SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
    Welcome to San Francisco, California, the great "Golden Gate" of our nation. San Franciscans call it "The City". DON'T call it Frisco! (It was originally called Yerba Buena, meaning 'good herb', after plants that grew on its hills.)
    Perhaps the most beautiful of America's great cities, this picture gallery provides an overview of this stunning city.
    But pictures don't do it justice. You need to see it for yourself. It's a beautiful place to visit. You can order a visitor's guide if you wish.

    This is where Mr. Graham's transcontinental bicycle trip starts, literally at the San Francisco International Airport. And just outside the entrance to the airport he'll ride on his first historic road: El Camino Real (The King's Highway) was established about 200 years ago to link together the string of Spanish missions that had worked their way north from Mexico.

COUNTY INFORMATION

The city of San Francisco and San Francisco County have the same boundaries, so this county report will really be a "city report".
    Obviously, the county seat of the county is "The City".
    It's population is roughly 750,000 in the city proper. It covers 29,890 acres.

San Francisco City and County website
    City Hall was just rededicated in January, 1999 after being rehabbed and "earthquake-proofed". It's a beautiful building.

GEOGRAPHY

    Weather and road conditions.

    Weather report and forecast for San Francisco and vicinity. In June, the average daily temperature is in the mid-high 60's and the low is 52 degrees.

    LOTS of maps and spatial data of the area

GEOLOGY

San Francisco may be best known for its 1906 earthquake. Here are some excellent pictures of the aftermath of the destruction.
    Here's a listing of those who died.
    We first learned about the San Andreas fault with the San Francisco earthquake. Here's a picture.

POLITICS

Here's an excellent site that links to all kinds of SF political issues.
And this page is called 'The Usual Suspects', providing an off-beat look into the SF political scene. Many, many issued presented here.

HISTORY

    The first inhabitants of the area were the Ohlone Indians. The written history is scarce, but they apparently "faded away" after the Spanish came in. (Why?)
    In 1776 two Roman Catholic missionaries, Francisco Palau and Benito Cambon, established Mission Dolores a couple of miles south of the present-day city. The mission was to be the home base for bringing the Gospel to the natives of the surrounding area. The rest of the history of the area is fascinating.

    In April 15, 1850 the California state legislature granted San Francisco its charter. And the rest, as they say, is history. Here are some great links:

    First and foremost, San Francisco was a port city. It was the center of all transportation coming into and leaving California by sea in the 19th century.

    San Francisco was, of course, the terminus of the world-famous Pony Express. Mr. Graham's route will join it in Nevada.

    One of the greatest engineering feats of the first half of our century, the Golden Gate Bridge spans the gateway to one of nature's most magnificent natural harbors. It's a beautiful bridge, especially with the fog rolling in. It was completed in May, 1937. This is a neat web site for information about it.

    San Francisco's unique and world-famous transportation system is the cable car.

    And right in the middle of that harbor, nestled between the Golden Gate Bridge, The City, and Sausalito lies THE ROCK. "Alcatraz was never no good for nobody," said Frank Wathernam, the last prisoner to leave it in 1963. You didn't get off The Rock. Or did you?
    Mr. Graham was there in 1976, just a few weeks after it was opened to the public by the National Park Service, and not long after the Indian occupation was "terminated". He says "It was a very cool mess. I'm sure it's been slicked up now."

    Like every great city, there are many wonderful lesser-known stories, like "The Umbrella that made History".

    How important was the invention of dynamite to the human race? Arguably the most important invention of the 19th century. It probably changed farming as much as war, if you think about it. Know where the first dynamite factory in the U.S. was located? Right. San Francisco. Along with a whole bunch of other state historical landmarks.

    The Museum of the City of San Francisco is a terrific resource on the history of the city.

MISCELLANEOUS

San Fran media.

Colleges and Universities in the Bay Area and beyond

Libraries in the Bay Area

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