Category: San Francisco History

Annals of SF_Yerba Buena Cemetery

San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries & Pioneer Burial Grounds

North Beach Burial Ground c.1846-c.1855 Also known as the Powell Street Cemetery, the North Beach Burial Ground was one of the city’s first unofficial burial grounds. Around the mid-1840s people began using the block bounded by Chestnut, Stockton, Lombard, and Powell streets as a burial ground for the early pioneers and Argonauts of San Francisco. According to the Annals of San Francisco…

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1852 Coast Survey_Mission Church detail2

Historical Ecology of San Francisco’s Mission District

The 1852 U.S. Coast Survey is one of the first maps that details many of the topographic, physical, and cultural features of San Francisco’s “Mission de Dolores.” We can see details of the rich historical ecology that supported Yelamu Native Americans in the pre-colonial era (part of the larger Ohlone group of peoples), as well as the Spanish, Mexican, and American settlements that came…

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Historical Bibliography of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake & Fire

The following is a historical bibliography of works related to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires. The bibliography was originally prepared by the San Francisco Public Library and published in the city’s San Francisco Municipal Reports, 1905-1907, pp. 743-754. The historical bibliography is transcribed here and is intended for research purposes. Citation styles have been left in their original format as…

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Contemporaneous description of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast

This short article appeared in the Daily Alta California newspaper on May 19, 1852 and provides a contemporaneous description of the city’s infamous Barbary Coast quarter, then called Sydney Town. The article describes a scene on Pacific Street, probably located somewhere between Stockton and Montgomery or Sansome Streets. “BAD CHARACTERS. Pacific street has justly obtained an unenviable notoriety, from the fact…

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