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1849
By this time the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (ayuntamiento) had grown to 16 members from 8 districts.
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1849
Some 23,000 people arrive in SF by land and 62,000 by sea as the population grew to some 30,000.
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1849
A ship called the Arkansas ran aground on Alcatraz and was towed to San Francisco’s Pacific Ave. wharf. It was soon converted into the Old Ship Saloon, which featured a hole cut in the bow “to admit the thirsty,” and became a major shanghaiing haunt. In 1867 it was moved to another building a few feet away and continued operations at 298 Pacific. Remains of the ship were discovered in 1890 and again in 2016.
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1849
William Walker (1824-1860) of Tennessee journeyed to San Francisco and soon became editor of the Bulletin.
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1849
San Francisco city surveyor William Eddy created a city planning map showing just four open spaces. They included Portsmouth Square and empty plots that would become Union Square, Washington Square and a plot at Folsom and Seventh.
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1849
The first church at the site of St. Francis of Assisi in North Beach, SF, was built at Vallejo and Columbus by Catholics who disliked the 3.5 mile walk to Mission Dolores.
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1850 Jan 16
The first real play in San Francisco, “The Wife,” was staged at the modest Washington Hall theater. This was located on the 2n d floor of a building that later became the city’s swankiest brothel.
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1850 Feb 18
The California state legislature created the original 18 counties including the city of San Francisco.
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1850 Apr 1
The San Francisco County government was established.
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1850 Apr 15
The city of San Francisco was incorporated.
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1850 Jul 25
The clipper ship Frolic, enroute from Hong Kong to SF, wrecked on a reef at the north edge of what is now California’s Preserve off Point Cabrillo Light Station. It had run opium from India to China to trade for silver and merchandise. The crew escaped in small boats and though all trade goods were lost the area became recognized as ideal for a redwood sawmill.
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1850 Aug 22
French Count Gaston Raousset-Boulbon arrived in San Francisco. His arrival coincided to the move of thousands of French-people who looked to go out from the war in their country and find well-being in California.
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1850 Oct
In San Francisco the Eureka Benevolent Society was organized at 414 Clay St. Some 746 members met to “assist poor and needy Hebrews in want or sickness.”
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1850 Nov
San Francisco voters approved a plank road from downtown out to the Mission. Alderman Alfred Green and brothers George and John Treat immediately began working on competing plans for racetracks in the Mission.
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1850
Guiseppe Bazzuro turned an abandoned ship into San Francisco’s 1st Italian restaurant.
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1850
The Phoenix Day lighting manufacturer began operations in San Francisco.
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1850
James Folger (18), a native of Massachusetts, began roasting beans in SF. Folger’s Coffee established itself on the Barbary Coast and was the first major coffee company in SF. Jim Folger eventually traveled to the gold country to sell coffee to miners.
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1850
The US Treasury contracted Moffat & Company, a private mint firm in San Francisco, to mint American government stamped coins.
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1850
In San Francisco Fred Lawson, a Norwegian sea captain, began sinking ships to lock in his underwater real estate. By 1953 he sank numerous ships including four in a block of water later bounded by Davis, Drumm, Pacific and Jackson streets.
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1850
1860
In San Francisco Washerwoman’s Lagoon was a large pond used as a laundry site at Gough and Greenwich. By 1882 it had become polluted and was filled in.
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1850
In San Francisco an official graveyard site called Yerba Buena Cemetery was chosen west of McAllister and Market streets. The site later became the SF Civic Center.
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1850
In San Francisco only seven of 4,025 Chinese were women.
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1851 Mar 24
In San Francisco pedestrians and horse drawn vehicles streamed out on the new Mission Plank Road to the new Pioneer Race Course, built by the Treat brothers. It was bounded by 24th, 26th Capp and Florida streets. It closed in 1864.
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1851 Apr 30
The California State Legislature passed an act creating a State Marine Hospital in San Francisco. $50,000 was earmarked for its construction.
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1851 May
In San Francisco Sam Brannan and several other leaders formed the First Committee of Vigilance. They took it on themselves to purge the city of criminals. The group disbanded in September.
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1851 Jun 9
In San Francisco Father John McGinnis celebrated Mass in a hall at Fourth and Jessie and marked the founding of St. Patrick’s. The church was built on Market St. at the present site of the Sheraton-Palace Hotel. It was moved in 1872 to Eddy St. near Divisadero and served as the Parish Hall for Holy Cross. The wooden structure is thought to be the oldest in the city.
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1851 Jun 11
San Francisco vigilantes lynched John Jenkins (aka John Simpton) on Portsmouth Square for stealing a safe. He was part of contingent of ex-con Australians known as the Sidney Ducks.
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1851 Jul
In San Francisco Alfred Green’s new Pavilion Race Course opened. It was bounded by 20th, 22nd, Capp and Treat streets. It closed in 1863.
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1851 Aug 31
The Yankee clipper ship Flying Cloud set a record for sailing from NY to San Francisco around South America in 89 days.
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1851 Oct 4
In San Francisco the third Jenny Lind Theater opened on Portsmouth Square on the same site as the two preceding it, which were destroyed by the fires of 1851. In 1852 the city of San Francisco purchased the theater for $200,000 for use as the city hall. In 1949 the site was named state landmark No. 192.
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1851 Oct
The first of 17 ships arrived in SF from France following a lottery by Napoleon’s government which provided passage to some 3,000 for the gold rush.
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1851 Nov 16
In France officials drew the winning numbers for the Lottery of the Golden Ingots. Some 7 million tickets had been sold for one franc each to finance the shipment of hand-picked French emigrants to California. From October 1851 to January 1853 a lottery ship sailed every month from Le Havre. 3,293 passengers of 4,016 arrived in San Francisco. The rest disembarked en route.
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1851
Kalman Haas arrived in San Francisco and soon began operating a grocery wholesale business. The company later switched to liquor wholesales.
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1851
Henry Casebolt (1816-1892) of Virginia came to California and established himself as a builder and inventor in San Francisco.
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1851
About 775 abandoned ships sat in the SF Bay. Some began to be used as offices and public buildings. The ship Euphemia became the city’s 1st jail and insane asylum. An enterprising barkeep cut a hole in the beached sailing vessel Arkansas and began selling what he called “Gud, Bad and Ind’ifferent Spirits” at 25 cents each. The Old Ship Saloon at Pacific Avenue and Battery Street was built in 1907 and remodeled in 1999.
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1851
In San Francisco six prominent businessmen obtained a franchise for a water project to deliver water from Mountain Lake through a tunnel to the Presidio and then to downtown SF. The Mountain Lake Water Co. raised $300,000 and in 1853 broke ground on the tunnel. The project went bust after they failed to get an additional $500,000 to complete the project.
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1851
In San Francisco 6 men sailed to the Farallon Islands and declared themselves owners by right of possession. They began gathering eggs and selling them to the city.
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1852 Feb 28
The French ship arrived in San Francisco from Le Havre with some 200 lottery emigrants. They included criminals, political prisoners, hones workers, common thugs and others considered undesirable. France had organized a national lottery for a gold bar and used the proceeds to ship people to California.
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1852 Mar
Hubert Bancroft (1832-1918) was sent to San Francisco from New York to established a regional office of his family’s book selling business. In 1868 he abandoned business to devote himself entirely to writing and publishing history.
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1852 May 1
San Francisco’s Board of Aldermen passed Ordnance 228 making it illegal to hold bullfights or to exhibit or fight other animals east of larking and Ninth streets or to advertise the fights on Sundays.
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1852 Jun
In San Francisco one of the weekly bull and bear fights held this month near the crumbling old Mission Dolores was described in detail in a journal by Theophile de Rutte.
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1852 Aug 2
State Sen. James W. Denver, from Klamath and Trinity counties, challenged Edward Gilbert, editor of the SF Alta California newspaper, to a duel due to an inflammatory editorial. The pair met at Fair Oaks, near Sacramento, and when Gilbert forced a 2nd round of shots, Denver put a fatal shot through his chest. Denver’s 2nd shot hit Gilbert above the left hip. C.A. Washburn succeeded Gilbert at the Alta.
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1852 Nov
In San Francisco John Quinn was ordained at St. Francis Church.
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1852
The Shreve & Co. jewelry store opened in SF.
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1852
In San Francisco the Daily Alta California reported on “full grown persons engaged very industriously in the game known as town ball.”
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1852
In San Francisco Robert B. Woodward opened his What Cheer House on Sacramento and Leidesdorff. It offered cheap clean rooms and prohibited women.
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1852
In San Francisco the Hip Yee Tong association started trafficking women and by 1873 imported some 6,000 women from China making an estimated profit of $200,000.
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1853 May 15
In San Francisco a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a tunnel to deliver water from Mountain Lake to the Presideo and then to downtown SF. The project was not completed due to lack of funding. In 2010 the entrance, buried under 42 feet of landfill, was rediscovered in the Presidio near Polin Springs.
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1853 May 21
Lola Montez (1821-1861), Irish-born dancer and former lover of Franz Liszt and mistress of King Ludwig of Bavaria, arrived in San Francisco aboard a steamer from Panama.
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1853 Oct 15
William Walker and 45 men from San Francisco invaded Baha California and Sonora. They soon captured La Paz, Mexico. The freelance soldiers were known as filibusters.
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1853
1854
Cornelius Garrison served as mayor of San Francisco.
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1853
The El Dorado saloon on Kearny St. in SF received a piano shipped around Cape Horn. The piano was later sold to the David Fay family of soap makers.
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1853
Fr. Flavian Fontaine, a member of the congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus, acquired land in San Francisco and built a brick building for the Catholic College of Mission Dolores. The site at 14th and Walter Streets stood empty as Fontaine, unable to pay his debts, fled to Panama. The site was acquired by Fr. John Nobili for $11,000. A Jesuit school here was opened in 1854 with Fr. Francis Veyret, SJ, as its only teacher, but it closed in September.
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1853
The population of San Francisco numbered about 36,000.
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1853
In San Francisco the largest building on the West Coast opened at Montgomery and Washington streets. The four linked structures, known as the Monkey block, were torn down in 1959 to make room for a parking lot. This later became the site of the Transamerica Pyramid.
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1853
Joseph J. Atkinson, a brick contractor, built a 4-bedroom house at 1032 Broadway. It was designed by William Ranlett and remodeled by Willis Polk in 1893. It survived the 1906 earthquake and fire.
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1853
San Francisco’s city engineer Milo Hoadley submitted a plan calling for the leveling of Telegraph and other hills. A special three-member board decided his plan would be too expensive, but did order some streets to be graded.
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1853
In San Francisco the US Marine Hospital was built on Harrison St. between Main and Beale.
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1853
In San Francisco the Chinese Presbyterian Mission Church became the first US church with an Asian congregation.
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1854 Jan 10
William Walker proclaimed the independence of lower California, calling it the Republic of Sonora. A serious lack of supplies, discontent within his party and an unexpectedly strong resistance by the Mexican government quickly forced Walker to retreat and return to San Francisco where he was tried but quickly acquitted.
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