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|The city of San Francisco had its beginning in the summer of 1776. when a small company of Spanish padres arrived on the peninsula. The mission established by them was called the Mission de los Dolores. For over fifty years. Spanish rule was supreme, but all that remains today to mark its existence is the picturesque adobe chapel and churchyard at Sixteenth and Dolores streets, In 1835 the first house was erected in the village of Yerba Buena, at what is now the corner of Dupont and Clay streets, about three miles northeast of the Mission Dolores,
The glory of California and the value of the Bay of San Francisco were becoming known to the world and European nations were suspected of covetous designs upon it. In 1846, during the war with Mexico, California was occupied by American troops and a United States man-of-war took possession of the Bay of San Francisco and the surrounding country. In 1847, after many vicissitudes, the little settlement of Yerba Buena adopted the name of San Francisco.
In the year 1848 gold was discovered in California, and in 1850 the population of the city had increased to 25,000 and its ill-kept streets were thronged by eager adventurers of many nationalities. It became, and remains to this day, the most cosmopolitan city of North America. The history of its early days, full of romance, of energetic endeavor, of great deeds by great men, is absorbingly interesting.
San Francisco has been devastated by five fires, but the conflagration of April 18th, 19th and 20th, 1906. was incomparably the greatest in the history of the world. It laid waste nearly five square miles of compactly built business and residence buildings, destroying over 28,000 structures, with contents, conservatively valued at $1,000,000,000.00. But the indomitable energy of the pioneer still strenuously manifests itself, and San Francisco, the city by the Golden Gate, has won the admiration of the world by the greatness of its achievement in reconstructing a more modern and substantial city than the one destroyed.
It is conservatively estimated that the cost of the buildings erected since the fire runs well over $300,000.000.00.
124 Artgravure, Published and Copyright 1915 by Cardinell-Vincent Co. 579 Market St., San Francisco, Cal.