May 22

Hearst Castle Graduation

June 6, 1968

Here we are near graduation season and the 50-year anniversary of public tours at Hearst Castle.

Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument was dedicated June 2, 1958. Ten years later the Cambria area high school needed help.

Coast Union High School’s auditorium and old gym were demolished to meet Field Act standards for earthquake safety but the new gym was not yet ready.

Chief Ranger Robert Pugh of Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument came to the rescue and allowed the use of the grounds for graduation ceremonies.

According to my count there were 44 graduates, including Barbara Pugh, on the stairs below Casa del Sol guest house. After the ceremony the class of 1968, didn’t jump in the pool, they headed to Disneyland.

Though the Friends of Hearst Castle host a variety of special events, a
high school graduation appears to be a one-time event.

Security on the hilltop was tightened a few years later after the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the bombing of one of the guest houses.

The story and photos were by Barry Minett

Related posts:

  1. 1965 Graduation/Smirnoff Ad