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Tarpy's Roadhouse has a long and storied history dating back to the early 1850's. To learn more about this piece of Monterey County history and its namesake, Matt Tarpy, follow the timeline below.
1851 - Irish immigrant Matt Tarpy and his family arrive in southern Santa Cruz county and settle in present-day Watsonville. Politically active, he helps to form the Pajaro Property Protective Society which is tasked to combat the lawlessness of the area. The group, which numbered close to 100, "helped" the local sheriff to protect the settlers from thieves and rustlers.
1868 - After obtaining a certain amount of celebrity, wealth and holdings in the area, Tarpy sells a portion of his land to Sarah and Murdock Nicholson. As there were no clearly marked boundaries, a dispute soon ensued over an area along the San Juan Road.
1872 - As the dispute continued and escalated, Tarpy built a cabin on the property which Mrs. Nicholson soon occupied. Things came to a head when, while in a heated argument between Tarpy, Mrs. Nicholson and two other men, Mrs. Nicholson was mortally wounded.
1873 - Following the death of Mrs. Nicholson, Matt Tarpy turned himself into the Sheriff and was placed in the county jail in Monterey. Upon learning of her death and Tarpy's surrender, Nicholson supporters and enemies of Tarpy marched to Monterey where they quickly overpowered the jail guards and removed Tarpy.
March 17, 1873 - Matt Tarpy was taken by wagon from the county jail in Monterey and hanged. The area where the hanging occurred became known as Tarpey Flats.
Late 1800's – A small area near Tarpey Flats became a pear orchard and was named Rancho Saucito.
Early 1900's - Mr. & Mrs. Charles A. Ryan purchased Rancho Saucito and in 1917 moved to the area and begin to build the family's dream home by hand and using all local materials.
1943 - The Ryan's sold Rancho Saucito to members of the Cademartori family who moved their restaurant from Casa Serrano in Old Monterey to the Ryan's former homestead.
Early 1960's - The Cademartori family sold their restaurant to Sal Cerrito who opened Villa Caruso and then Chateau in succession.
1970's - 1980's - Several enterprises opened and closed at the old Ryan Ranch Homestead including DeLuccaa's Old Stonehouse, Gregory's Stonehouse, Monterey Peninsula Winery and finally Secrets.
Summer of 1991 – Bill Cox and Tony Tollner begin construction on what is now Tarpy's Roadhouse.
May 25, 1992 – Tarpy's Roadhouse officially opens.