The community of Spreckels in the Salinas Valley was the manifestation of the dreams of immigrant Claus Spreckels, later known as the "Sugar King." Architect W. H. Weeks designed Spreckels Sugar Company's town near its massive sugar beet factory, the largest in the world. Neat rows of single-story homes sprang up on the valley floor, opening to workers in 1899. Spreckels also built a narrow-gauge railroad to cart his cargo to the docks at Moss Landing. Sugar beet production changed the focus of valley agriculture from dry to irrigated crops, resulting in the vast modern agricultural-industrial economy in today's "Salad Bowl of the World." Although Spreckels died in 1908, his company continued to own and operate the factory and much of the town until 1982, and almost 500 residents still call it home.
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