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1863 Apr 24
California’s “Act to Provide for Improvement and Protection of Wharves, Docks, and Waterfront in the City and Harbor of San Francisco” was signed by Gov. Leland Stanford. It established the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, an agency with the sole purpose of running the port of San Francisco.
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1863 Jun 4
David Batchelder and a group of 27 armed men sailed from San Francisco to the Farallon Islands in 3 boats to challenge the Egg Co. for bird eggs. One man was killed and another died of wounds a few days later. In 1995 Peter White authored “The Farallon Islands: Sentinels of the Golden Gate.”
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1863 Oct 2
San Francisco Archbishop Alemany sent a letter to Fr. Maraschi, SJ, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, announcing that St. Ignatius Church would lose its parish status. The church did not regain its status as a parish until 1994.
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1863
The first San Francisco Cliff House was built by real estate tycoon Charles Butler as a dining establishment for well-to-do families. The 160-acre site had been used as a potato farm by a man named Chambers. It was purchased in 1881 by Adolph Sutro. The Cliff House burned down in 1894 and was rebuilt. It again burned down in 1907 and rebuilt in 1909. It was shuttered from 1925 to 1936 when George and Leo Whitney, the owners of Playland-at-the-Beach, bought the property. In 1977 the Hountalas family acquired the property on a long-term lease.
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1863
St. Ignatius College in San Francisco awarded its first bachelor of arts degree.
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1863
St. Mary’s College was built on College Hill near Richland Ave and Mission St. It left San Francisco for Oakland in 1889 and later moved to Moraga.
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1863
In San Francisco the Point Lobos Avenue toll road ran from Bush and Presidio to the Cliff House. Using it required owning or renting a horse and carriage.
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1864 Mar 4
Thomas Starr King (b.1824), Unitarian minister, died in SF. During the Civil War, he spoke zealously in favor of the Union and is credited (by Abraham Lincoln) with saving California from becoming a separate republic. In addition, he organized the Pacific Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, which cared for wounded soldiers. He led many rallies on behalf of the Union in SF, and the site of the rallies was later renamed Union Square.
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1864 Jul 5
William Ralston founded the Bank of California with $2 million in capital.
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1864
In San Francisco a woolen mill was built on the block bounded by Beach, Polk, Larkin and North Point streets. In the 1890s it was taken over by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. In the 1960’s Ghirardelli transferred operations to San Leandro and the square was converted to a restaurant and shopping complex.
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1864
The SF Mechanics Institute, founded in 1854, paid $10,000 to build a grandiose pavilion for its fourth industrial fair on the southwest corner of Geary and Stockton.
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1865 Jan 16
Charles (19) and Michael de Young (17) started a free theater-program sheet in SF called The Daily Dramatic Chronicle. Early quarters were at Clay and Montgomery. They borrowed a $20 gold piece from Capt. William Hinkley, who owned the building where they lived, to start the paper.
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1865 Sep 17
In San Francisco Mark Twain and ‘Mousetrap Man’ (Tremenheere Lanyon Johns) were seen walking up Clay street under the influence of hashish. At this time concentrated cannabis was commonly available in tincture or solid form in drug stores.
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1865 Sep 24
Acrobat James Cooke walked a tightrope from the San Francisco Cliff House to Seal Rocks.
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1865 Oct 8
1865 Oct 9
An earthquake hit San Francisco.
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1865 Oct 21
Another earthquake hit San Francisco. It lasted for 42 seconds and caused major damage throughout the city.
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1865
The SF Elevator, a weekly black newspaper edited by Philip Bell, was established.
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1865
William Butterfield’s auction business was founded in SF. In 1970 Butterfield & Butterfield was sold to Bernard Osher. In 1999 the operation was acquired by EBay, a San Jose-based online auction house.
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1865
1875
Henry Casebolt, San Francisco inventor of the cable car grip, built his Casebolt Mansion at 2727 Pierce St. in Pacific Heights.
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1866 May 1
In San Francisco Robert B. Woodward (d.1879) opened his Woodward’s Gardens amusement park with a 25-cent admission. He had bought property and a stately mansion of US Sen. John C. Fremont located between Mission and Valencia to the east and west and 13th and 15th streets to the north and south. In 1873 the park added the nation’s first aquarium.
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1866 Dec 26
In San Francisco Lazarus Moses was fined $300 for selling goods stolen by the Hoodlum gang.
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1866
Henry Casebolt, San Francisco transit tycoon, built a house at 2727 Pierce St.
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1866
San Francisco established The Almshouse on the grounds of what later became Laguna Honda Hospital, providing shelter for the city’s unemployed and homeless men.
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1866
Pacific Rolling Mills opened the first big iron and steel mill in the West at what became known as Pier 70 in SF.
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1866
Mary Ellen Pleasant was kicked off a streetcar in San Francisco and began arguing against laws prohibiting black people from riding them.
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1867
Sam’s Grill at 374 Bush St. opened in SF, Cal. It was operated as an oyster bar by Irish immigrant Michael Bolan Moraghan. In 1922 Sam Zenovich of Yugoslavia bought the operation and it became known as Sam’s. The Seput family, originally from Yugoslavia, bought it in 1937 and in 2005 sold it to Phil Lyons.
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1867
The St. Paulus Lutheran church in SF was founded. The original church building burned down in 1995. In 2007 it moved from Gough and Eddy to join quarters with the St. Coltrane African Orthodox Church on Fillmore.
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1867
In San Francisco the first dry dock on the Pacific coast was built at Hunters Point.
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1867
John Middleton of San Francisco, after being elected to the state Legislature, introduced a bill to cut down Second Street, which ran through the middle of Rincon Hill. His bill became law in March 1868. The cut cost $380,000 and proved to be a disaster. It left elegant houses exposed on sheer cliffs and steep banks that slid during the rainy season. It later became known as Apache Pass as racist hoodlums hurled rocks at Chinese immigrants traveling to Chinatown from the Pacific Mail wharves.
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1868 Feb 16
San Francisco police have recently been investigating the proceedings of a gang of thieving boys who denominate themselves and are known to the world as the Hoodlum Gang.
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1868 Mar 27
John Muir (30) arrived by steamer in San Francisco and almost immediately set off on a 300-mile journey to Yosemite Valley along with Englishman Joseph Chilwell.
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1868 Sep 1
In San Francisco the Daily Dramatic Chronicle with widened coverage became the Morning Chronicle.
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1868
Mark Twain authored “Innocents Abroad” in San Francisco after returning from a trip to Europe.
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1868
1870
In San Francisco a warehouse was built between during this period on North Point Street. It was first used as a woolen mill and converted to a spaghetti factory around the turn of the century. The structure was demolished in 1960 to make room for 2 apartment towers.
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1868
San Francisco’s first real ballpark, the Recreation Grounds, was built at 25th and Folsom. Some 4 thousand fans watched the SF Eagles beat the Oakland Wide Awakes.
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1868
The word “hoodlum” reportedly first appeared in San Francisco newspapers and by 1877 became widespread across the US.
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1868
William Haas arrived in San Francisco from Germany and went to work for the Haas Bros, a wholesale grocery company started by his older brother Kalman.
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1869 May
An estimated 22 Japanese sailed into San Francisco Bay and headed to the foothills reportedly with 6 million tea seeds, 50,000 mulberry saplings and an unknown number of silkworms. They established the short-lived Wakamatsu Colony on some 200 acres of farmland. Dry weather, iron tainted water and the end of an endowment from Japan led to the colony’s demise.
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1869
In SF the Original firehouse No. 1 was built. It was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake and rebuilt. In 1958 adman Howard Gossage bought it from the city at auction.
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1869
In San Francisco the Portola district formally began when a group called the University Homestead Association named a 263-foot hill University Mound and laid out streets named Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Princeton, Dartmouth, Holyoke and Bowdoin.
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1869
1873
Joseph Bayma SJ (1816-1892), served as the 5th president of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius College.
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1869
In San Francisco the Catholic Sisters of Charity opened an orphanage on the top of Mount St. Joseph.
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1869
1877
In San Francisco a city dump was operated on the edge of Mission Bay and Mission Creek between Sixth and Seventh streets on what later became Berry Street. The area became known as Ragville or Dumpville as it attracted some 150 men living in shanties made of scrap material from the dump.
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1870
In San Francisco a Norman-style castle, later known as the Albion Castle and Brewery, was built as a brewery at 881 Innes Ave. In 1940 it became the home of a mountain springs water company, which bottled fresh water flowing underneath. In 2005 it sold for $2.1 million and was put on the market in 2009 for $2.95 million.
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1870
In San Francisco some of the bodies from the old North Beach cemetery were moved to the new City Cemetery in the Richmond District, where many of the city’s poor were interred.
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1871 Mar 1
James Denman, the San Francisco superintendent of schools, closed the Chinese school in Chinatown citing its daily attendance of just 20 students.
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1871
Fr. Joseph Neri, SJ, demonstrated the 1st electric light in SF from a window of St. Ignatius on San Francisco’s Market St. He used a large electro-magnetic device, the Alliance Machine, that had been used in the 2nd Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War for lighting defensive work.
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1871
In San Francisco eight teenage girls founded the Little Sisters’ Infant Shelter to help care for the children of working mothers and babies from broken homes.
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1871
In San Francisco Philip Arnold (40) and John Slack, prospectors from Kentucky, introduced a find of alleged diamonds and other precious stones to local businessmen.
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1871
The San Francisco Art Association was founded. This was the first art school in the West.
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1872 May
In San Francisco Andrew Smith Hallidie started excavation on Clay St. for a cable car system.
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1872 Jun 4
Kentucky conmen Philip Arnold (40) and John Slack took a party of San Francisco investors, including Asbury Harpending, to a site in Wyoming where diamonds and other precious stones were salted about. The con job took in hundreds of thousands of dollars before geologist Clarence King (30) identified the Wyoming site as a scam.
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1872 Dec 28
James Van Ness (b.1808), the 7th mayor of San Francisco (1855-1856), died in San Luis Obispo, Ca.
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1873 May 20
Levi Strauss (b.1829), a Bavarian-born merchant in San Francisco, and Jacob Davis of Reno, Nevada, received a US patent their miners' work pants reinforced with copper rivets. They soon began marketing them at $13.50 per doz.
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1873 Aug 3
Inventor Andrew S. Hallidie successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco. Hallidie made the first cable car trip aboard his Nob Hill Line traveling down Clay St. from Knob Hill to Kearney and then back up.
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1873 Nov 1
In San Francisco Ned Allen, owner of the Bull Run dance hall on Pacific Ave., adjacent to Chinatown, was stabbed to death. Allen had rejoiced in being called the wickedest man in SF. Bartlett J. Freel, aka Barney Flinn, was soon identified as the killer. In April, 1874, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 11 years in San Quentin.
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1873 Dec 1
In San Francisco James Otis (1826-1875) was sworn in as mayor.
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1873
In SF Mifflin Gibbs, the owner of a boot shop at 636 Clay St., was elected as San Francisco’s 1st black judge.
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1873
In SF the city’s International Hotel, built in 1854, moved from Jackson Street to 848 Kearny.
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1873
1876
Fr. Aloysius Masnata, SJ, served as the 6th president of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius College.
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