Sunday, February 24, 2013

Walking Tour--California Gold Rush

RQ and I joined a walking tour group today to learn more about the California Gold Rush and how it shaped San Francisco. San Francisco City Guides Walking Tours is a free, volunteer-led walking tour of neighborhoods & historic areas of the city. I'd always wanted to go on one and today finally did it. It was fantastic! Manuel, our guide, led us through downtown and into Chinatown, past some of the oldest buildings in the city, the first mint where the newly discovered gold was kept, where Mark Twain drank and met the "real" Tom Sawyer (a SF-based firefighter). Both RQ and I had a great time learning about the settlement of SF, the Gold Rush, and the San Francisco 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires. Though gold was never found in SF, only the American River in Sacramento, it was where the boats from all over the world would dock and where much of the gold-money was spent. The city flourished and prices sky-rocketed--in 1849, lunch in the city cost $20 and a loaf of bread about $4...not much different than now!

I can't wait to do another tour!

Commercial Street


Gold Street

If you squint, you can see the Ferry Building clock tower...

Balance Street, the shortest street in SF

Chinatown Light-post