San Francisco, California: Gold Country

San Francisco CA History

California History Travel


San Francisco California

 San Francisco CA :

   Prior to the California Gold Rush, San Francisco was known as Yerba Buena for the Yerba Buena Cove that was harbor to incoming sea vessels.

In 1847 Washington A. Bartlett signed an ordinance officially changing the name of the thriving sea port town to San Francisco. One year later the discovery of gold would drastically change the course of this community and subsequently the state. At this time there were no railroads connecting San Francisco and therefore the bay and its highly valued sea port where an absolute necessity for trade and commerce to other areas of the nation.

When gold was discovered a few hundred miles east of the bay in Coloma CA, ships came into San Francisco with passengers eager for the California gold fields and supplies to accommodate them.  The rush to California was so fierce that the ships were abandoned in the bay without a crew to sail them out again. By the summer of 1850, over 500 vessels were moored at Yerba Buena Cove in San Francisco and many never made it out again. Many of the abandoned ships were stripped for their construction materials and some remained moored  but converted to saloons or hotels. The demand for ocean side property led to the sinking of many for the purpose of filling in areas that were originally underwater so that land title could be established.

     By the end of the next year taverns and hotels had been constructed on the pile of debris that was once the rotting hulls of  dozens of ships. It would be another twenty years before waterfront extension bills would move enough sand to fill the cove and the sunken debris below. Construction on a seawall began in 1867 to enclose the cove which follows the path of the Embarcadero.

The Emporium and James Flood Building on Market Street
San Francisco Earthquake 1906
San Francisco California 1906

     1906 brought one of the worst recorded natural disasters to the area in the form of a great earthquake. Subsequently the earthquake brought with it one of the worst recorded fires as well.

 Today, San Francisco California has become a world center for trends in fashion, art, food, and architecture. Visitors to San Francisco can indulge in fine dining, world class lodging, first rate museums, and a thriving night life. Each year hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Alcatraz Prison, marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge, shop Union Square and take in the many attractions at Fisherman's Wharf as well as Pier 39.



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San Francisco California History