Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Senator John P. Jones -- Santa Monica

John Percival Jones (1829 - 1912)

Santa Monica had always been a resort town--even when it was just a couple of small hotels close to the beach in Santa Monica CaƱon. But in 1874 John Percival Jones purchased a 2/3 interest in the San Vicente Rancho from Col. R. S. Baker, and the duo began the platting of Santa Monica.

Keeping a beautiful location on the bluff for himself, Senator Jones (Nevada 1873 - 1903), in 1887 built a large Queen Anne style home facing the ocean, mainly for his second wife Grace, and his elderly mother. By 1910 with its mature landscaping and 17 bedrooms, it was a sight to behold. Known as Villa Miramar, it took up the entire block that is today's Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.

J. P. Jones Residence 1910

A pioneer of California, Jones arrived in 1850 from Cleveland by way of ship around South America. Not finding gold in California, he got his first taste of politics as sheriff of Trinity County, keeping order in the many mining camps. From there he became a California State Senator. 

His luck improved when in 1867, upon hearing of the Comstock Lode discovery, he relocated to Nevada and subsequently struck his first fortune as superintendent and investor in a large Nevada mine. By 1870, he was worth $10,000 and living in Gold Hill, Nevada, with his wife H.C. and only son Roy, age one year old.

In 1912 Senator Jones, now 83, fell ill and did not recover. He is buried in Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California.


  1. I have read a lot about this gentleman, he was from near the town of Hay on the borders between England and Wales. I was born in Hay.

  2. If there are any of his family living in the area I would like to know.

    1. I have read your comment. I am family in California. It would be great to hear from you


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