NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: ° Alameda: ° Berkeley ° Oakland
Contra Costa County: ° Crockett, ° Martinez ° Port Costa
Marin County: ° Point Reyes, ° San Rafael (China Camp), ° Sausalito, ° Tiburon
° Mendocino ° Sacramento
San Francisco (City and County)
Solano: ° Benicia (St. Paul's Church), ° VallejoMare Island
Sonoma: ° Petaluma ° Fort Ross
CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: ° Long Beach ° Los Angeles ° Monterey County ° San Diego County ° Santa Barbara ° Santa Monica ° The Channel Islands



The Huchiun Ohlone people were the first inhabitants of the land that is today Berkeley.

Early in the 1800s, the 47,000-acre ranches of the Peralta family stretched into the hills from San Leandro Creek to El Cerrito Creek.

University of California, Berkeley


Only a scant 50 years later, newly arrived American settlers established the community of Ocean View on the bay, and in 1860, land nestled into the foothills was dedicated for the establishment of the future University of California. Founded in the wake of the gold rush by leaders of the newly established 31st state, the University of California's flagship campus at Berkeley was charged with providing education (both "practical" and "classical") for the state's people with a stellar research library.

With a university to the east and Ocean view to the west, the threat of annexation by the larger town of Oakland finally brought the two communities together into one, and "Athens of the West," as Berkeley was known, became a municipality in 1878.

A number of noted sea captains established grand residences in Berkeley. Among them were Charles Boudrow and William E. Mighell.


June 9, 1895, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Sent Boats to the Rescue of a Supposed Drowning Man.
He Seemed to Be Struggling for Life With a Big Pack on His Back. 
He Was Only Testing a New Invention for Saving Life at Sea

However, three captains on three of the Oakland freight boats were unwittingly fooled yesterday morning.

A man swimming in the creek with a pack tied to his back was the cause of all the trouble, and as steamer after steamer lowered a boat and went to his rescue, only to find that it was some crank trying a new invention, the sailors swore not only deep but loud.

The freight boat Emma was the first to run across the swimmer, and Captain Johnston tells the following; story:

"As far as I can gather." said he, "the man has a new life-saving apparatus by which he can support himself for days, and in which he can carry enough food to support life for a week at least. The buoy not only keeps him afloat, but out of it he can get his meals.

"The inventor was testing his invention yesterday. He and a strong swimmer went to Alameda mole and in a boat reached the breakwater. There the swimmer took off his clothes and appeared in a bathing suit. His garments were packed in the buoy and when it was attached to him he sprang into the water and started for the Webster-street bridge. He was half way up when we met him and he only laughed when we offered him assistance. His companion was following him up the breakwater and yelled to us, 'Call your boat back; it's only an experiment we are trying. The man was a good swimmer and the man on the mole had to hustle in order to keep up with him."

Shortly after the Emma had passed the swimmer the big steamer Transit backed out from the Southern Pacific freight slip. Her captain noticed the swimmer, and, making the same mistake as the captain of the Emma, lowered a boat and the sailors were again greeted with a laugh when they proffered the man assistance.

Considerably above Peralta street the Garden City, bound from Webster street for San Francisco, also encountered the man in the water, and there was another stop and another boat lowered. This time the sailors were within an ace of taking the man out whether be liked it or not, but finally desisted when the man said he was swimming a race against time.

March 13, 1911, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

United Mass Meeting Will Be Held on Wednesday Evening, March 15

OAKLAND, March 12. -Indications point to a large attendance at the mass meeting to be held Wednesday evening, March 15, in the synagogue, Twelfth and Castro streets, under the auspices of the First Hebrew congregation and the B'nai B'rith lodge. Rabbi M. Friedlander, head of the committee in charge of the gathering is making great efforts to arouse the public as to the condition of the Jews in Russia, the object of the meeting being to protest against the persecution of the Jews in that country. A call has been made to every Jewish organization to help in the fight to arouse the American conscience upon the true conditions in Russia.

Among the speakers will be Benjamin Ide Wheeler of the University of California; Rev. Frank L. Goodspeeil, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, and William R. Davis. The committee in charge is composed of Rabbi Friedlander, Milton Shwarz and Morris Schneider.

If you cannot find recommended books locally, consider the links provided to which has proven to be reliable on service and delivery.

Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel IslandImmigration at the Golden Gate.Immigration to California.
Robert Eric Barde
Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York's Ellis Island.

Nonetheless, Angel Island's place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast is large and out of proportion to the numerical record. Angel Island's Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the Ellis Island of the West, built to facilitate the processing and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians, starting with the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

The Children of Chinatown: Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920Children of Chinatown. 
Wendy Rouse Jorae

California.Family Skeletons.Family Skeletons: Exploring the Lives of Our Disreputable Ancestors>Family Skeletons.
Simon Fowler, Ruth Paley
Most families have a skeleton. You may have already discovered yours via the grapevine or your own research. Or you may simply be intrigued by the dark side of our past. This popular history explores the behaviour of our disreputable ancestors from the unfortunate to the criminal, and introduces a host of colourful characters including 17th century witches, 18th century 'mollies' and Victorian baby farmers. Thematically arranged by skeleton, the text also describes how society punished and provided for its 'offenders' - as well as the changing attitudes that could ultimately bring acceptance.

Italy on the Pacific: San Francisco's Italian Americans (Italian and Italian American Studies)Italians in San Francisco. 
Palgrave Hardcover)
Sebastian Fichera
San Francisco’s Italian immigrant experience is shown to be the polar opposite of Chicago’s. San Francisco’s Italian immigrants are shown as reintegrating into the host society fairly smoothly, whereas the Chicago group’s assimilation process broke down in dramatic ways.

Russian San Francisco Russian San Francisco. 
(Images of America)
Lydia B. Zaverukha, Nina Bogdan, Foreward by Ludmila Ershova, PhD.
Even before San Francisco was founded as a city, Russian visitors, explorers, and scientists sailed to the area and made contact with both the indigenous people and representatives of the Spanish government. Although the Russian commercial colony of Fort Ross closed in 1842, the Russian presence in San Francisco continued and the community expanded to include churches, societies, businesses, and newspapers. Some came seeking opportunity, while others were fleeing religious or political persecution.

California.Migration in World HistoryMigration in World History. 
(Themes in World History) 
Patrick Manning
Drawing on examples from a wide range of geographical regions and thematic areas, noted world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through trade patterns, including the early Silk Road and maritime trade, effect of migration on empire and industry, earliest human migrations, major language groups, various leading theories around migration.

California.Merchants of Grain. Merchants of Grain: 
The Power and Profits of the Five Giant Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply
Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports. 
Dan Morgan 
Details how a handful of families have controlled the worlds grain trade for centuries. A great piece for families that till the soil, but one that is even more important to the people who live in the city; and have no idea of the power and control that these families wield. 
From Captain John R. Sutton: "I am a captain on Mississippi River towboats. I have pushed millions of tons of grain down the Mississippi River for years. But I never really understood the global impact of the world's grain company's until I read this book."

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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