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Online - 1850s SF: Paris of the Pacific

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Discover the history of the French quarter of San Francisco during the Gold Rush!

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There were many rumors circulating about gold discoveries in California around 1848… and the colossal wealth waiting to be picked up from the ground!

For one hour, City Guide Bruce Bennett tells you about the San Francisco French origins from City Planning, SF Infrastructure, Retail Industry and Restaurants. You will learn how the first French community managed to survive in San Francisco, a boomtown straight out of the mud of Yerba Buena Cove growing to well over 50,000 in a few years.

As early as 1851, the Alta California – California’s first daily newspaper – wrote that in San Francisco, “Commercial Street is French, truly French. There is a miniature replica of the splendid city of “La Grande République”. A miniature Paris in San Francisco. “San Francisco has since been nicknamed the “PARIS OF THE PACIFIC”.

These Frenchmen have played an active role in the city’s development. They have left historical and cultural traces (some that continue to this very day). Without them, it is difficult to imagine San Francisco becoming the sophisticated and cosmopolitan metropolis it is today.

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City Guides, founded in 1978, is a non-profit organization with more than 300 trained volunteers who lead FREE history and architectural walking tours in San Francisco for over 40,000 locals and visitors each year. We are sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library and are a San Francisco Parks Alliance Partner. Join us for a walk along the streets, sidewalks, and byways of America’s most beautiful – and fascinating – city!

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