San Francisco became a city during the Gold Rush of 1849, prior to that it was
a sleepy backwater named Yerba Buena. But soon after the Gold Rush came
years of of economic insecurity and then, financial panic. That all changed in 1859
with the discovery of silver in the Comstock Lode. San Francisco would then become
a teeming metropolis and an awe-inspiring jewel of the Victorian era. Much like the
boomtown that San Francisco is today, this new era of almost inconceivable wealth
is legendary, yet the poverty and desperation of the lower classes helped to create
an are known as the Barbary Coast, where the excess of the Gilded Age would be
degraded to the lowest common denominator. Even by today's standards the Barbary
Coast was completely over the top.
It was an area so rife with vice that the naive
or intoxicated could be easily tempted to part ways with their money, or even,
sometimes their freedom.
Because the political landscape was considered so corrupt, an emperor was proclaimed in 1859, lived in San Francisco and was said to wander the city with two dogs, Lazurus and Bummer . He attempted to solve the civil war and end anti-Chinese sentiment. He also ordered the construction of the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Transbay Tube in the 1860's. The self proclaimed Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I was the Emperor of the US. He declared himself the Protector of Mexico in response to the French invasion of Mexico in 1861. Luckily, on Cinco de Mayo 1867, Mexico ousted the French so the Emperor did not have to send any American troops. Emperor Norton planned to marry a very famous young harlot of the time, Minnie Rae, Minna Street is her namesake.
She could have been his emperess, but by the time he proposed,
she was already engaged to another. Heart broken, he died not long after.
Against this back drop we will look at the city as it was at the time. This is an easy walk with no hills and is a historic look at San Francisco in the 19th Century, from the Gold Rush, from the Big 4 Railroad Tycoons, through the Comstock Era's ridiculous amount of wealth, leading into the Gilded Age. This is easily one of the most fun and most interesting history tours, anywhere...
|*Montgomery Block||*Wells Fargo Museum||*Hippodrome||*Alleys of Ill Repute|
|*Lola Montez||*Jackson Square||*Buried Ships||*Pacific Heritage Museum|
|*Emperor Norton||*Pony Express||*Barbary Coast||*Minna Rae Simpson|
|*Playboy Club||*Hotaling Whisky||*Shanghai Dens||*General Sherman's Bank|
| *Stanford, Crocker,
|* Mark Twain||*Adolph Sutro||* Ghiradelli Chocolate|
|* Oofty Goofty||*Portsmouth Square||* Secret Tunnel||*The Original Federal Mint|
Cost: $40/ w Lunch $65 Cost with Alcatraz: $68/ w Lunch $93
Retail Alcatraz Island ticket price $28 and is included in tour package price.
When: Tuesday 10:30AM Wednesday 10:30AM and Sundays at 10:30AM
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Easy meeting location emailed with confirmation
More Information: 415.793.1104
Free Self-Guided Tour, with audio pics and mapHistoric SF- Silver and Gold at EveryTrail
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