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Free History Tours of James Johnston’s “White House” of Half Moon Bay

Sun. February 18th @ 11:00am - 3:00pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 11:00am on day Third of the month, repeating until September 15th, 2024


Walking through the front door of the James Johnston House immerses you into the 1850s.  Docents will greet you in their historic period clothing to bring to life the story of the family and house.  The location is on a prominent hill south of downtown Half Moon Bay on Higgins Canyon Road (turn at the signal light on Highway 1 at the fire station). The house is located at 100 Higgins Canyon Road, Half Moon Bay.


Welcome to the James Johnston House

We look forward to welcoming you for free tours led by costumed docents on the following dates:

The third Saturday of each month (January through September 2024) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

January 20       February 17      March 16      April 20

May 18      June 15      July 20      August 17      September 21

It is closed October, November and December.


The James Johnston House sits on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, east of Route One, just south of the city of Half Moon Bay. Isolated, its silhouette is a remarkable sight against the rolling hillsides golden brown until the winter rains turns them green. The classic New England saltbox (two stories in front, one in back) was built by ’49er pioneer James Johnston between 1853-1855, for his Californiano bride, Petra Maria de Jara.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house has survived 150 years of weather, abandonment, vandalism and high winds and celebrated its sesquicentennial year in 2005.



History of the James Johnston House




Room by Room Video Tour Tells Story of Multi-Cultural Johnston Family Home in HMB

Take a video tour of the Johnston house!  Gail Stevens, Half Moon Bay History Association and Johnston House docent, takes us through the house room by room, telling its story and the story of the people who lived there. A guided glimpse into the past, mid 19th century, through the home of a multi-cultural, multi-lingual leading family on the Coastside.  Tour conducted by Gail Stevens in August 2020.



Production Notes

Filmed mostly in August 2020.

Cameras: Rob Carey & Michelle Dragony.

Video edit: Rob Carey / Coastside Video.

Video edit assistance: Liane Brookhart.

Music is public domain, or approved for non-commercial use.

Copyright © 2020 Rob Carey & Coastside Video & other parties. Shared to Coastside Buzz with permission.

Coastside Video version 201230.

Contact: CoastsideVideo at gmail.com.



The Johnston House Foundation was formed in 1971 to protect, preserve, restore, and refurbish the James Johnston House and to promote the history of the Coastside and California.


The Half Moon Bay History Association is dedicated to bringing together all members of the community to preserve and share the history of the San Mateo County Coastside.



Contact Information

The Johnston House may be contacted by mail at:

P.O. Box 789
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

You may call (650) 726-0329 to book special tours for groups at the house.

Or email us at events@johnstonhouse.org

Please contact us by any of the methods above to make a donation to the Johnston House Foundation, Inc.



More on the Johnston House on Coastside Buzz


Sun. February 18th
11:00am - 3:00pm
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Johnston House
110 Higgins Canyon Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 United States
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