San Francisco sits as a jewel on the northern California coastline. Today, the city is a bustling destination for visitors from all over the world. Houses for sale in the Bay Area literally go like hotcakes and for top dollar. Everyone wants to be here! Throughout its history, San Francisco has drawn in people of varying backgrounds and with various ambitions, hoping to make their fortunes in the City by the Bay.
According to archaeological findings, humans have been living on the site since 3,000 B.C. Native Americans knew the region was a perfect resource for hunting and gathering. Because of this, villages popped up along the coast as history marched on. The tribes were known as the Ohlone, and they spoke a language in the Miwok linguistics family. In the late 1700’s, Spanish explorers arrived in the Bay. A few years later, a Spanish mission and fort were established, and European occupation of the area began.
Gold Fever and Population Booms
Among the various plagues that ravaged the coast over the years, perhaps none was as destructive as the California Gold Rush fever that began in 1848. People from all over the world flocked to Frisco. In fact, between 1848 and 1849, the population of the city went from 1,000 to 25,000 people! Interestingly, the break-neck speed of the city growth is still evident today in the city’s narrow street layout. The discovery of silver in the area ten years later only made the city grow bigger and faster. Life was certainly different in the 1800’s. Back then, residents could rent a first-rate brick house on Union for $25 a month. Today, rentals in that same neighborhood average over $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment! Houses for sale in the Bay Area can run in the millions.
The Transcontinental Railroad brought thousands of workers from China looking for employment. In fact, the Chinatown portion of the city is still the largest concentration of Chinese people in the world outside of China itself. Big businesses soon started to spring up to meet the needs of the growing population. Many of these companies are globally-known today: Levi Strauss & Co clothing, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and Wells Fargo bank.
The Great Earthquake
In April of 1906, the city was literally shattered by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The quake caused water mains to rupture which left few resources to combat the fires that broke out. Around 80% of the city was destroyed with an official death toll later figured to be over 3,000 people.
San Francisco was shaken, but rebuilt itself in true Frisco tradition and stands today as a proud reminder of its past.