Mori Point's Hidden History
A visit to Mori Point reveals the site's natural beauty and scenic coastal views. What is not evident upon a glimpse of Mori Point is the hidden history behind the site's name.
Mori Point was originally part of the San Pedro Spanish Land Grant, a rancho that covered the approximate boundaries of present-day Pacifica. Beginning in the 1890s, the land was inhabited by Stefano Mori and his family who emigrated from Italy in the 1870s. The family settled on the site, built a 21-room farmhouse, and operated a ranch on the land, raising cattle, horses, and agricultural crops. The Mori family kitchen built to feed the ranch hands, developed into the Mori Point Restaurant, Inn, and Tavern, a frequent stop for travelers on the journey from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay and beyond.
Stefano Mori's son, Jack Mori, ran a bootlegging operation during prohibition. He moved Canadian Scotch whiskey from offshore ships through the inn and sold liquor under the counter. He was successful until he was arrested in 1923 when 24,000 cases of whiskey were confiscated from the site. In 1932, Stefano Mori's other son Ray and Ray's wife Marie reopened the inn. The Mori Point establishment existed as Mori's Point Dine and Dance until 1965 when it was condemned as a safety hazard. Soon after, in 1966, the structure burned down.
The Mori family history is sometimes overlooked due to lack of evidence left on site. Mori Point is now protected parkland and its history, both cultural and natural, is being preserved by the GGNRA and its partners.