Gold! Read the full article here.

The discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevadas in 1848 resulted in a major population increase in northern California. Immigrants poured into the territory seeking gold or the opportunities inherent in producing goods or services for miners. Prior to the Gold Rush, San Francisco was a sleepy hamlet with an approximate population of 800. With the discovery of gold and the sudden influx of thousands of optimistic gold seekers, a city of canvas and wood sprang up around the cove and on the surrounding sand dunes and hills.

To accommodate the growing population, the city spread out in all directions -- including into the waters of Yerba Buena Cove. Wharf and dock construction along the waterline began and by 1850, a substantial arrangement of wharves projected across the shallow waters. The wharves, and the businesses built upon them, serviced the booming maritime trade spawned by the unprecedented population growth associated with the Gold Rush.

Previous  Next