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San Francisco City Historical Markers

Map of California State Historical Marker Locations in the City of San Francisco

San Francisco City Historical Markers

San Francisco Churches
Original Mission Dolores Chapel and Dolores Lagoon
On June 29, 1776, Father Fancisco Palou, a member of the Anza Expedition, had a brushwood shelter built here on the edge of a now vanished lake, Lago ... [click for more]

Original Site Of The Third Baptist Church (formerly The First Colored Baptist Church)
In August 1852, Abraham Brown, Thomas Bundy, Thomas Davenport, Willie Denton, Harry Fields, George Lewis, Fielding Spotts, and Eliza and William Davis... [click for more]

Site of Old St. Mary’s Church
The first building erected as a cathedral in California, Old St. Mary's served the Archdiocese of San Francisco from 1854 to 1891. Once the city's mos... [click for more]

San Francisco Schools
First Public School
This is the site of the first public school in California. It was opened on April 3, 1848 on the southwest corner of Portsmouth Square. ... [click for more]

Original Site of St. Mary’s College
In August 1863, Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, OP, opened St. Mary's College here with a faculty of two diocesan priests, four laymen, and two stude... [click for more]

San Francisco Historic Homes & Houses
El Dorado, Parker House, and Dennison’s Exchange
The 'El Dorado,' the 'Parker House,' and 'Dennison's Exchange' were among the most famous hotel and gambling resorts around San Francisco in the early... [click for more]

What Cheer House
This is the site of the famous What Cheer House, a unique hotel opened in 1852 by R. B. Woodward and destroyed by the fire of 1906. The What Cheer Hou... [click for more]

San Francisco General Interest
California Theatre
On this site on January 18, 1869, the California Theatre, built by William C. Ralston, opened with the following stock company: John McCullough, Lawre... [click for more]

Castillo De San Joaquín
The first ship to enter San Francisco Bay, the San Carlos (Captain Ayala), dropped anchor off this point August 5, 1775. Lieutenant-Colonel D... [click for more]

City of Paris Building
It was 1850 when the Verdier brothers, immigrants from France, opened a store aboard the ship La Ville de Paris to serve the Argonauts passing through... [click for more]

Eastern Terminus of Clay Street Hill Railroad
The Clay Street Hill Railroad Company, the first cable railroad system in the world, was invented and installed by Andrew S. Hallidie. It started oper... [click for more]

El Camino Real (as Father Serra Knew It And Helped Blaze It)
This plaque was placed on the 250th anniversary of the birth of California's apostle, Padre Junípero Serra, OFM, to mark El Camino Real as he k... [click for more]

El Camino Real (as Father Serra Knew It And Helped Blaze It)
This plaque was placed on the 250th anniversary of the birth of California's apostle, Padre Junípero Serra, OFM, to mark El Camino Real as he k... [click for more]

Entrance of the San Carlos Into San Francisco Bay
On August 5, 1775, the Spanish packet San Carlos, under the command of Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala, became the first ship to enter San Francisco B... [click for more]

Farnsworth’s Green Street Lab
In a simple laboratory on this site, 202 Green Street, Philo Taylor Farnsworth, U.S. pioneer in electronics, invented and patented the first operation... [click for more]

First Dynamite Factory In United States
The first commercial manufacturing of dynamite in the U.S. occurred in what is now Glen Canyon Park. On March 19, 1868, the Giant Powder Company began... [click for more]

Fort Gunnybags
This is the site of the headquarters of the Vigilance Committee of 1856. On June 21, 1856, Judge David S. Terry was arrested and confined in a cell. T... [click for more]

Golden Gate Bridge
Construction of the bridge started in 1933. Engineer Joseph Strauss and architect Irving Morrow created an extraordinarily beautiful bridge in an extr... [click for more]

Hudson’s Bay Company Headquarters
On this block, then on Yerba Buena's waterfront, stood the California headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company. Their chief trader, William G. Tae, pu... [click for more]

Juana Briones, Pioneer Settler of Yerba Buena
Juana Briones, born in Hispanic California, was a prominent woman of her time. In the 1830’s and 1840’s she transformed an isolated cove in the then M... [click for more]

Landing Place of Captain J. B. Montgomery
In the early morning of July 9, 1846, 'when the water came up to Montgomery Street,' Commander John B. Montgomery landed near this spot from the U.S. ... [click for more]

Long Wharf
In the spring of 1848, the old Central or Long Wharf was built 'from the bank in the middle of the block between Sacramento and Clay Streets, where Le... [click for more]

Lucas, Turner and Co. Bank (Sherman’s Bank)
William Tecumseh Sherman established the branch bank of Lucas, Turner and Co. in San Francisco in 1853, and settled the firm in its own building on th... [click for more]

Montgomery Block
This is the site of San Francisco's first fireproof building, erected in 1853 by Henry Wager Halleck. It was the headquarters for many outstanding law... [click for more]

Niantic Hotel
The emigrant ship Niantic stood on this spot in the early days when the water came up to Montgomery Street. Converted to other uses, it was c... [click for more]

Office of The California Star Newspaper
On this site January 9, 1847, the first newspaper in San Francisco, The California Star -  later known as The Alta Californian, ... [click for more]

Old United States Mint
This is San Francisco’s second mint (1869). California’s only such Federal Greek Revival structure. Due to unsurpassed productivity, it became a sub-t... [click for more]

Original Site Of The Bancroft Library
In 1860 Hubert Howe Bancroft began to collect the wealth of material which was to result in the writing of his monumental history of western North Ame... [click for more]

Portsmouth Plaza
Named for the U.S.S. Portsmouth, commanded by Captain John B. Montgomery, after whom Montgomery Street was named. It was here on the plaza th... [click for more]

Presidio of San Francisco
Formally established on September 17, 1776, the San Francisco Presidio has been used as a military headquarters by Spain, Mexico, and the United State... [click for more]

Rincon Hill
A fashionable neighborhood in the 1860s, Rincon Hill was the home of William Tecumseh Sherman, William C. Ralston, William Gwin, H. H. Bancroft, and o... [click for more]

Sarcophagus of Thomas Starr King
Apostle of liberty, humanitarian, Unitarian minister, who in the Civil War bound California to the Union and led her to excel all other states in supp... [click for more]

Shoreline Markers
This tablet marks the shoreline of San Francisco Bay at the time of the discovery of gold in California, January 24, 1848. Map reproduced above deline... [click for more]

Site Of First Jewish Religious Services In San Francisco
In a second-floor room in a store that once stood here, forty pioneers of the Jewish faith gathered on September 26, 1849, Yom Kippur (5610), and part... [click for more]

Site Of Laurel Hill Cemetery
The builders of the West, civic and military leaders, jurists, inventors, artists, and eleven United States Senators are buried here, on the most reve... [click for more]

Site Of The Mark Hopkins Institute Of Art
In February 1893, Mr. Edward F. Searles donated the Hopkins Mansion to the University of California in trust for the San Francisco Art Institute for '... [click for more]

Site of Brick Building of The Firm of Mellus and Howard
In the Mellus and Howard Warehouse, erected on this site in 1848, the Society of California Pioneers, oldest historical society in the state, was orga... [click for more]

Site of First California State Fair
California's first state fair was held on this site on October 4, 1854. Sponsored by the California State Agricultural Society, the exhibition of 'hor... [click for more]

Site of First U.S. Branch Mint in California
The first United States branch mint in San Francisco was authorized by Congress July 3, 1852 and opened for operation April 3, 1854. Dr. L. A. Birdsal... [click for more]

Site of Invention Of The Three Reel Bell Slot Machine
Charles August Fey invented the first coin-operated, three-reel slot machine in San Francisco in 1895. Fey continued to manufacture the popular 'Liber... [click for more]

Site of Parrott Granite Block
The Parrott Block was erected in 1852 by John Parrott, an importer and banker. The three-story building, built by Chinese labor, was of granite blocks... [click for more]

Site of The First Meeting of Freemasons Held in California
On November 9, 1849, a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia for the organization of California Lodge 13, now California ... [click for more]

Telegraph Hill
A signal station was erected on Telegraph Hill in 1849 from which to observe the incoming vessels, a tall pole with movable arms was used to signal to... [click for more]

The Conservatory
California’s first municipal greenhouse was completed in 1879. Patterned after The Conservatory, Kew Gardens, England, it was a distinguished example ... [click for more]

Treasure Island, Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939-40
This artificial island was constructed of bay sand in 1936-7. It was the site of the Golden Gate International Exposition, February 18, 1939-September... [click for more]

Ukrania, Site of Agapius Honcharenko Farmstead
“Ukraina” is the site of the farm and burial place of the Ukrainian patriot and exiled orthodox priest Agapius Honcharenko (1832-1916) and... [click for more]

Union Square
This was the center of San Francisco in pioneer days, deeded for public use January 3, 1850 during the administration of John White Geary, first mayor... [click for more]

Western Business Headquarters of Russell, Majors, And Waddell- Founders, Owners, And Operators Of The Pony Express
This was the site of the western business headquarters of Russell, Majors, and Waddell-founders, owners, and operators of the Pony Express, 1860-1861.... [click for more]

Woodward’s Gardens
R. B. Woodward opened his gardens to the public in 1866 as an amusement park catering to all tastes, and it remained San Francisco's most popular reso... [click for more]