The Doud House dates from the early years of American California. Seasoned infantryman Francis Doud served as orderly and messenger during the state constitutional convention held in Monterey in 1849. He and his wife Ann Kenna, both Irish-born, settled permanently in Monterey, erecting a tiny prefabricated wooden house for their young family on this site during the height of the gold rush, when all able-bodied workers were off chasing their luck. In the 1850s, after moving the original house to the rear for use as a service annex, they built the present structure, one of the most desirable homes in the city, with unrivaled views of Monterey Bay.
Four Monterey cypress trees planted by the Douds still stand on the lower property. In the 1960s, noted landscape architect Florence Yoch (designer of the garden sets for Gone with the Wind and other major movies, as well as of living gardens for leading Hollywood figures) volunteered to redesign the grounds. In subsequent decades, much of her design was overgrown. The Doud House was purchased by the Monterey History and Art Association in 1969. Under the purview of the Historic Garden League and its teams of volunteers, the gardens have been restored. The Historic Garden League continues to maintain the gardens at the Doud House.
Four Monterey cypress trees planted by the Douds still stand on the lower property. A beautiful “Bella Portugal” climbing rose and Chinese wisteria intertwine on a pergola, part of the plan for the garden by noted landscape architect, Florence Yoch. The garden has been renovated several times by the Historic Garden League, and HGL volunteers continue to maintain this Victorian charmer.