1878 Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill

1878 San Francisco: is this a 30 y.o. city?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 5.8%
  • No

    Votes: 47 90.4%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 2 3.8%

  • Total voters
    52
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Welcome to the forum. And yep, that’s the right place, so please share what you have.
 

anotherlayer

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Hi everyone. I'm pretty new to this subject and this forum. This is actually my first post. Anyway, I'm a book collector and have an extensive collection of San Francisciana (as we say) with many books dating to the mid-nineteenth century. I also have some maps of similar vintage. Last night out of curiousity I started flipping through one of the books ("The Annals of San Francisco," 1854) and almost immediately came across the depicted passage, which has enigmatic references to submerged buildings, the "original designers of the town," and so forth.

I was also intrigued by the book plate sticker in the book (of the former owner, one of the early residents of The City), though I'm not sure what it signifies; perhaps someone here knows. I have to say I found some things in this book that struck me as very curious. If this is the right place for that discussion I can post more. Thanks.

Welcome! You do have me intrigued, carry on!
 

jd755

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It was all about land reclamation and ridding the harbour of unwanted and abandoned ships. From here SAILING SHIPS UNDER SAN FRANCISCO (THE CITY)

During the gold rush days (1850's) people descended on San Francisco to trudge north to the newly discovered gold fields and try their luck...and when I say "people" - I mean over 62,000 of them in the course of a year! They got there by ship, of course, as that was pretty much the only way. And some would go home that way - some rich and some totally broke. And some would not go home at all ... for a variety of reasons. When the ships, clipper ships as well as the slower ones, docked in San Francisco, not only did the passengers disembark in their zeal to get to the gold fields, but so did the crew, leaving the ships to rot at the dock. As San Francisco grew, more ground space was needed to build on and so the waterfront got filled in, often using the rotting hulls as base for the fill and sometimes as foundations for new buildings.

In one of the links I posted above is a tale of how the city sold underwater lots off provided a ship would be sunk on the lot and thus they would approve the claim of title to the ship and the land under it. At first the ships were simply stuck fast in the mud but eventually the mud was turned to land by the removal of soil from the sand hills during the grading shenanigans and then a fire ocurred which burnt all of them down to ground level and finally they were simply filled in with more sand and built over.

17885

17886
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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When the ships, clipper ships as well as the slower ones, docked in San Francisco, not only did the passengers disembark in their zeal to get to the gold fields, but so did the crew, leaving the ships to rot at the dock.
I thought they all immediately grabbed a tool and started building the city.

Something smells in this entire story.
 

jd755

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Another photo perusal.

Construction on top of the hill. Windows yet to be added points to ongoing work. Also good shot of the style of scaffolding in use and a smoky chimney bottom right.

17887


A surveyor or photographer on a roof.
17888

Now this is weird. A building contained within a wooden wall higher than the building.

17889


Antlers presumably on a store of some kind.
17891

A pile of sand or gavel for use in the roadway points to ongoing work as do the barrels.

17892


A lawn sprinkler in use.
17894

High level air vent a form of early air conditioning. Cool air in underground hot air out in the eaves.

17905

A ball valve in a header tank with the ball clearly visible. Points to head pressure water aka indoor plumbing.

17900

A really clear gas light showing the chimney on the top.

17903

This is I think a lime plaster or lime mortar mixing tub on wheels so is portable. The chimney is to let the dangerous gas that gets produced during the process, which also generates great heat hence the metal container, get dawn off above head height.

17904
I thought they all immediately grabbed a tool and started building the city.

Something smells in this entire story.
Told you. The named mormon arriving then announcing 'gold' is a dead giveaway in my book. Again Why this place when it has nothing going for it?

Map and the ships.
17906

VESSELS BEACHED, SCUTTLED AND BROKEN UP:
  1. Niantic: Storeship and general office, later hotel saloon.
  2. General Harrison: Storeship.
  3. Apollo: Storeship, boardinghouse and saloon.
  4. Georgian: Storeship.
  5. A brig: Storeship, name unknown.
  6. Euphemia: Prison and "receptacle for the insane."
  7. Thomas Bennett: Storeship, grocery store.
  8. Fame: Storeship.
  9. Francis Ann: Storeship.
  10. Louisa: Storeship. Formerly yacht of king of the Hawaiian Islands.
  11. Balance: Storeship. Built of teak and 92 years old when she arrived in San Francisco. Other records show her as being on Davis, near Jackson, and also as being buried under Balance Street between Jackson and Gold.
  12. Callao: Storeship. Other records show her at the corner of Mission and Beale.
  13. Byron: Storeship.
  14. Alida: Storeship.
  15. Panama: Storeship. Later Seaman's Bethel. Also referred to as the Methodist Church.
  16. Cordova: Storeship. Water ship.
  17. Globe: Storeship. Other records place her on Davis between Oregon and Jackson.
  18. Garnet: Storeship.
  19. Elizabeth: Storeship and general office; later owned by Collector Customs and used for bonded warehouse for Port.
  20. Rome (or Roma): Russian ship. used as a coal ship.
  21. Hardie: Storeship.
  22. Noble: Storeship.
  23. Elmira: Storeship.
  24. Bethel: Storeship. Other records place her at corner of Pacific and Drumm.
  25. Inez: Storeship. Former whaler.
  26. Almandralina: Storeship.
  27. Arkansas: Commonly referred to as the "Old Ship." Tavern. A hotel later built over her. Other records place her on north side of Pacific between Battery and Front, and at the corner of Battery and Pacific
  28. A brig: Name unknown. The Bay Hotel built over her. Other records place her near southeast corner of Battery and Green.
  29. Fortuna: Hotel.
  30. Philip Hone: Storeship.
  31. Ricardo: Storeship. Later boarding house.
  32. Brilliant: Storeship and boarding house.
  33. Magnolia: Storeship and boarding house.
  34. Palmyra: Storeship.
  35. Henry Lee: Storeship. "...lay for a long time on the site now (1882) occupied by Selby's store."
  36. Autumn: Storeship.
  37. Stieglitz: Storeship "on the south side of Washington Street."
  38. Salem: Storeship "lay for several years on California Street." Broken up at Rincon Point.
  39. Trescott: Storeship.
  40. Tecumseh: Storeship.
  41. Othello: "...used as a storeship on Steuart Street."
  42. Galen: Storeship "moored on Market Street in the center of six water lots."
 
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norton

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Now that I'm off work I will recite some of the more interesting things I found in the book Annals of San Francisco from 1854:

- A recurring theme in the book is the idea that the citizens of San Francisco, being mostly young men, were unusually fond of elaborate practical jokes and satire, even allowing these to contaminate official records and news reports; readers are thus cautioned to be wary of taking the latter too seriously.

- It is admitted that the fires which reportedly destroyed the city repeatedly were of a peculiar nature in that they a) were of a very short duration, b) generated so much smoke that the flames were almost concealed therein, and c) invariably occurred during the night. The conflagration of 1851 is reported to have been so horrible that "descriptions by the pen would be but dark lines , and the painter has not found the colors nor the light and shade which could do it justice." The only calamity analogous to this fire, says the author, was "the burning of Moscow." This utter destruction notwithstanding, "fully one fifth of the whole number [of buildings] destroyed was again fit for habitation and business" just ten days later.

- Russian Hill, so designated even in the very early days of the city, was apparently named for its former Russian occupants, on the summit of which was "a burying ground of the Russian settlers of the town and bay." While Russian settlers and fur trappers are reported to have traversed the areas north of San Francisco, their presence in the city itself is omitted from the standard history. Wikipedia says, implausibly, that in the cemetery were buried sailors who met their death on the Russian Merchant ships sailing in the area.

- Strangely, Australia is seemingly regarded as relatively close-by, which circumstance is adduced in explanation of the prevalence of Australian troublemakers in the city.

- Much is made of the many races comingling in San Francisco: the Chinese, the Germans, the Spanish, the French, the Mexicans, the (local) Indians and so forth. The predicate "native," however, is used only to refer to those (white people) born in the Spanish territory of California or--inexplicably--in England.

- The book reproduces in facsimile form a contemporary concert program, one act of which ("Yankee Town Meeting") features a Mr. Massett giving "imitations of seven different persons who had assembled for the purpose of 'suppressing the press.'"

One point of history that I think should be reexamined is the person of Emperor Norton I. The official line is that he was a crackpot but so charming that the entire city humored his delusion, even going so far as to honor his--supposedly--self-made currency. (Somewhat off-topic: there is a ontemporary character in San Francisco named Frank Chu who attained the indulgence of the city in a somewhat like manner; a bar in the Mission District, Twelve Galaxies, is named after the intricate conspiracy he propounds.)

Regarding the emperor, a second source, B. E. Lloyd, relates that before entering his delusion, Norton, an Englishman, had been involved in negotiating a treaty between France and Russia. He is also described as one of the largest landowners in California.

I will post more tidbits of interest as I find them.

17931179321793317934179351793617937179381793917940

Now this is weird. A building contained within a wooden wall higher than the building.

17943

That, I believe, is the spite wall built by Charles Crocker around the property of a neighbor in revenge for refusing to sell the lot to him. It would have been on nob hill. That's the story at least.
 

jd755

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And another pair.
A roof being repaired? Canopy over the scaffolding suggests keeping the rain off whilst it is re-roofed.

17946

A roof garden. Points to occupation.

17947

A laid down trestle points to work being done/about to be done on the chimney.

17948

A downspout shoe which then runs across the roof before dropping down anther downspout, mid picture. Tucked in the corner the whitish looking things is a piss funnel (don't know the correct term) but basically it is a giant funnel with a pipe dropping to the ground and presumably into a soakaway down which the chamber pot full of pee was emptied. The small pipe running up the all then across the roof is mains water used to flush the contents downwards.

17949

This one is from a more rundown part of town here we can see the half broken downspout draining into a covered rainwater collection barrel. My feelin is this building is old and was never connected to the water main. The smaller roof bottom right could be the roof of an outhouse.

17950

As it is not disimilar in dimension to this one.

17951

An old dolls house/church spotted on a low roof in the rundown part of town.

17952

No idea what that wooden looking set of structural remains is or rather was.

17953

An upturned table stored outside. Points to occupation/upgrading of living standards.

17955

Most likely a piss funnel given the size of the pipe dropping out of the bottom. The smaller pipe to the right attached to the window frame probably terminates in a tap which is used to flush the contents of the chamber pot down the pipe so most likely solids and pee went down to whatever is at the bottom. Will have to look closer to see if I can find an example in the remaining pictures.

17957

Two others from the picture timeshifter covered above.
A truly awesome chimney structure with to the left another gas radiant heater vent and behind it a header tank where once again we see a ball valve ball in some clarity.

17958

An equally impressive metal air vent part of early aircon.

17959

Norton thanks for identifying the walled in building.

From Paradise Found, Nature in America at the Time of Discovery by Steve Nichols
Some snippets about what once was in San Francisco and the immediate area. In a word abundance.
First I have read this book twice. The first time simply left me utterly deflated. The second time left me utterly disgusted.
First time was how poor this artificial wold of 'lack' is and the second how quickly the 'money program' instilled in us all that we 'have to buy and sell life in order to live' reduces the natural absolute abundance down to next to nothing or extinction in pretty short order.
Now having found stolenhistory the penny has dropped that this is an engineered removal of people from their natural state of being. Why I know not.

"California has more unique plants and animals than any other state" P Steinhart Californias Wild Heritage 1990

"The central valley runs north to south for four hundred miles following the rivers that drain into San Francisco bay. All these rivers were lined with tall riverine forests often containing enormous valley oaks and further from the rivers the valley became an open prairie of long lived bunch grasses interspersed with great marshes of tule reeds."

"One explorer (quoted from The eyes of discovery 1950 J Bakeless) found an infinity of rose bushes in full bloom. While the first expedition to view the site of the future city of San Francisco found the Presidio to be 'very green and flower covered, with an abundance of violets'."


No date for the second quote or source but significantly no mention of forest or trees at the site.

"Around San Francisco bay visitors were warned about 'the bears wolves or tiger-cats which are very plentiful in these woods'." (W Preston)

"Three years after Portolas expedition [so 1772] Spanish settlers around Los Osos sent nine thousand pounds of grizzly meat to the struggling northern missions to fend off starvation."

"In the fall of 1769 the Portola expedition found the huge expanse of San Francisco bay which had been missed by all previous expeditions along the coast. Portolas men arrived in the fall when countless skeins of geese were dropping out of the sky onto the extensive marshes and lakes"

"Shortly after the pioneering efforts of Portola Juan Bautista de Anza set off from New pain to establish a more direct route to Alta California and to open the way for building a chain of missions. His route became known as Camino Real--The Royal Road linking 21 missions. With the Mission Era life changed very quickly for the land and the Indians."

"The idea was the indians would be encouraged to settle around the missions, convert to the new religion and become honest farmers and help support the Spanish presence there."
"In hindsight it is clear the missions were really just a dressed up version of the encomieda system that served the Spanish so well in the early days of empire, and which in turn was a dressed up version of the slave plantation system by which other European powers exploited the New World"


So clearly or so it appears to me this force for want of a better word that replaced the abundance with religion and commerce (the true twins of evil in my book) seems to have first appeared on the continent of Europe.

"In other words, in California--the continents greatest flowering of human diversity--hundreds of distinct, locally adapted cultures were to be reduced to uniformity and conformity."

Does that sound like Eden being pillaged in the name of religion and commerce?
Does that sound like a predecessor culture far more advanced that the one based in such cruelty of religion and commerce?
Sure does to me.

"The millions of waterfowl that came to Californias marshes and prairies were forced to turn to the missions crops as wetlands were drained for farming."

One explanation for all the bloody sand in San Franciso.

"The mission fathers responded by poisoning hundreds of thousands of them by spreading strychnine across the fields."

Nothing created by god must get in the way of financially profiting from gods creations to feed the twins of evil and if it happened to also poison a few customers along the way it didn't seem to matter.

"the coastal prairies suffered the most as the missions were concentrated along the coast. not only were they overgrazed but as the indians were drawn into the mission life the coastal prairies were no longer burned which allowed scrub to invade the grasslands."

And what do those picture provide evidence of this abomination of scrubby sand persisting into the late 1800's.

"By 1847 the US Army was in Mexico City and in 1848, in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo the United States was expanded by the addition of Texas, New Mexico and Alta California."

Then shortly after along come the Mormons and one James Marshall who 'found gold'

"In the middle of the nineteenth century the Shasta Crayfish were so numerous in Coyote Creek in California that they gave rise to an extensive fishery. By the turn of the century there were none left."

This snippet above points to the fact that San Francisco was undergoing a population boom and real dynamic change.

"In 1827 the French traveler, Auguste Duhaut-Cilly described just how abundant the pelicans were on the island of Alcatraz. 'A rifle shot we fired across these feathered legions made them rise in a dense cloud with a noise like that of hurricanes."

Pelicans eat a lot of fish so a lot of pelicans means an awful lot of fish must have been present in the bay as late as 1827. Abundance in the sea seems to have survived far longer than the abundance of the land.

"Raymond Dasmann in the Destruction of California describes the period between 1850 and 1910 as one of massive faunal change."

So from 'first contact' the decline had been slow to manifest then suddenly just as the inhospsitable land of San Francisco was 'planted' or rather 'seeded' with people the abundance turned into lack.
The devastation up until the Mormons arrival means the land was singularly unsuited for occupation denuded and striped of its abundance over a couple of hundred years so it begs the question once again why San Francicso in particular.

To me it is beginning to feel what is being described above is 'the old way' so too speak. Some call it Tartary some Atlantis but to me it is simply the old way which was always 'in its place with the world' and for some reason I know not church and commerce and the people behind them were seeking to destroy it.
I know I keep repeating this but it repeats in me stronger and stronger.

Is this part of the answer to WHY San Francisco?
From here The Gold Rush: Behind the Hype - FoundSF
On May 2, 1846, Thomas Larkin, the United States consul in the colonial capital of Monterey, wrote to Secretary of State James Buchanan, and to Captain John Montgomery aboard the Portsmouth, a U.S. Navy ship off the California coast: "There is no doubt in my mind but that gold, silver, copper, quicksilver, lead, sulphur, and coal mines are to be found all over California.
Eleven days later the United States used a border dispute in Texas as an excuse to declare war on Mexico.
The war, and the gold rush that followed, came at great cost to native peoples and the environment--and to the settlers themselves.
 
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norton

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And another pair.
A roof being repaired? Canopy over the scaffolding suggests keeping the rain off whilst it is re-roofed.
View attachment 17946

A roof garden. Points to occupation.
View attachment 17947

A laid down trestle points to work being done/about to be done on the chimney.
View attachment 17948

A downspout shoe which then runs across the roof before dropping down anther downspout, mid picture. Tucked in the corner the whitish looking things is a piss funnel (don't know the correct term) but basically it is a giant funnel with a pipe dropping to the ground and presumably into a soakaway down which the chamber pot full of pee was emptied. The small pipe running up the all then across the roof is mains water used to flush the contents downwards.
View attachment 17949
This one is from a more rundown part of town here we can see the half broken downspout draining into a covered rainwater collection barrel. My feelin is this building is old and was never connected to the water main. The smaller roof bottom right could be the roof of an outhouse.
View attachment 17950

As it is not disimilar in dimension to this one.
View attachment 17951

An old dolls house/church spotted on a low roof in the rundown part of town.
View attachment 17952

No idea what that wooden looking set of structural remains is or rather was.
View attachment 17953

An upturned table stored outside. Points to occupation/upgrading of living standards.
View attachment 17955

Most likely a piss funnel given the size of the pipe dropping out of the bottom. The smaller pipe to the right attached to the window frame probably terminates in a tap which is used to flush the contents of the chamber pot down the pipe so most likely solids and pee went down to whatever is at the bottom. Will have to look closer to see if I can find an example in the remaining pictures.
View attachment 17957

Two others from the picture timeshifter covered above.
A truly awesome chimney structure with to the left another gas radiant heater vent and behind it a header tank where once again we see a ball valve ball in some clarity.
View attachment 17958

An equally impressive metal air vent part of early aircon.View attachment 17959

Norton thanks for identifying the walled in building.
Post automatically merged:

From Paradise Found, Nature in America at the Time of Discovery by Steve Nichols
Some snippets about what once was in San Francisco and the immediate area. In a word abundance.
First I have read this book twice. The first time simply left me utterly deflated. The second time left me utterly disgusted.
First time was how poor this artificial wold of 'lack' is and the second how quickly the 'money program' instilled in us all that we 'have to buy and sell life in order to live' reduces the natural absolute abundance down to next to nothing or extinction in pretty short order.
Now having found stolenhistory the penny has dropped that this is an engineered removal of people from their natural state of being. Why I know not.

"California has more unique plants and animals than any other state" P Steinhart Californias Wild Heritage 1990

"The central valley runs north to south for four hundred miles following the rivers that drain into San Francisco bay. All these rivers were lined with tall riverine forests often containing enormous valley oaks and further from the rivers the valley became an open prairie of long lived bunch grasses interspersed with great marshes of tule reeds."

"One explorer (quoted from The eyes of discovery 1950 J Bakeless) found an infinity of rose bushes in full bloom. While the first expedition to view the site of the future city of San Francisco found the Presidio to be 'very green and flower covered, with an abundance of violets'."


No date for the second quote or source but significantly no mention of forest or trees at the site.

"Around San Francisco bay visitors were warned about 'the bears wolves or tiger-cats which are very plentiful in these woods'." (W Preston)

"Three years after Portolas expedition [so 1772] Spanish settlers around Los Osos sent nine thousand pounds of grizzly meat to the struggling northern missions to fend off starvation."

"In the fall of 1769 the Portola expedition found the huge expanse of San Francisco bay which had been missed by all previous expeditions along the coast. Portolas men arrived in the fall when countless skeins of geese were dropping out of the sky onto the extensive marshes and lakes"

"Shortly after the pioneering efforts of Portola Juan Bautista de Anza set off from New pain to establish a more direct route to Alta California and to open the way for building a chain of missions. His route became known as Camino Real--The Royal Road linking 21 missions. With the Mission Era life changed very quickly for the land and the Indians."

"The idea was the indians would be encouraged to settle around the missions, convert to the new religion and become honest farmers and help support the Spanish presence there."
"In hindsight it is clear the missions were really just a dressed up version of the encomieda system that served the Spanish so well in the early days of empire, and which in turn was a dressed up version of the slave plantation system by which other European powers exploited the New World"


So clearly or so it appears to me this force for want of a better word that replaced the abundance with religion and commerce (the true twins of evil in my book) seems to have first appeared on the continent of Europe.

"In other words, in California--the continents greatest flowering of human diversity--hundreds of distinct, locally adapted cultures were to be reduced to uniformity and conformity."

Does that sound like Eden being pillaged in the name of religion and commerce?
Does that sound like a predecessor culture far more advanced that the one based in such cruelty of religion and commerce?
Sure does to me.

"The millions of waterfowl that came to Californias marshes and prairies were forced to turn to the missions crops as wetlands were drained for farming."

One explanation for all the bloody sand in San Franciso.

"The mission fathers responded by poisoning hundreds of thousands of them by spreading strychnine across the fields."

Nothing created by god must get in the way of financially profiting from gods creations to feed the twins of evil and if it happened to also poison a few customers along the way it didn't seem to matter.

"the coastal prairies suffered the most as the missions were concentrated along the coast. not only were they overgrazed but as the indians were drawn into the mission life the coastal prairies were no longer burned which allowed scrub to invade the grasslands."

And what do those picture provide evidence of this abomination of scrubby sand persisting into the late 1800's.

"By 1847 the US Army was in Mexico City and in 1848, in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo the United States was expanded by the addition of Texas, New Mexico and Alta California."

Then shortly after along come the Mormons and one James Marshall who 'found gold'

"In the middle of the nineteenth century the Shasta Crayfish were so numerous in Coyote Creek in California that they gave rise to an extensive fishery. By the turn of the century there were none left."

This snippet above points to the fact that San Francisco was undergoing a population boom and real dynamic change.

"In 1827 the French traveler, Auguste Duhaut-Cilly described just how abundant the pelicans were on the island of Alcatraz. 'A rifle shot we fired across these feathered legions made them rise in a dense cloud with a noise like that of hurricanes."

Pelicans eat a lot of fish so a lot of pelicans means an awful lot of fish must have been present in the bay as late as 1827. Abundance in the sea seems to have survived far longer than the abundance of the land.

"Raymond Dasmann in the Destruction of California describes the period between 1850 and 1910 as one of massive faunal change."

So from 'first contact' the decline had been slow to manifest then suddenly just as the inhospsitable land of San Francisco was 'planted' or rather 'seeded' with people the abundance turned into lack.
The devastation up until the Mormons arrival means the land was singularly unsuited for occupation denuded and striped of its abundance over a couple of hundred years so it begs the question once again why San Francicso in particular.

To me it is beginning to feel what is being described above is 'the old way' so too speak. Some call it Tartary some Atlantis but to me it is simply the old way which was always 'in its place with the world' and for some reason I know not church and commerce and the people behind them were seeking to destroy it.
I know I keep repeating this but it repeats in me stronger and stronger.
Regarding the philosophy that conceives of commercial exploitation as the highest virtue, such is epitomized in the book I just discussed. Here are a few of the judgments offered in that vein:

"The hopes of the intelligent being are infinitely more agreeable and ennobling than those of the untutored, brutal savage. Therefore it may be concluded that, apart from sickly sentimentalism and Rousseau-like theories, the sooner the aborigines of California are altogether quietly weeded away, the better for humanity. Yet the Fathers would retain them; then sweep away the Fathers too"

"Better, a thousand times, that the missions and all their two-legged and four-legged beasts should be ruthlessly swept away then that so fine a country, one so favored and framed by beautiful nature for the support, comfort, and elevation of her worthier children, should longer lie a physical and moral waste--a blotch on the face of fair creation."

"What are these brown things, after all but beasts--irrational beings who might have a soul to be saved, but whom it was absurd to consider having a mind!"

"The railway across, or through the Snowy and Rocky Mountains, which will bind all North America with its iron arm into one mighty empire, will facilitate the operation. And then San Francisco--in the execution and triumph of that scheme, will assuredly become what Liverpool, or even London is to England, and what New York is to the Middle and Eastern States of America--a grand depot for numberless manufactures and produce, and a harbor for the fleets of every nation. Long before that time, the English and American peoples will have finished the last great struggle which must some day take place between them for the commercial and political supremacy of the world. It is more than probable that the hosts of English from India, and Americans from California will meet on the rich and densely peopled plains of China and there decide their rival pretensions to universal dominion."

"China, like India has long been used to, and its national spirit broken by the usurping governments of foreign races. And even while we write, its extensive dominions are being separated by a widespread and hitherto successful rebellion...these may be easily played off, one against another, by a white people skilled enough to take advantage of circumstances and direct the moves of the political chess board."

"These people need not and most of them probably cannot be swept from the face of the earth; but undoubtedly their national characteristics and opposing qualities and customs must be materially modified and closely assimilated to those of the civilizing and dominant race."
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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On May 2, 1846, Thomas Larkin, the United States consul in the colonial capital of Monterey, wrote to Secretary of State James Buchanan, and to Captain John Montgomery aboard the Portsmouth, a U.S. Navy ship off the California coast: "There is no doubt in my mind but that gold, silver, copper, quicksilver, lead, sulphur, and coal mines are to be found all over California.
LOL. That is a statement you do not make, unless you know something others do not.
 

jd755

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Korben one for you North Beach Images - OpenSF History Images - Western Neighborhoods Project - San Francisco History
A library full of images like these.

17986


17987


17988

Okay so here is the abridged story of this Brannan the mormon character. For the full sp go here https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/california-saints-150-year-legacy-golden-state/chapter-2-samuel-brannan-and-eastern-saintsI find it extremely suspicious that so much detail is know about this man who was to 'become famous.
  • Brannan was born on 2 March 1819 in Saco, a town near the southern coast of Maine. His family’s religious background is not known. He was the son of a hard-drinking, sometimes cruel father and a somewhat kinder mother.
  • Samuel’s older sister, Mary Ann, and her husband, Alexander Badlam, took him with them when they moved to northeastern Ohio.
  • Just when he became a Latter day Saint is not known. However, at age sixteen he was among some one hundred who had worked on the Kirtland Temple and were blessed by Joseph Smith on 7 March 1835.
  • As he became an adult, he wanted to see other parts of the country. During the next few years, by his own report, he “visited every State in the Union.”
  • On 15 September 1845, Brigham Young wrote to Brannan: “I wish you together with your press, paper, and ten thousand of the brethren were now in California at the Bay of St. Francisco, and if you can clear yourself and go there, do so and we will meet you there.”
  • Church leaders in the eastern states received instructions from “our worthy Presidents, the Twelve . . . to council us to make our journey to the place of our future destiny by water, as soon as arrangements can be conveniently made.”
  • the second half of the 8 November issue announced: “We have ascertained that saints in the Eastern states can emigrate to the other side of the Rocky Mountains by water, with half the expense attending a journey by land, and they can take many things that could not be taken over the mountains.”
  • Following the apostles’ instruction, Elder Orson Pratt wrote a letter to the Saints that was published in the next edition. He admonished them to flee “as exiles from this wicked nation.”
  • “Elder Samuel Brannan is hereby appointed to preside over, and take charge of the company that goes by sea,” Elder Pratt continued, “and all who go with him will be required to give strict heed to his instruction and counsel.”
  • It must have been difficult for the Saints to turn their backs on a country which their ancestors had fought to secure as a land of freedom and opportunity. And yet, the promised justice for all seemed not to apply to Latter-day Saints, as was pointed out by Brannan in the following resolution he presented to the conference:
    Whereas, we as a people have sought to obey the great commandment of the dispensation of the fullness of times, by gathering ourselves together; and as often as we have done so, we have been sorely persecuted . . . our houses burned, and we disinherited of our possessions, . . . And . . . inasmuch as the people and authorities of the United States have sanctioned such proceedings without manifesting any disposition to sustain us in our constitutional rights, . . . Resolved, That we hail with joy the Proclamation of our brethren from the City of Joseph [Nauvoo] to make preparations for our immediate departure, . . . Resolved, that the church in this city [New York] move, one and all, west of the Rocky Mountains, between this and next season, either by land or water; and that we most earnestly pray all our brethren in this eastern country to join with us.
  • Thus was his leadership established. His potential was reflected in his receiving stewardship, at the age of only twenty-six, for the lives of all who would sail with him.
  • Left largely to his own devices in New York, young Samuel Brannan faced an almost superhuman task. Time was short. A ship had to be ready to sail in only about two months and in the middle of winter.
  • They could not be certain they would be granted landing privileges in Mexican-controlled California.
  • The challenges faced by Brannan, Brigham Young, and the rest of the Saints were further complicated by a deteriorating international situation. Many in the United States believed it was the “Manifest Destiny” of the U.S. to occupy the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In July 1845, President James K. Polk, hoping to annex much of the Southwest, including California, ordered troops into territory claimed by Mexico. War was in the air. It was possible that the only welcoming party the Brooklyn would encounter would be the Mexican army or a gunboat ready to rebuff them. At this same time, American relations with Great Britain were also strained, because both powers wanted to possess the Oregon Territory.
  • Another correspondent gave a more realistic figure when he wrote that there were “about 10,000 Mormons ready to start for California & that they will reach out 25 miles with their waggons etc. Look out for an avalanch.” He also warned Larkin to “settle all your affairs promptly next spring. You will have all the Mormonry among you, who will act towards you as the Israelites did to the nations among whom they came, kill you all off & take possession of your worldly gear.”
  • On 6 March 1846, Consul Larkin reported that news of the approaching Saints had “caused some excitement and fear among the natives.”
  • Though California’s population was sparse, the Brooklyn Saints did not exactly arrive in a vacuum. In fact, it is possible that a few Latter-day Saints may have reached California even before Brannan and the Brooklyn colony. A group of immigrants arriving in 1845 was led by William Brown Ide, who had participated in the “Bear Flag Revolt” a month before the Brooklyn arrived.
  • On 14 June 1846, just six weeks before the arrival of the Brooklyn, a small group of Yankee settlers raised their “bear flag” in revolt against Mexican rule. On 7 July, Commodore John D. Sloat, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, raised the U.S. flag over the customs house at Monterey. And on 9 July, Capt. John B. Montgomery of the U.S. sloop Portsmouth raised the American flag at the plaza in Yerba Buena. Yet, it was the Brooklyn which, on 31 July, brought an adequate number to implant firmly and permanently, without armed conflict, the Yankee way of life.
  • On Monday morning, Montgomery directed his men to help unload the Brooklyn. One of his men left a written account: “The cargo of the Brooklyn consisted of the most heterogeneous mass of material ever crowded together; in fact, it seemed as if, like the ark of Noah, it contained a representative for every mortal thing the mind of man had ever conceived. Agricultural, mechanical and manufacturing tools were in profuse abundance; dry goods, groceries, and hardware, were dug out from the lower depths of the hold, and speedily transferred on shore, our men working with a will which showed the good feeling they bore for the parties to whom they belonged. A Printing Press and all its appurtenances, next came along.”
  • Though initially hesitating at the suggestion, Captain Richardson, realizing that the Saints were destitute, agreed to accept a shipload of valuable redwood timber to pay off the remaining expense of the voyage. Brannan called for volunteers to go north across the Bay to present-day Marin County where they could obtain the redwood. “Part of the company went to South Seleter [Sausalito],” Glover wrote, “hired a sawmill, hauled the logs, sawed and delivered the lumber and paid the debt.”
  • Others went to work around Sutter’s Fort. Sutter’s Fort had been built only a few years earlier by John A. Sutter, an immigrant from Germany who sought to establish a colony in Central California.
  • Though the village had been claimed by the United States, it was by no means secure. Mexican soldiers were still around, and they opposed the idea of the Yankees taking over. Skirmishes continued throughout the territory. Montgomery immediately pressed into service the seventy partly prepared soldiers of the Brooklyn to aid him in defending against what he thought could be an imminent Mexican attack.
  • During the late summer or early autumn of 1846, Samuel Brannan took communal funds to the San Joaquin Valley, about seventy miles east of Yerba Buena, to acquire land and begin a farm.
  • Two of Brannan’s concerns were economics and industry. The communal pact signed aboard the Brooklyn was converted into a firm known as “Samuel Brannan and Company,” which owned all means of production: the printing press, the sawmills, the flour mill, and various other tools and implements.
  • But the Brooklyn Saints seemed to be no more ready to live under the constraints of a cooperative organization than were those in Kirtland. The grumbling that began on the ship continued and intensified, some feeling that “communal” ownership meant “Brannan” ownership.
  • Furthermore, Brannan excommunicated three men for drunkenness or other infractions. These, along with the excommunications during the voyage, caused a permanent rift within the Brooklyn colony.
  • Despite the clamor, by the fall Brannan was earning a steady income publishing documents and bulletins for government officials and the general public.
  • Thus Latter-day Saints were in California while it was still a Mexican province. They came as pilgrims and as farmers.
  • Latter-day Saints were intimately involved in the discovery of gold in 1848. Under the direction of foreman James Marshall, several Saints were employed digging a race for Capt. John A. Sutter’s sawmill on the American River. “Some of the Mormon boys had been raised among the gold mines in the Southern States,” Addison Pratt pointed out, “and among the hills about the upper mill they saw strong indications of the precious metal.. . but as their work press’d them hard, they had no time to spare for prospecting, altho it was often talked of.”
  • Then read the detailed, very detailed pre discovery and discovery tale here Chapter 7: Saints and Gold | Religious Studies Center
 
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NowhereMan

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Panorama of San Francisco by Eadweard Muybridge, 1878
Related: 1878 Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill
For what it's worth, I believe I've identified the old San Francisco Mint (built 1874), AKA The Granite Lady, in the 1878 panorama. It is one of the very few buildings to survive the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and still stands today (although the chimneys seem to have been removed at one point).
1811718115181141811318112
 
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KorbenDallas

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So, if this city is not 30 years old, what age do we think it could be?
 

jd755

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Yes that is the mint as Eddie wrote on the panorama.

18164

And from Aldebrans map here it is with the number 152 stuck on it.

18165

Number 130 is the Palace Hotel. Judging by the number of water tanks on its roof this building is fully plumbed hot and cold running water and may, only may be fitted with toilets.

As for it not being thirty years old. I see nothing which suggests that the 1878 pictures are not a progression from the earlier one of 1865. It's feels to me that it really was a place chosen to be deliberately settled and basically the people running the United States in the mid 1800's stole another country's land, Mexico in this instance, by the actions of running up flags. Nothing new there it's probably what countries were invented for to break apart the old world where there was a 'union of people's for want of a better term.

These people do seem to have prior knowledge of some sort about the area. I find it inconceivable that streams glittering with gold went unnoticed for centuries of English/Spanish/French occupation and god knows how many years of predecessor culture occupation.
Although to the 'pre money cult' culture gold had use value along with everything else they had no need of the illusory financial riches and ownership of things, of that I am convinced.

Where that knowledge came from is not yet known. What do you think the age is?

Overflowing population and rising 'land prices' would lead to this sort of to me insane development which points to the city expanding exponentially.

18193

That iron or mild steel or galvanized mild steel water main is running above ground over the rock and then dives in bottom right suggesting the town main is buried and not surface running.

18180

A massive header tank alongside a gas flue suggests that underneath is a gas fired boiler possibly for a laundry.

18182

Old as in 1865 style buildings. The first I have come across.

18190

Pulley's hooked into the gutter connected to a plank or bosuns chair arrangement (too dark to see) used to finish off aka paint/render the outside of the building, maintain it or simply to clean the windows.

18184

The pair of gutter hooks holding up the pulley's.

18185

Window shutters waiting to be fitted.

18181

The little steamer I mentioned in a post above.

18183

Cannot tell what is going on on this roof. If anybody else can please chime in.

18187

Another section of weird walling possibly the owner of the building being 'walled off' refused to sell it to the owner of the building doing the blocking.

18189

No idea what this is. It looks to be five sided with railings all round and a stair up to it. It's a platform on stilts or columns. Something in the act of being built maybe. Again if you can solve it please do.

18192

A similar but less refined version nearby.

18191

A water tower. Fire hydrant pressure maybe?

18188

At least ten women or girls stood on the boardwalk.

18186

This is an out of place round structure being used to hold up washing lines. What it is/was is anyone's guess.

18178

A steam tug with smoking funnel and two dockside or possibly floating cranes.

18179

Go on then a real challenge. What is going on with this building not least with the 'cut away' top? The first truly 'out of place' building I've come across and pyramidal to boot.

18173

And this looks like a carnival duck sat on a roof. It probably isn't but if you know please tell.

18177

This looks to be a wheel of some sort, quite a big one again what it is in reality and why it is where it is, on a roof seems very strange.

18176

Horse and cart with a ghostly man alongside the rear wheel.

18169

A man in the middle ground on the boardwalk.

18174

People on the boardwalk and horse in the background.

18172

Plasterers/renderers baths, barrels, materials, trestles and water supply.

18168


A postbox on a gas light.
18170

I feel very urgently (no better way to put its arrival) that this map https://www.stolenhistory.org/attachments/l-jpg.18207/

18219

From this thread Tartar or Tatar?

Reveals what was going on in recent times.

"But after a complete "cleansing" of the territory of Orthodox Christianity (Church Map 1842). All white is “clean” territory; we have gray - pagans and savages, no Christians."

This is why San Francisco was deliberately settled by the people chosen by religious money cult. Doesn't matter what name the conquering religion bears be it catholic, jesuit, mormon, freemason etc they are all working for the same masters.

Stands out a mile to me. What do you feel?
 
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Timeshifter

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I feel I need to take some time to digest all of this excellent info @jd755

But it seems to me perhaps there is more than one reality at play here, or should I say more than one narrative

Head hurts..
 

jd755

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I feel I need to take some time to digest all of this excellent info @jd755

But it seems to me perhaps there is more than one reality at play here, or should I say more than one narrative

Head hurts..
You are not alone dear friend, not alone. Painting a past over the passed in the present to hide it from the future is what is coming out at me.

Seems sewers were being used at least as early as 1873 From here Filling in of San Francisco's Lake McCoppin - 1873

The Lake Region Filled In.
Of all the stagnant lakes and swamps which once extended irregularly from Dolores street to Mission Creek, between Seventeenth and Nineteenth streets, only a small patch is left--south of Eighteenth and east of Dolores;--the remainder has all been filled in much to the relief of the nostrils of those who live Missionward. The last of Lake McCoppin is now disappearing from view. A wooden sewer, large enough for a six-footer to promenade through, was lately laid on Eighteenth, with Dolores street toward Mission Creek; it will carry off the surplus water which flows down from the adjacent Mission hills. San Francisco Real Estate Circular
February 1873


From here William T. Sherman and the Gold Rush - Part II

A different take on the mormon Sam Brannan and why they were 'after California, which at the time was still the property of Mexico.

In my opinion, when the Mormons were driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, they cast about for a land where they would not be disturbed again, and fixed on California. In the year 1845 a ship, the Brooklyn, sailed from New York for California, with a colony of Mormons, of which Sam Brannan was the leader, and we found them there on our arrival in January, 1847.

When General Kearny, at Fort Leavenworth, was collecting volunteers early 1846, for the Mexican War, he, through the instrumentality of Captain James Allen, brother to our quartermaster, General Robert Allen, raised the battalion of Mormons at Kanesville, Iowa, now Council Bluffs, on the express understanding that it would facilitate their migration to California. But when the Mormons reached Salt Lake, in 1846, they learned that they had been forestalled by the United States forces in California, and they then determined to settle down where they were. Therefore, when this battalion of five companies of Mormons (raised by Allen, who died on the way, and was succeeded by Cooke) was discharged at Los Angeles, California, in the early summer of 1847, most of the men went to their people at Salt Lake, with all the money received, as pay from the United States, invested in cattle and breeding-horses; one company reënlisted for another year, and the remainder sought work in the country.

As soon as the fame of the gold discovery spread through California, the Mormons naturally turned to Mormon Island, so that in July, 1848, we found about three hundred of them there at work. Sam Brannan was on hand as the high-priest, collecting the tithes. Clark, of Clark’s Point, an early pioneer, was there also, and nearly all the Mormons who had come out in the Brooklyn, or who had staid in California after the discharge of their battalion, had collected there. I recall the scene as perfectly to-day as though it were yesterday. In the midst of a broken country, all parched and dried by the hot sun of July, sparsely wooded with live-oaks and straggling pines, lay the valley of the American River, with its bold mountain-stream coming out of the Snowy Mountains to the east.

In this valley is a flat, or gravel-bed, which in high water is an island, or is overflow, but at the time of our visit was simply a level gravel-bed of the river. On its edges men were digging, and filling buckets with the finer earth and gravel, which was carried to a machine made like a baby’s cradle, open at the foot, and at the head a plate of sheet-iron or zinc, punctured full of holes. On this metallic plate was emptied the earth, and water was then poured on it from buckets, while one man shook the cradle with violent rocking by a handle. On the bottom were nailed cleats of wood. With this rude machine four men could earn from forty to one hundred dollars a day, averaging sixteen dollars, or a gold ounce, per man per day.

While the sun blazed down on the heads of the miners with tropical hats, the water was bitter cold, and all hands were either standing in the water or had their clothes wet all the time; yet there were no complaints of rheumatism or cold. We made our camp on a small knoll, a little below the island, and from it could overlook the busy scene. A few brush-res, boarding-houses, and for sleeping; but all hands slept on the ground, with pine-leaves and blankets for bedding. As soon as the news spread that the Governor was there, persons came to see us, and volunteered all kinds of information, illustrating it by samples of gold, which was of a uniform kind, “scale gold.” I remember that Mr. Clark was in camp, talking to Colonel Mason about matters and things generally, when he inquired, “Governor, what business has Sam Brannan to collect the tithes here?” Clark admitted that Brannan was head of the Mormon church in California, and he as simply questioning as to Brannan’s right, as high-priest, to compel the Mormons to pay him the regular tithes.

Colonel Mason answered, “Brannan has a perfect right to collect the tax, if you Mormons are fools enough to pay it.” “Then,” said Clark, “I for one won’t pay it any longer.” Colonel Mason added: “This is public land, and the gold is the property of the United States; all of you here are trespassers, but, as the Government is benefited by your getting out the gold, I do not intend to interfere.” I understood, afterward, that from that time the payment of the tithes ceased, but Brannan had already collected enough money wherewith to hire Sutter’s hospital, and to open a store there, in which he made more money than any merchant in California, during that summer and fall. The understanding was, that the money collected by him as tithes was the foundation of his fortune, which is still very large in San Francisco. That evening we all mingled freely with the miners, and witnessed the process of cleaning up and “panning” out, which is the last process of separating the pure gold from the fine dirt and black sand.
-------
And Colonel Mason was lying when he said this “This is public land, and the gold is the property of the United States;"

1849 street map.
18252

I know its a media publication but nevertheless it may give some truthful insight into early San Francisco

From here San Francisco Facilities in the 1850s
San Francisco News Letter
December 5, 1925
In 1856, residents were just beginning to build houses with bath-tubs.
Most of the residents took their baths in barber shops. The famous What Cheer House [at right] on Sacramento street below Montgomery, was the only hotel with public bath tubs. They were in the basement, not in the rooms.

Street lamps lighted the main streets in 1853. Whale oil and kerosene oil were used. The streets were largely paved with 4-inch planks 16 to 24 feet long. A few cobblestones streets were very useful in winter, when the mud was in some places to the knees. Sidewalks were generally of planks. Some few brick and stone sidewalks. No cement sidewalks.

Large water wagons furnished water to houses. Each house had a barrel in the kitchen to be filled.

Few houses were piped with gas or water.


Parlors had large chandeliers with two or three rows of glass prisms, containing wax candles.

Whale oil was generally burned. Large candles in high silver candlesticks were used in bedrooms.

San Francisco's population was about 30,000 in 1856.

No stationary wash stands in the San Francisco houses. A wash stand with a bowl and pitcher furnished personal washing facilities.

Do have a read through this page about what was going on, from the same 1925 newsletter but a different link San Francisco in 1856

San Francisco in 1856

Following the cleanup of crime by the 1856 Committee of Vigilance came a stimulating improvement in business and prospects, and it was on June 11, 1856, that the City and County of San Francisco was formed, and a new county called "San Mateo" was created out of the remainder of the old County of San Francisco.

The traveler to 1856 would have ample selection from almost sixty hotels.

Parish & Wood conducted the Niantic, built on the hull of that old ship, on the corner of Clay and Sansome

With James and Michael Donahue, in 1849, Peter had established the first iron foundry in California.

A public garden 75 by 550 feet, had been laid out in the center, "surrounded by ornamental iron railing," around which ran avenues forty feet wide. Bordering these avenues two story brick houses were being erected. The brick for each was made from the clay excavated from its basement. An old announcement said: "Water is obtainable at a depth of 25 feet. The general situation of South Park is one of great beauty and salubrity. Omnibus lines run to it every ten minutes."

Wells and windmills were not uncommon in different parts of the city, while artesian wells were also utilized.

The San Francisco Water Works was organized in June 1857 to supply water to the town from Lobos Creek, out near the Presidio.
It was later absorbed by the Spring Valley Water Works, which was incorporated in June 1858.

Social conditions in San Francisco has become well established by 1856. The exuberance of youthful endeavor had settled down to a more sedate maturity.

The distance separating San Francisco from "the States" created local business conditions and customs, such as "Steamer Day" that time has abolished.
Post automatically merged:

A final few from the panorama.

A fire that didn't take hold?
18293


A fire waiting to happen!
18294


Girl in a window watching Eddie take his photographs.
18298


The clearest horse and cart I've found
18295


Horse and carriage this time.
18297


Yeah! an outhouse.
18300


Sunshade and chairs points to occupation and probable season.
18299


A chap sat on a bench.
18296
 
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Plissken

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Hi everyone. I'm pretty new to this subject and this forum. This is actually my first post. Anyway, I'm a book collector and have an extensive collection of San Francisciana (as we say) with many books dating to the mid-nineteenth century. I also have some maps of similar vintage. Last night out of curiousity I started flipping through one of the books ("The Annals of San Francisco," 1854) and almost immediately came across the depicted passage, which has enigmatic references to submerged buildings, the "original designers of the town," and so forth.

I was also intrigued by the book plate sticker in the book (of the former owner, one of the early residents of The City), though I'm not sure what it signifies; perhaps someone here knows. I have to say I found some things in this book that struck me as very curious. If this is the right place for that discussion I can post more. Thanks.

Ex Libris means from the library of on old bookplates and they were pretty elaborate. People were proud of owning books and didn't mind spending some money on these kinds of items. The building being underwater is interesting. Wonder if that is a motif with these bookplates

Google Search for ex libras book plates

Here are some cool ones I found while looking around. Including some famous people.

1831518318
183141831218313183161831718319

I think you may be onto something Norton with these book plates.
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Hmm. Bookplates appear to be interesting enough to be a thread of their own.
 

norton

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Ex Libris means from the library of on old bookplates and they were pretty elaborate. People were proud of owning books and didn't mind spending some money on these kinds of items. The building being underwater is interesting. Wonder if that is a motif with these bookplates

Google Search for ex libras book plates

Here are some cool ones I found while looking around. Including some famous people.


I think you may be onto something Norton with these book plates.
Ex Libris means from the library of on old bookplates and they were pretty elaborate. People were proud of owning books and didn't mind spending some money on these kinds of items. The building being underwater is interesting. Wonder if that is a motif with these bookplates

Google Search for ex libras book plates

Here are some cool ones I found while looking around. Including some famous people.


I think you may be onto something Norton with these book plates.
I understand
Ex Libris means from the library of on old bookplates and they were pretty elaborate. People were proud of owning books and didn't mind spending some money on these kinds of items. The building being underwater is interesting. Wonder if that is a motif with these bookplates

Google Search for ex libras book plates

Here are some cool ones I found while looking around. Including some famous people.


I think you may be onto something Norton with these book plates.

I'm familiar with book plates. It was the illustration depicted thereon that I found interesting: i.e. the house seen through the window of a room under the ocean. I inadvertently cropped out much of the detail in my first post. Here's a better picture of it:

18453

I got an occultic vibe from it (do the curtains in the center not look like a serpent?) but that may be an overly imaginative interpretation on my part. I rather like the motif though; it's better than Lucius Beebe's bookplate (from a Mari Sandoz book I have) for instance:

18454
 

jd755

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Now I've seen the bigger image I was wrong with my first statement here Single image: Strange Illustration on Book Plate

But right with the second. The person who crafted or had crafted this bookplate is one of the fishermen at Yerba Bueno. The curved fishing rods creating an arch over the window is evidence of this.
The image of the house is the dream he imagined whilst fishing and is something he made into his reality. The contents of the room reveal this and I feel sure the book on the table whose title we cannot read was instrumental to anything.

Coming back to that panorama. Is the city in that picture 30 years old?
Was the question posed and on the available evidence I say the odds favour it being exactly that. What looks like stone is for the most part wood and render although there are stone and brick buildings beginning to appear.
The infrastructure is there. The people are there not many true but they and their tools are there. The signs of occupation are there.
Does anyone feel different.
 

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