(Wherein Is Briefly Outlined by FRANCES FAIRCHILD, Placerville, the History of the “Phoenix City.”)


            In 1835, WHEN THAT STURDY Englishman, William A. Richardson, placed four redwood posts in the sandy, chaparral-covered cove of Yerba Buena—fastened a ship’s foresail to them, thus fashioning a tent,--he little dreamed he had laid the nucleus of the foundation of a great city, or that the unique situation and surroundings with vista of the land-locked harbor—the stillness of the cove, crowned by sunny slopes where butterflies sipped the honey from ever-blooming flowers,--would, in less than a century, be transformed into one of the leading emporiums of the world.  Even the strongest imagination finds it hard to conjure up again an uninhabited country, the surface covered with hills and dappled by countless sand-dunes.  Prior to 1823 Yerba Buena was unknown to the white man.

            Yerba Buena Cove was used as a port at various times—Russian, Mexican, and English vessels having anchored there.  It as considered the most accessible entry on the shores of the bay, and anchorage was first spoken of in 1823, when Governor Arguello allowed the ships of Hartnell & Company to anchor there.  The Mexican government had planned to establish a town within the cove, but for reasons unknown, the work was not accomplished.  As to the details of the settlement of Yerba Buena, the facts are still open to discussion and perhaps always will be; however, its origin was not due to chance, or circumstance, but to design governed by certain economic laws.  The site was commanding, and being on the shore of one of the finest harbors in the world, the incentive was unmistakable—inevitable.

            Reviewing the history of San Francisco, we find the heart of it ringed, like an oak, with every cycle through which it has passed; and, like that sturdy tree, it stands out boldly in commercial, social, and educational strength.  Time has proved its power—the past, the present, and without doubt the future its sphere.  Its background throws into relief the wonderful changes and the vastness of its enterprises which we behold today.  Sand-dunes and hills have given place to a mighty city, a-throb with varied and myriad life.

            Jacob Primer Leese shared honors with William A. Richardson in helping to lay the foundation of San Francisco.  In 1836, in conjunction with Messrs. Spear and Hinckley, he established a commercial business at Yerba Buena—his partners remaining at Monterey.  Following the advice of Governor Chico, “to select for himself the most convenient place he could find,” he chose a lot adjoining that of Mr. Richardson, known afterward as the corner of Clay and Dupont streets.  The St. Francis hotel was built in the same place, and, with the progression of events, the banking house of James King of William occupied the spot.  (King was shot by James P. Casey in ’56 and his murder led to the organization of the famous Vigilance Committee of ’56.)

            Mr. Leese arrived July 1st; the 2d, he landed timber and materials for building a joint house and store, 60x25.  At that primitive time it was considered quite a mansion.  By 10 o’clock, July 4th, it was completed and the day being a holiday, Mr. Leese decided to give a house-warming to celebrate the event.  Notable people of adjoining settlements were invited to partake of his hospitality.  Bunting was secured from vessels at anchor in the cove, and both the American and Mexican flags floated to the breeze from the housetop, it being the first time the former had been unfurled at Yerba Buena.  Music, boom of cannon, feasts and dancing were concluded on the evening of the 5th; thus ended the first celebration of July 4th in San Francisco.  A few days later Mr. Leese was ready to do business, with a $12,000 stock. 

            The following year both Leese and Richardson built new houses—the latter replacing his with an adobe, one and a half stories high, which was called “Casa Grande”; this was taken down in ’52.  April 1, 1837, Mr. Leese married General Vallejo’s sister and the 15th of April, 1838, a daughter (Rosalie Leese) was born; she was the first white child here in San Francisco.


Half-Dozen House in 1841.


            Leese and his partners dissolved partnership in 1838, and Spear built a house on a corner afterward known as Clay and Montgomery streets.  When General John A. Sutter visited Yerba Buena in July, ’39, Spear’s store was within fifty yards of where he anchored.  In his “Personal Reminiscences,” he mentions a house belonging to John Fuller on Sacramento and Montgomery, and one on Montgomery street, near Telegraph Hill, belonging to Victor Prudon; also, some other shanties.  A two-story, wooden grist-mill stood on Clay street, between Montgomery and Kearny, and was in operation in 1839-40; the machinery was brought from Callao for Spear and Hinckley in 1839.

            At this period Yerba Buena was considered the liveliest port in California.  Captain Jean Voiget, a Swiss, made a survey and map of the district which embraced the land covering California and Pacific streets and that of Montgomery and Stockton.  Streets were unnamed and later the blocks were changed.  The population was about fifty souls.  Two lots were granted in 1836 and between that time and 1840, seventeen were granted at Yerba Buena and three at the Mission.  After that, municipal government grew rapidly and took on significance not dreamed of at the time.

            Henry A. Pierce tells of there not being over a half-dozen houses at Yerba Buena in 1841.  Mr. Rae’s was the best.  The architecture was Dutch, and it was built of wood and shingled.  Mrs. Rae describes the hills as covered with flowers in winter and the place as being small; of a little hill about six feet from the water-front which was reached by the tide, and of trails through the sand which led to the mission; the grist-mill, bolting apparatus and saw-mill being worked simultaneously by four mules, and of ships’ crews experiencing great difficulty in landing cargoes in the mud.  Wild animals roamed about at will and occasionally visited the town.  In 1841, a panther carried an Indian boy from Leese’s yard and grizzly bears ate a dinner of wood cutters at Rincon Point.

            Three rooms of an adobe house, situated on the west side of Dupont, between Clay and Washington streets, were used by Receptor Diaz as the first Custom House.  In 1844, a new one was asked for.  Expenditures were limited to $800, but Diaz spent $2,719.  Instructions from the administration at Monterey said “to let the building remain unfinished and the debts unpaid.”  A flag was purchased from Leidsdorff for $50, and was afterwards presented to the Society of California Pioneers.

            During the Bear Flag revolt in July, 1846, Fremont, Gillespie and about twenty Americans, with the assistance of Captain Phelps of the “Moscow,” crossed the bay from San Rafael to the “old Castillo”’ they waded through the surf to the shore, entered the barracks, and spiked ten brass pieces belonging to the Mexicans.

            On the 9th of July, Captain Montgomery, under directions from Commodore Sloat, landed at Yerba Buena with seventy men and raised the Stars and Stripes in front of the adobe Custom House.  The salute of twenty-one guns, fired from the vessel, was followed by cheers from the people on land.  An address was delivered, Sloat’s Proclamation read and posted, after which a number of the men stayed at the Custom House to protect American interests; later a company of volunteer guards was formed.

            The first California regiment, under Colonel J. D. Stevenson, reached Yerba Buena March 6, 1847, and in April, the first American school (private) was opened in a small shanty; there were about twenty or thirty pupils.  In the fall a new one-story house was built, which was used for the first preaching of the Protestant religion in California, also as the first theater, court house, station house, etc.


Growth Slow, First Ten Years.


            January, 1847, the first printing office was established and the first paper, called the “California Star,” made its initial bow the 7th of the month.  The publisher was Samuel Brannan and the editor E. P. Jones.  The “Star” had four pages, 15x12, and came out every Saturday.  A paper called the “Californian” followed.

            It was at this time in the history of the town that Alcalde Bartlett took official steps to change the name Yerba Buena to San Francisco.  This was done to honor St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan Order, and to avoid confusion and mistakes in public documents, as Benicia bore the name Francisca.

            No hotel of any note was built until 1846; this was a one-story adobe house with a veranda facing Kearny street, called the “City Hotel.”  After the gold discovery it was used as a gambling resort, and later the house was divided into apartments used for drink-rooms, offices, and barbershops.  Many restaurants and lodging-houses were put up in 1849, the “St. Francis” being an interesting structure made of small houses intended for cottages.  These were place together, forming a most inflammable structure of four stories.  It did not resemble the St Francis of today, but served as a resort for the elite of 1849.  Strange to say, it escaped all the first great fires before 1853, when it was partially destroyed.  The first substantial hotel was the “Union, “ a four-story brick.  Following, in order, were the “Jones,” “Oriental,” “Tehama House” and “International. “          

            For the first ten years the growth of San Francisco was slow; not until after the discovery of gold at Coloma by James W. Marshall, in 1848, did the town begin to flourish.  Cities are like people, they become depressed and then react, and so it was with San Francisco—a reaction took place, and life became a racecourse.  People became creatures of environment and progress took a headlong gallop, under whip, spur and halloo.  The situation was so full of variety, immigrants caught their breath; there was so much diversity it was like the menu of a great hotel—every age, grade, habit or taste could be provided for, and scenes and amusements were cosmopolitan and kaleidoscopic.

            The streets presented a free show, to be enjoyed simply by keeping eyes and ears open.  On them, wading in the mud, or deftly balancing on planks and rubbish, could be found that curious mingling of faces from every quarter of the globe.  Shop windows were miniature entertainments—the very people were amusing and one view would take in comedy, tragedy or melodrama.  In fact, the age itself was dramatic, having all the glow and color of the stage.  It has been said that “the street is the finest theater in the world,” and this was as true of the hurly-burly, “heaven-earth-and-hell-daring” street scenes of San Francisco in 1849 as it is of the present.  To the hurrying, preoccupied immigrant, sight and sounds were trite, but to those with no particular end in view there was endless variety of amusement; but—those actors and audiences of 1849 have floated off into mere memories.

            After the gold discovery, the brig “Eagle,” from Canton, arrived at San Francisco, bringing the first Chinese to the State; there were two men and one woman.  During 1849, three hundred came.  From the first of January until the last of June of the same year, 10,000 people landed in San Francisco, and the number for the whole year reached 40,000.  Of the former number, only 200 were females.  The town was in a deplorable condition—houses (mere shanties and tents), stores, hotels, etc., being built in the cheapest manner possible.  Streets were mud holes, and traffic was difficult.  Pedestrians and teamsters were ever on the alert, lest they fall into the bottomless sloughs; it taxed the ingenuity of the former to walk in the loose deep sand and they would often sink ankle deep at every step.  There were not even planks to walk upon.  Navigators took soundings of mud and water with an ordinary pair of boots, and many times the unlucky man found he had sunk far below the sand into the sticky clay.  Before he could extricate himself, he would plunge headlong into the mire, giving vent to his ire by calling down maledictions on the dirty streets, much to the amusement of the lookers-on, whose hoarse guffaws only served to rile his temper more.


First Fire in 1849.


            In January, 1850, the post office was located on the corner of Clay and Pike streets.  A path had been made across Clay street and two vacant lots facing it.  On either side the path were deep mud holes.  It was “steamer day,” and hundreds of people were standing in line, so that each could be served without confusion at the seven-inch square window of the office.  The greater part of the crowd was watching a darkey who was carrying the dressed carcass of a deer to some hotel to sell it, and who labored rather unsteadily under his load of meat and drink.  Suddenly he wavered, lost his balance, and fell into the mudhole.  He struggled to get out—lost one boot, then the other.  The air resounded with shouts and laughter from the crowds at the post office.  A kind-hearted chap, somewhat boozed with beer, remonstrated with the crowd, and proceeded to the darkey’s assistance.  He jerked him by the coat collar with such force that he lost his own balance, falling in with the darkey and deer.  After floundering about for some time they were helped out,--the darkey resembling a man of no color, the white man looking like a darkey, and the deer like the carcass of a man of all colors.

            With the progression of events the streets improved.  Hills were leveled, the debris being used to fill hollows and holes, and piles were driven into the water-soaked sand and heavily planked.  This required a half-million dollars.  As the growth of the town was into the bay, even houses were built on piles, and some of them were almost half a mile beyond the original high-water mark.  Thus it was that ships at times occupied positions completely out of their element—they had been hauled up and built in. 

            The first fire in San Francisco, which destroyed property valued at over half a million dollars, originated in Dennison’s Exchange and occurred December 24, 1849.  Between that time and 1851 there were three more conflagrations, which swept away over two-thirds of the town, converting it into a heap of ashes.  But Phoenix-like it rose again and again, its growth unchecked and its prosperity unimpaired.  Six successive fires wiped out most of the landmarks of Yerba Buena.  Among them were the old City Hall, the first hotel in San Francisco built in 1846, the old adobe Custom House used as a guard-house, military office, and an American Custom House, and Sam Brannan’s house in which were exhibited the first specimens of gold from the placers.  Those not destroyed by fire were razed for the progression and improvement of the city. 

            Between 1849 and 1854, Colonel H. G. Baker surveyed the town and made a prediction that in time it would become a city reaching from the bay to the ocean.  It was he who suggested a graded highway from the bay to the seacoast; this was Market street.

            The Nomenclature of San Francisco’s streets bears a special significance—the greater number of them being named after important and distinguished persons; others are named after the states of the Union, and still others after the names of the counties of the State.  Tehama and Natoma are of Indian origin.  Spear was named after the first “oldest inhabitant” who died in San Francisco, and Battery street derived its name from a battery of guns from the Presidio established at, or near, the foot of Vallejo street; this was called Fort Montgomery.


Many Newspapers Appeared in 1850.


            Mrs. C. V. Gillespie organized the first Sunday-school on the Pacific Coast in 1848, and the same year a Presbyterian minister held services in the school-house at a salary of $2500 per year.

            Like all frontier towns, San Francisco had the indispensable saloons and gambling resorts; and besides these, bars and liquors were kept in the back rooms of hotels and public houses.  But as regards this, conditions are the same in this, the twentieth century.  Gambling games if various sorts were attended by womanhood discrowned and clothed in painted shame.  Portsmouth Square was covered with resorts of this kind.  Every class of people participated in the amusement—even clergymen unblushingly staked their earnings.  The germ of infection filled the air.  Sixty thousand dollars was the rental paid by gamblers for the second story of the Parker House on Kearny street.  A saloon called the “El Dorado” rented for $40,000, the Miner’s Bank brought $75,000, and the United States Hotel paid $36,000 rental per year.

            Central wharf was completed in 1849; in 1850 it was extended two thousand feet more into the bay, and had cost $180,000.  Following this, eleven others were built, the cost aggregating nearly a million dollars.  Most of them belonged to private individuals, and all were converted into streets as the bay was filled in to a depth where vessels could land with safety.  From Montgomery at the intersection of Jackson street and midway of its first block to the Ferry building has been filled; this area extended beyond Bush street on the east.  The cost and energy consumed in the gigantic undertaking showed the confidence of the people in a city’s future.

            During 1850, many newspapers made their appearance, among them the “Alta California,” “Journal of Commerce,”  “Pacific News,” “San Francisco Daily Herald,” “Evening Picayune,” “Courier,” “Balance,” and “Placer Times.”  By the end of 1854 most of the nationalities of the city had their own papers.  The Chinese were not the least enterprising; their first paper was a sheet of four pages called ”The Gold Hills News” (Gold Hills meaning San Francisco in their language).  Besides the English and Chinese papers there were French, German and Spanish Periodicals.  The life of some of them was short.

            Other events were the organization of “The Society of California Pioneers” and the commemoration of the death of President Taylor.  The first directory was printed, containing thirty-six pages and 2500 names.  A formidable project was carried out by Colonel C. L. Wilson, who built a plank road from Kearny street to the Mission, a distance of two miles and a quarter, and an important political change was the granting of a new charter by the State Legislature to San Francisco.

            All sorts of troubles and financial embarrassments overtook the people during the winter of 1849-50.  The social and moral status was rotten, and there were many robberies and murders.  The town was infested and terrorized by a lawless party called the “Hounds,” a sort of scum of creation of the worst type and of all ages.  Their savagery and depredations became so frequent, the inhabitants became alarmed and the greatest excitement prevailed.  This led to the organization of a Vigilance Committee, with Sam Brannan as the president of the executive department, and four executions took place; other suspects and criminals were sent to the place they came from.  The establishment of lynch law did more to purge the community of desperadoes and lawlessness than any legal proceedings could have done.  The “Hounds” affair led to the formation of “The First California Guards” under a man named Naglee.

            Social features were beginning to be marked at this period in the life of San Francisco.  Two circuses, one on Kearny and the other on Montgomery street, may be called the pioneers of the amusements that followed.  Seats in the pit brought $3, box seats $5, and a private “stall” $55.  The first vocal concert was given in the schoolhouse on the southwest corner of the plaza, June 22, 1849.  Stephen C. Massett of New York was the artist.  The program contained sixteen numbers, all performed by him.  He had a house crowded to suffocation at $3 per ticket.  Four women were present.  Proceeds, $500.  There was only one piano in the country, and it cost him $16 to move it across Portsmouth Square from the old Custom House to the school-room.


Dramatic Instinct Early Domesticated.


            As to theatrical performances, the first were representations of “The Wife” and “Charles II,” both of which were impositions; they were presented in the second story of the “Alta California’ office located on Washington street.  Several theaters were built, the first being the “Eagle.’” “Tehama Theater” soon followed, and then Dramatic Museum” had its day on California street.  The last two were destroyed by the fire of May, 1851.  A new “Jenny Lind” was built of stone by Mr. Maguire the same year, Mrs. Baker being the star for some weeks.  There were other theaters and many places of amusement, not forgetting bullfights.  The “American Theater” was dedicated soon after the “Jenny Lind.”  It was built of brick and the site formed part of the bay.  The night of its dedication the walls sand nearly two inches.  Among the stars were Anna Bishop, Lola Montez, the Rousset sisters, J. B. Booth, Jr., Edwin Booth, and scores of others.

            Dramatic instinct being inherent in human nature, the art was early domesticated in San Francisco.  It has persistently cropped out ever since the foundations of the Greek theater and the Roman circus; and never more remarkably than in this metropolis.  These theaters disappeared in the upward growth of the city and the heroes and heroines of the mimic art, who made their entrée, “To hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature,” have long since been forgotten.  The world’s best artist can be seen and heard in the beautiful theaters of today—even the “Grand Opera House” an say, with Webster, “I still live.”  You can touch elbows with all classes—aristocracy, shopocracy and mobocracy—in the “sky parlor,” and, strange to say, the heart of the motley audience is moved at the same time by pathos or fun, bringing to mind the thought that “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

            In July, printing paper became so scarce that coarse brown paper was substituted and used for months.  The following month a duel was fought between Hon. Edward Gilbert and General J. W. Denver, State Senator from Trinity County.  The former was killed.  On the tenth of the month, commemoration services were held for Henry Clay, the distinguished author and statesman.  Streets and public buildings were draped in black, relieved with wreaths and other ornamentations of whit.  Flags hung at half-mast, bells tolled, and in a procession of people over a mile in length several bands played dead marches.  The “St. Francis Hotel,” built on the corner of Dupont and Clay in 1849, was destroyed by fire in 1853.  In its basement the polls of the first State election were held. 

            The first telegraphic communications in the State was between San Francisco and Point Lobos—a distance of eight miles.  This enterprise was accomplished by Seeny and Baugh.  A station-house was erected on Telegraph Hill, commanding a view of Golden Gate, and a series of signals were formed, whereby the inhabitants of the town were informed of the approach and character of vessels entering the harbor; this proved a most valuable service to business men.  Another was placed at Point Lobos; this had an advantage over that at Telegraph Hill, as incoming vessels could be seen for many miles before reaching Golden Gate, and news of their approach was learned before the vessel entered the bay.


Oil Street Lamps Become Common in 1853.


            Lone Mountain Cemetery (taking its name from the mountain on the south), covering an area of 160 acres, was dedicated with ceremonies May 30, 1854.  During the life of Yerba Buena village, the most of the inhabitants belonged to the Roman Catholic faith and burials were at the Mission.  The population being small, deaths were few and far between.  After the arrival of the mass of immigrants, there were many and no time to go so far.  A public cemetery served for all, but usually the body was hurriedly placed in a shallow grave in the sand near by his tent or in the shadow of a clump of bushes.  Coffins and shrouds were luxuries.  The Russians had a burying plot at Russian Hill, and besides the Jewish Cemetery, there were plots at North Beach, Jappy Valley and Yerba Buena.

            Poor water and drainage were two great drawbacks to San Francisco during its early history.  Wells and few streams supplied part of the demand; the rest was brought from Sausalito in steamboats and placed in the reservoir of the Mountain Lake Water Company, whence it was sold to the consumer from carts.  The leading wells were called the Croton, Cochituate, Dall and Doran; these yielded from 15,000 to 30,000 gallons daily, and the Sausalito Water Company furnished 200,000 gallons more.  Families paid from $3 to $5 a month.

            The first public street lights were oil-lamps, and Merchant street was the first to have them.  Montgomery was next, and it was not until January, 1853, that they become common.  Three years later gas was put on  Front street, between Howard and Fremont.  By the end of 1854 it was generally used.

            General improvements were noted this year.  A branch United States Mint was built on Commercial street, which turned out $100,000 daily.  Granite and brick buildings were erected, street improvements were made, Portsmouth Square was graded and an iron fence placed around it, the fortification of San Francisco harbor was begun, and, what was badly needed, better educational facilities were provided. 

            Public hacks, called “Brewster coaches,” which cost $4000 and had silver-plated trimmings and rich fittings, made half-hourly trips to North Beach, South Park, the Mission, Presidio, Lone Mountain Cemetery, Fort Point, Seal Rock, the Ocean House and Russ Garden.  The Market-street railway was first project, and in 1856 the Mission line began.  The increasing gold yield was followed by a slump.  The blow was serious, but the crisis passed, and industries took on new impetus, strengthened by surer standards.

            In 1858, the Fraser River excitement caused an exodus from April until the last of August of 15,000 men; like all other mining booms, there was more talk than gold, and the disappointed men returned.  Again San Francisco boomed, and its progress was stimulated by the Union War, the flood of 1862, the railroad termini, and the seat of manufacturing industries.  A paid fire department—telegraphic alarms and fire patrols—a stone wall for the waterfront, and sea-walls at Mission Cove and North Beach all showed confidence in the forecast of the city’s horoscope.


New City Rises Like Meteor.


            Montgomery street was the Broadway of the city in 1865; in 1866 Kearny became the leading promenade, then followed Market.  During the sixties there were more millionaires in San Francisco than in any city of its size, in proportion to the population.  One thousand houses were built annually.  At the time of the Centennial celebration, the Palace Hotel was erected; it was the largest structure of the kind in the world, and was the finest of the 27,000 buildings in the city.  Montgomery avenue was opened to connect North Beach with central parts, and Dupont was widened.

            In 1906, the greatest calamity in the history of San Francisco befell it through the agency of fire and earthquake—in fact, it was a disaster recorded in the world’s history—it had to be seen and the consequences experienced to be realized.  Business was paralyzed for a time, but like other events of that nature, it passed into history.  The people rubbed their eyes and awoke; with stout hearts and united efforts they cleared away the debris and over the ashes of the past they builded a new city which has risen like a meteor,--invincible, supreme,--a city, with a great city’s splendor and resources.

            What is surprising, is its many-sided growth—the standard in art, education, literature, and social life.  It contains every diversion and concomitant to be found in America or Europe.  The city covers a radius of twenty miles, and there are good automobile roads radiating from the heart of its civic center to every part of the State.  Its latest achievement is the completion of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition—a world’s fair unequaled by any that has ever preceded it.

            Sixty-five years ago the first fair of the kind was held in the Crystal Palace of London, and since that time there have been fairs of all descriptions.  San Francisco has had her share, there being one conducted by the Mechanic’s Institute in 1857.    Was it worth your money to see?  Yes, it was considered good at that early age of the city, and the art gallery was the center of attraction.  The largest part of the exhibit was an immense painting showing the royal family of the Sandwich Islands taking a horseback ride.  The figures were life size, and both male and female wore flowing garments and rode astride.  There was but one building to hold exhibits; it was made in the shape of a Maltese cross, and built on the southwest corner of Montgomery and Sutter streets.  Another exhibition was given in 1858 in the same place.  In 1860, a larger building was put up, as the exhibits increased in value and numbers, and in 1894 the Midwinter Fair attracted tourists from far and near.

            Since 1906 the business center of the city has been rebuilt; there are over 300 new hotels.  One can find a most perfect street railway system, well-paved streets, beautiful parks, and fine gardens.  Notwithstanding the many times San Francisco has been devastated by fire, it has been rebuilt with better energy and better security against future loss.  It now stands a beautiful city—its great central streets, squares and thoroughfares occupied by the retail stores, lavishly furnished, while the residential portion is lined with artistic and home-like dwellings.  Amusements are as varied as is the character of the people, who work with a will, and play with equal zest.  All of these things cost money—mints of it.  Millions of dollars are spent yearly in recreation, but what would you have?  The people must amuse themselves—they do—and willingly “pay the piper.”  They work, they play, and walk hand in hand with “Sport, that wrinkled Care derides, And Laughter, holding both his sides.”

            Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, Cliff House and Sutro’s Heights are a few of the many outdoor attractions.  San Francisco has become the entrepot of the West and





“The tall, strong city vaunts today

The fairest, comeliest fashioning

 of marble, granite, concrete, clay

That ever fell from human hand;

That ever flourished sea or land,

Or wooed the sea-world’s wide white wings.

This concrete city stands today,

The newest, truest man has wrought;

The tallest, cleanest, strongest—yea,

Thrice strongest city, deed or thought,

Thrice strongest ever lost or won—,

Thrice strongest wall, without, within

That is or ever yet has been

Beneath the broad path of the sun."





Transcribed by Sharon Walford Yost

Source: Fairchild, Frances, “Historical Facts About San Francisco, Grizzly Bear April 1915” page 4, Vol. XVI No. 6, Whole No. 96.  NSGW & NDGW Magazine, San Francisco.

© 2010 Sharon Walford Yost.