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1885
The James A. Garfield monument on Kennedy Drive in San Francisco’s golden Gate Park was erected by the offerings of a “grateful people.”
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1885
In San Francisco Adolph Sutro opened Sutro Heights to the public. The estate was dotted with European statues. He went on to build the Sutro Baths, a 3-acre glass palace.
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1885
St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco’s Western Addition was built.
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1885
San Francisco brewery owner Joseph Wieland died in a fire. His heirs commissioned a new boat for the Dolphin Club, which he had founded; the 40-foot Joseph Wieland rowing vessel was built by Al Rogers.
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1885
William Sharon, US senator and silver millionaire, died. He bequeathed $60,000 for the construction of a children’s playground in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
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1885
In San Francisco Thomas Baldwin ascended in the basket of a hot-air balloon on the northern end of Ocean Beach and leaped out with a crude parachute. He landed safely in Golden Gate Park and received $1000, a dollar a foot, for the jump.
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1885
San Francisco’s Western Nursery began operating in the northwestern part of the city. It continued to 1947.
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1886 May 22
The cover of Harper’s Weekly featured an illustrated picture of a jousting match in San Francisco with a German-style castle in the background atop Telegraph Hill. The castle, known as Layman’s Folly (1883-1903), was built by Frederick O. Layman. He had also built a 1,400-foot cable car line up Greenwich St. from Powell to the summit of Telegraph Hill.
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1886
In SF the Fior d’Italia restaurant began to serve clients for a nearby North Beach bordello. Tortellini was a nickel, risotto with clams a dime and veal scallopine and calf’s liver was 15 cents. A special 8-course meal was 35 cents. It was originally located at 482 Broadway and later moved to 601 Union St. In 1966 a similar special meal was priced at $6.00. In February 2005 the restaurant was burned out of its Washington Square location. It re-opened in November on Mason Street at the former San Remo Hotel.
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1886
In San Francisco the Union Iron Works red brick machine shop was built across from the dry dock gate at Pier 70. It closed in 2004 due to seismic issues. In 2009 plans were made public for the redevelopment of the area.
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1886
In San Francisco Mrs. Abbie Parrott purchased the old St. Ignatius Market Street school site for $900,000. her family later built the Emporium store on this site.
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1886
The ship Balclutha was built in Glasgow, Scotland. It was named in Gaelic for Clyde’s rock. For 16 years it sailed from the British Isles with a load of coal around Cape Horn to SF where it picked up grain and returned to Europe. It was later preserved at the National Maritime Museum in San Francisco.
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1887 Jan 13
In San Francisco the schooner Parallel carrying some 40 tons of dynamite ran aground late today. Hours later it exploded near the Cliff House.
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1887 Nov
Baseball players from the St. Louis Browns, the NY Giants, a Chicago team and a Philadelphia team arrived in San Francisco for the winter season. Their first game was played on Thanksgiving Day.
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1887
In San Francisco the 3-story Sharon Building was built next to the children’s playground in Golden Gate Park. It was designed by Percy & Hamilton.
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1887
Fr. Imoda took over as president of St. Ignatius College in San Francisco and continued to 1893. During his tenure a fire destroyed the old school and church on Market St., which had become a cheap lodging house and furniture warehouse. 3 people died in the fire.
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1887
In San Francisco a 30-foot stone pedestal was built on Mount Olympus to support the Goddess of Liberty statue. SF removed the statue in 1954.
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1887
In San Francisco the Haight Street Grounds baseball park was built on the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park.
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1887
In San Francisco the Mount Zion Hospital opened. It was funded in large part by the city’s Jewish philanthropists and later became part of the UCSF Medical Center.
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1888 Apr 16
Russian Orthodox Bishop Vladimir (Vasily Sokolovsky) arrived in San Francisco from Russia with an entourage of eight clerics and 11 boys.
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1888 Aug 22
The City of Chester, a 202-foot passenger steamship, sank as it left the San Francisco Bay after colliding with the incoming ocean line Oceanic. 16 people died including 3 crew members and 13 men, women and children. Wreckage of the Chester was found in May, 2013, in 217 feet of water near the Golden Gate Bridge.
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1888 Nov
In San Francisco a new cable car line opened in the Mission District.
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1888
In SF a red-brick power plant was built at 178 Townsend St. It later served as a hay mill, warehouse and repair shop. In 2006 plans called for its conversion to 66 condominiums.
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1888
In San Francisco a 2-story Victorian home at 50 Liberty St., designed by Absalom J. Barnett, was completed.
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1889 Oct
In San Francisco Capt. Jack Williams, a champion swimmer and lifesaver, sat on Seal Rocks by the Cliff House for a week, feeding and befriending the local seals and performing feats as visitors watched.
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1889
Hippolite d’Audiffred, a San Francisco merchant, put up a building where Mission Street meets the Embarcadero and named it after himself. It later became the home of the Sailors Union of the Pacific and the Boulevard restaurant.
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1889
Fr. James Chrysostom Bouchard, SJ, (b.1823), died. His French mother was adopted by the Delaware Lenni-Lenappi tribe after her parents were killed by members of the Comanche tribe. His father was Kistalwa, the Delaware tribe’s chief. After he moved to California his sermons attracted great crowds to the local Jesuit church. He traveled to many Western states, preaching in cities, towns, and mining camps. When he died, a New York newspaper called him "the Father Damen of the West." In 1949 John Bernard McGloin authored “Eloquent Indian.”
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1889
Juana Briones (b.1802), SF businesswoman and Santa Clara County rancho owner, died.
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1889
A 5,300 pound bell was commissioned for $17,000 from a Baltimore foundry to hang in the St. Mary’s Cathedral at Van Ness and O’Farrell, San Francisco. It hung in the church until 1962 when an arsonist destroyed the cathedral. The bell was moved to new cathedral grounds near Gough and Geary and sat for some 40 years until it was stolen in 2011 as the metal value of its 80% copper reached $75,000. The bell was recovered at a salvage yard in West Oakland.
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1889
William Heath Davis (1822-1909) authored” Sixty Years in California.” It included a description of life in Yerba Buena (San Francisco). In 1929 it was enlarged and renamed “Seventy-five Years in California.”


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1889
In San Francisco the Russian Orthodox Church and episcopal complex at 1713-15 Powell burned down. Some parishioners suspected that Bishop Vladimir had burned it down for insurance money. The bishop accused nihilists that included Dr. Russel, vice-president of the Greco-Russian-Slavonian Benevolent Society. Russel accused the bishop of being a pederast but prosecutors refused to pursue the case. In 1997 Terence Emmons authored “Alleged Sex and Threatened Violence: Doctor Russel, Bishop Vladimir, and the Russians in San Francisco, 1887-1892.”
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1889
In San Francisco compensation was made to the owners of bisected and trisected lots of the 1847 Lagoon Survey. In a few years the Lagoon Survey vanished with two exceptions: Blackstone Court, part of lot 17, and Grenard Terrace on Lot 22.
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1890 Jun 22
The SF Chronicle trumpeted its new 10-story building at 690 Market, the first steel-framed building in the West. It was designed by Burnham & Root of Chicago. In 1924 the Chronicle moved to its new building at Fifth and Mission. In 1962-1963 Home Mutual Savings and Loan draped the De Young Building at 690 Market in metal. In 2004 planned renovations included conversion to residential and hotel use.
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1890
In San Francisco the State Belt Railroad began operating in the warehouse district along the northeast waterfront. In 1914 the line was extended several miles west through a tunnel under Fort Mason. In 1917 track was laid into the Presidio. The railroad was taken over by a private investor in 1973 and closed for good in 1993.
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1890
In San Francisco the James Lick Baths were completed at 165 10th St. Its walls and tower were ravaged by the 1906 earthqauke and it was rebuilt in a smaller style. In 1920 it became a laundry and in 1978 was converted to office space.
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1891 May 21
James J. Corbett fought Peter "Black Prince" Jackson (1861-1901), in a much-heralded bout between San Francisco cross-town rivals. Since Corbett and Jackson were boxing instructors at the two most prestigious athletic clubs. They fought to a draw after 61 rounds. Jackson had won the Australian heavyweight championship in 1886 and the British Empire title in 1892.
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1891
The hay schooner Alma was built at San Francisco’s Hunters Point shipyard. In 1993 mariner Al Lutz (d.2010 at 55) took over the boat, the last survivor of the fleet of sailing schooners built to handle cargo on the SF Bay and the Sacramento River Delta.
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1891
In San Francisco brothers, Behrend and Isaac Joost, organized The San Francisco and San Mateo Railroad Company. The Joost line did not pay expenses and was sold at a foreclosure sale on April 11, 1896.
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1891
San Francisco’s California St. RR opened a crosstown cable car line on O’Farrell, Jones and Hyde with a Jones St. shuttle line that ran from O’Farrel five blocks to Market.
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1891
The US battleship Oregon was built at the Union Iron Works in San Francisco. In 1898 it sailed around Cape Horn and took part in the battle of Santiago Bay, Cuba.
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1891
In San Francisco the 3-storey McGauley House at 2423 Green St. was built. The Arts and Craft style home was designed by Ernest Coxhead.
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1891
In San Francisco the Mills building went up at 220 Montgomery. It was designed by Burnham and Root and was rebuilt in 1909.
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1891
In San Francisco the Woodward’s Gardens amusement park closed. It had opened under Robert B. Woodward in the Mission District on May 1, 1866. In 1814 the site became the home of the SF National Guard Armory.
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1892 May 5
US Congress passed the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act, which required Chinese in the United States to be registered and carry an identity card or face deportation. The Six Companies of San Francisco ordered all 110,000 immigrants to refuse compliance.
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1892
Hibernia Bank set up headquarters in a temple-style building at 1 Jones St. and Market near the SF Civic Center. In 2008 the building ,vacant since 2000, was sold for $3.95 million.
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1892
John H. Baird, a San Francisco capitalist, subdivided and sold a set of lots along Haight Street, site of the Haight Street Grounds sports field.
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1892
The US Navy cruiser Olympia was built in San Francisco. It served as the flagship of Commodore George Dewey’s fleet that defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898. In 1957 it became a museum ship in Philadelphia.
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1893 Dec 2
Pauline C. Fryer (b.1833), stage performer and Union spy during the Civil War, died in San Francisco.
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1893
In SF a firehouse was built at 1152 Oak St. The structure still stood in 2001. Another firehouse, built on Washington St. west of Broderick, was decommissioned in 1964. It was later owned by Jerry Brown, who sold it to adman Hal Riney. In 2005 Riney sold the Washington St. firehouse for close to $4 million to John Traina, a former shipping executive.
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1893
In San Francisco the cascade at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park was first turned on. In 1894 it was dedicated and named Huntington Falls after Collis P. Huntington, who contributed $25,000 for the project. The falls collapsed in 1962 and were turned off for 22 years.
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1893
In San Francisco Fr. Edward Allan, SJ (1849-1911) took over the administration of St. Ignatius College.
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1893
In San Francisco a 2-story wooden building was built about this time at 1690 Post St. It was owned by black businessman Charles Sullivan, who later rented the downstairs storefront to James “Jimbo” Edwards, who then started selling chicken and waffles. From 1950 to 1965 it became Jimbo’s Bop City, a late-night hangout for jazz musicians. In 1980 the building was moved to 1712-1716 Filmore St. and became home to Marcus Books. In 2014 Jimbo’s Bop City and Marcus Books were named SF historic landmarks.
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1894 Jan 27
The privately financed Mid-Winter International Exposition opened in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It featured an Electric Tower, a Fine Arts Building and a Royal Pavilion. The Tennis courts were situated at their current site. It was the result of a campaign led by Michael de Young, founding publisher of the SF Chronicle. The Egyptian-styled fine arts building became the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.
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1894 Jan
The "Prayer Book Cross" sculpture, a sandstone copy of a Celtic cross, was made for San Francisco’s Mid-Winter Fair and remained in Golden Gate Park. The cross was built to commemorate a June 23, 1579, sermon given somewhere around Point Reyes by Francis Fletcher, the chaplain of the Golden Hind, the first-ever Protestant service in North America.
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1894 Jan
The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park was designed for the Mid-Winter Exposition by Makoto Hagiwara, inventor of the fortune cookie (1914).
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1894 Jan
San Francisco quarrymen George and Harry Gray caused a rock slide that crushed a duplex at 312½ and 314½ Vallejo St.
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1894 Jul 4
San Francisco’s Mid-Winter Fair at Golden Gate Park closed down. More than 1.3 million people had attended.
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1894
The SF Mint struck 24 dimes (1894-S). Philadelphia minted 1.3 million and New Orleans produced 720,000. In 1980 an 1894-S dime sold for $160,000.
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1894
The SF Bay ferry steamer Sausalito was launched from the Fulton Iron Works in San Francisco. The ship was retired in 1933 and in 1934 became the clubhouse of the Sportsmen Yacht Club in Antioch, Ca.
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1894
Adolph Sutro (1830-1898) was elected as the 24th mayor of SF. He served to Jan 3, 1897.
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