of Rancho Aguajito; and his mother, Mrs. F. R. Hart of Pacific Grove; two sons, Seaman Frank Russell Hart (USN) of San Diego and James Mattson Hart of Monterey; two daughters, the Misses Donna Lynn and Barry Charlotte Hart of Monterey; and a brother, F. J. Hart of Ione.
On August 2, 1958, Dr. Archie Hart was profiled in a Monterey Peninsula Herald article entitled, “Dr. Hart Cooks Game With a Flair” by Catherine Christopher. The article touted Dr. Hart’s prowess at the barbeque, especially at Lions Club events. “At the drop of his supersonic drill, Dr. Archie Hart, dentist, becomes Archie Hart, chef, gourmet and compounder of good fellowship.”
The article also noted that his mother, Mrs. Mary Hart, “lives in Pacific Grove where she met a longtime friend she hadn't seen for years. The lady asked about the Hart sons and Mrs. Hart told her proudly that one was a dentist, and the other in the reform school at Preston in Ione, California. The bemused friend murmured something about how strange that one boy should have turned out so turned out well while the other wound up in reform school.Mrs. Hart hastily explained that the son in reform school is there as a Superintendent of the institution.”
On January 21, 1964, Mrs. Mary Hart, passed away. The Monterey Peninsula Herald gave the following account of her interesting life:
Mrs. Mary Hart, long-time Peninsula resident who pioneered in medical work in Pacific growth, died Tuesday in a local rest home after a lengthy illness.
With her husband, the late Frank R. Hart, Mrs. Hart started the first convalescent hospital in Pacific Grove. She also assisted in starting a Red Cross chapter on the Peninsula.
Mrs. Hart was born May 27, 1879.She was a graduate registered nurse of the San Francisco City-County Hospital.
She was one of the founders of the original Pacific Grove-Monterey chapter of the American Red Cross. She and her husband had a convalescent hospital at 19th and Lighthouse Avenue.
Mrs. Hart was active in the Pacific Grove Women’s Civic Club for 50 years, and was a past president of the club.She was a charter member of the club.
She also was a Native Daughter of the Golden West, and active in the Catholic Church.
Survivors include four grandchildren of Monterey: Russell, Donna, James and Barrie Hart; a son, F. J. Hart of Whittier, and three grandchildren of Whittier.
Funeral services for family and close friends will be held Saturday at and Wessondorf and Thal Funeral Home in Santa Cruz. Burial will follow in the family plot in Santa Cruz.
Mrs. Hart’s death came on the heels of the long relationship between the Hart family and Lot 1 of Block 43 of the Second Addition of the Pacific Grove Retreat.