Timeline: San Francisco

1847

Village of Yerba Buena is renamed 'San Francisco'.

1848

1/24/1848 - Discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, California.
5/12/1848 - Samuel Brannan sparks Gold Rush with public announcement of gold discovery.
Population of San Francisco less than 1,000.

1849

Population of San Francisco ends the year over 25,000.

1852

3/18/1852 - Henry Wells, William Fargo and others sign articles of association creating Wells, Fargo & Co.

1855

12/31/1855 - Gold Rush ends, although more methodical mining continues.

1860

4/3/1860 - Pony Express is initiated.
Census shows population of San Francisco as 56,802.

1861

10/24/1861 - Pony Express announces its closure as the transcontinental telegraph reaches Salt Lake City.

1862

9/11/1862 - San Francisco Stock and Exchange Board (dealing in silver mining shares) opens.

1863

3/15/1863 - Confederate privateer J. M. CHAPMAN captured in San Francisco harbor.
8/17/1863 - Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah launched, conducted raids along Pacific coast until August 1865, four months after Civil War ended.

1864

7/5/1864 - The Bank of California opened for business.
7/21/1864- Major Earthquake in SF, immortalized by Mark Twain.

1865

10/8/1865 - Much of San Francisco was wrecked by an earthquake.

1866

4/16/1866 - A box of nitroglycerin being shipped via Wells, Fargo & Co. exploded and took out a full city block.

1867

7/18/1867 - Contracts let for construction of a sea wall in Yerba Buena Cove; the Embarcadero now runs on top of this wall.

1868

8/1/1868 - Smallpox epidemic in San Francisco; wards in new smallpox hospital filled to overflowing.
10/22/1868 - Major earthquake in San Francisco at 7:53 a.m.

1869

5/10/1869 - Transcontinental railroad completed; trip east goes from six months to six days.

1870

San Francisco was the country's tenth largest city with a population of 149,473.

1871

1872

8/1872 - Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872 exposes corrupt practices in the building of the transcontinental railroad, involving highest levels of government.
10/1/1872 - Equine epidemic appears and spreads rapidly throughout the U.S. Because of the near-total dependence on horsepower to move commerce, as many as 20,000 businesses failed, a third of all railroads went bankrupt, and unemployment spiked to almost 15 percent.

1873


4/14/1873 - Equine epidemic ("Epizootic") reaches San Francisco.
8/2/1873 – First test of the iconic San Francisco cable car system.

1874

11/5/1874 - Current San Francisco Mint ("Granite Lady") opens at Fifth and Mission.

1875

1/8/1875 - Silver stock market collapses.
8/26/1875 - Bank of California shuts its doors due to bank run; reopens 10/2/1875.
8/27/1875 - William Ralston, founder of Bank of California, dies.

10/14/1875 - Palace Hotel opens.