Some of the early events in San Francisco's history include: the discovery of San Francisco Bay in 1769 by Don Gapar de Portola; the establishment of Mission Dolores in 1776; the founding of the Presidio in 1776; the first home built by Captain William A. Richardson in 1835;

A summary and timeline of some of the major events follow. The Counties and Courthouses book by the Historical Activities Committee, 1964, contains more historical information about San Francisco.



The 1850s were a time of building and coming to grips with the population explosion.


The 1860s brought continued population growth with the Pony Express and railroad connecting San Francisco to the East Coast. Some of the highlights include:


The 1870s were a time of city expansion with the Golden Gate park being created and the first cable car system started. By the late 1870s San Francisco began to suffer difficult and bitter economic times. The white workers blamed the chinese for their high unemployment rate. Chinese withdrew into what we now call Chinatown. The following highlights some of the events.


The Indian Wars of the 1870s and 1880s resulted in additional growth of the Presidio. Soldiers stationed here saw action against the Modoc Indians in the Lava Beds of northern California and against the Apache Indians in the southwest. In the 1880s a large-scale tree planting and post beautification program was started. Some of the highlights from the 1880s are listed below.


The 1890s brought a depression although San Francisco continued some growth and building. Some of the highlights from this period follow.


One of the wonderful aspects of the turn-of-the-century era was the multitude of grandious schemes for the development of California. In the early 1900's, the country had rebounded from the depression of the 1890's, so a renewed sense of optimism was the mood of the day although in 1906 a major earthquake caused much death and destruction in the City. Following are some hightlights from this era.


The period from 1910 to 1919 was one of continued immigration and growth of San Francisco although mared by World War I. The following are some hightlights from this era.


The Roaring '20s as they are commonly referred to. Despite prohibition laws San Francisco remained the wettest city in the West. Some of the highlights from this era follow.


The early 30s were years of the great depression however by the mid to late 30s the worst had passed. The great period of ferry transit reached its peak in the 1930's, when 60 million persons crossed the bay annually, along with 6 million autos. Highlights from this era follow.


The first half of the 40s saw men and women from every walk of life flocking to the shipyards to find work and support the war effort. San Francisco was referred to as "Baghdad by the Bay" by Herb Caen. It was possible to drink 24 hours a day. Sally Stanford the famous madam had a hugh house on Russion Hill and her girls were like socialites. Some highlights from this era follow.


County Coordinator
Copyright © 2014 - Present
All Rights Reserved