History of Montara, California
From: The Story of San Mateo County, California
By: Roy W. Cloud
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Montara and Moss Beach sections are from six to seven miles north of Half Moon Bay and are situated in a delightful
section of the county. As in Half Moon Bay, the artichoke industry is one of the principal means of livelihood
for most of the people. Moss Beach was largely laid out upon the property of the late J. F. Winkle, father of County
Clerk Mrs. Elizabeth Kneese. On this property was located for years the old Winkie Hotel, which was a very popular
resort and just below it are the reefs, a favorite place for country outings and just beyond the reefs beds of
sea moss supply picnickers with specimens which have been carefully pressed and preserved for years. This property
was opened for public use by Smith and Rich, Mr. C. B. Smith finally taking over the management of the section.
Moss Beach was until the discontinuance of the Ocean Shore Railroad one of the active stations along the line.
The post office is under the direction of Mr. R. Guy Smith who has for a number of years been secretary of the
Postmasters' Association of California. At Montara, Harr Wagner, the San Francisco publisher, has the largest realty
holdings. Mr. Wagner with his son in law, M. B. Johnson, early saw the possibilities of the coast side and purchased
large tracts of land and put it upon the market, and immediately many homes were erected in the section. A Presbyterian
Church was started which for a time was a flourishing institution. One of the boys who grew to manhood in Montara
and never attended any school but the little country school conducted there on the hillside by Miss Rose H. Meehan
was Peter B. Kyne, son of John Kyne, who for twenty five years was a trustee of the Montara School District. Peter
Kyne grew up as all farm boys do and on graduation from grammar school in 1894 went to work for Levy Bros. in Half
Moon Bay, where he worked for them in every capacity and later clerked in their branch at Pescadero. He, in 1898,
heard the call of Uncle Sam for soldiers to go to the Philippines and fight. He joined the first California volunteers
and spent a year in the islands, returning as he had gone a buck private. Mr. Kyne engaged in various kinds of
newspaper work and was also a clerk for a big lumber firm in San Francisco. He started a paper in San Francisco
called the Sun which had a very short life, and then went back into the reporting game. He then branched out into
short story writing and became one of the best short story writers and novelists in the United States. When the
World war began he formed a company and became a captain of one of the batteries in California's own regiment known
as the "Grizzlies." He went with his company to France where they saw service and he has since written
a number of very fine short stories and novels.