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Slumgullion - California gold-rush miners used this term to describe the mud left at the bottom of the sluice box used for gold panning.  Interestingly enough, the term also described their dinner on many a night - a thin watery stew composed of leftovers.

Mining History in Southern Sierra Nevada and Mojave:

California's Internment Camp History

San Francisco

Presidio of San Francisco

Served as home to both the Buffalo Soldiers and Pershing.  Founded by the Spanish in 1776, this longest continually occupied fort in North America has operated under three Armies.  Parts of the original Spanish adobe wall comprise the Officers Club at the top of the parade ground.  Just yards away are cannons that served in the Philippines, currently marking the spot where Perhing's house burned down - killing his wife and son ( s? ) . Her ghost is said to be one haunting the Officers' Club.  The Buffalo Soldiers served as Roosevelt's personal guard upon his visits to the Presidio, and patrolled much of the federales land around the turn of the century throughout the state of Ca, including Yosemite and other prized possessions.  The Presidio served as embarkation/disembarkation for all pacific theatre wars/actions America conducted, including the Philippines. Many of those Phillipinos served the US Navy and used that route to gain entry and citizenship into the US, helping to build the city I live in.  Some amazing stories ring throughout this post, one of the most expensive real estate parcels in the world...

LOTS of gold moved through that parcel!

Because the post is served by a combined sanitary/storm sewer, all metals ( including coins, military artifacts such as buttons etc. ) collect in the sewers. I have seen some VERY NICE stuff that had been hunted out of those sewers. Likely some still left...


Basically, any story on California's history and her role supporting American adventures in the Pacific Theatre require a study on the Presidio.

Well worth the trip...



By the start of the War Between the States 1862 the City of San Francisco was a sleepy little port/army post at the time - still mostly scrub dune. (The Navy was in Vallejo).

The Presidio of San Francisco (army) was growing, thanks to an infusion of northern scrip as a result of the civil war in an effort to maintain California firmly in allegiance to the federales. This money was building brick structures on the Presidio (the largest one, the mortar Fort Point was obsolete by the time it was completed, as is the case with most federal projects). Soldiers then spent their pay in the Market District after walking down lovers lane between the Presidio and the Market District.

Folks were still coming west in the 1860's, though not as many as a decade before. Often the boats would arrive, the men would venture off into the fields of gold, and the ship captains would not have enough crew to leave port.  The Captains entered an early form of 'headhunting' contract with the operators of the boarding houses downtown.  The boarding house saloon, often operating a saloon downstairs or next door, would send out runners or promotion boys. These boys would promise the men wandering about town of cheap booze and/or women in the bar.  The men came on in, were showed a good time - typically via a drink spiked with opium supplies by a bawdy girl, and would either pass out or be struck from behind with a club. The poor sap was then rolled into the basement, a kept man, until the captain could transfer his prey back onto the ship.  This practice had been similarly practiced before on the North coast of Africa, called the Barbary or Berber Coast.  Hence the downtown eastern shore of S.F became known as the "Barbary Coast'. Jackson Street between Sansome and Montgomery or Pacific Street provide great glimpse into life in San Francisco in the 1860s.  Behind Jackson in Hotaling Place (an alley) is a wavy line in the cement. This represents the original city shoreline (much of the Barbary Coast and the Marina Districts in S. F are built upon fill material).

The city of SF wouldn't really catch a bid until the eastern financiers made a money on the Comstock and then moved to SF. Virginia silver built SF and their stock exchange. When the city quaked/burned in 06, it was near its peak. Actual peak was the city rebuilding itself in time for the PanPac Expo.  Perhaps the exact peak of the city was the open air aria that Tetrazzini performed on New Years Eve, 1910. 

The city has been in decline ever since, getting much worse lately.

The Flood Building, built in 1904, remains a tangible asset remaining from the Flood family fortune build from Comstock wealth.  The Flood building was rehabilitated in 1992.

1906 Earthquake

The Navy fought the spread of the fire from the Chinatown into North Beach at Montgomery Street.  They Navy ran fire hose over Telegraph Hill from a tug they had tendered in the Bay.  Now, the prevailing wind usually comes from the NW.  And it continued to do so. The Navy was force to retreat the the fire jumped Montgomery Street.  But the wind shifted, against the typical direction, from the SE. That blew the fires back into itself, with no further fuel, and the fire eventually died out. 

1906 Earthquake and Resulting Panic of '07

The bankers didn't cause the crash of '07, but they did pile on in an effort to deepen and expand the crisis to support their own nefarious and pre-existing agenda.


The origins of the 1906 panic formed out of organic reasons. The San Francisco earthquake created a severe liquidity crunch in the fastest growing region of the US - at the time.  The Saint Louis worlds fair marked the beginning of the end for that city's business dominance of the western front. Typically, as  history shows, once the city's fathers begin building  monuments and bestowing honors amongst their selves and cronies symbolizing grandeur of their vision, 'tis time to move west my man. The eastern money influence waned with the burgeoning city of San Francisco.  Her edifices rose from the bay mudflats supported by Nevada Silver (Tonopah) and Gold (Goldfield). Both camps were actually in decline or nearly so as of late 1906 although the city of SF continue to grow; propelled via the ubiquitous inertia of hope.


The west still grappled with shortages of hard money - a condition present since the beginning of the War Between the States.  Silver and gold managed to carry most capital funding but many day-to-day transactions had been relegated to the arena of 'good for' tokens and scrip. Hard money, already exhibiting shortages, simply became unavailable (through both hoarding and lack of transportation necessary for distribution) following the SF earthquake.  


Distraught western merchants leaned on eastern bankers who then tapped the insurance agents, many based in Britain.  The British bankers then inserted their own particular brand of malicious mischief into the mix. They smelled blood amongst the eastern bankers and leaned in hard.  The bankers eventually colluded toward the federal reserve we know today, supporting plans already laid in place by nefarious controlling interests.

City takes possession from Feds: San Francisco Mint

 The old lady will again begin producing little pieces of stamped bits.  In this case, unfortunately, the daft and specious pos pot metal shows the heights from which she has fallen and plumbs the nadir of depths to which she will sink by producing small fiat trinkets compared to her precious stature of previous renown associated with tall and grand transfer of ingots into currency.  Yes, what was once one of the major storehouses in the world of precious metals and a cornerstone of the US economy will now be in , ahem, production once again.  Not sure which fate is more representative of the current economic picture, that the mint remains no longer silent as she has been the last couple decades, or that she will open again in the shadow of her former glory as a titan of fountain in her youth and now proffer nothing more than a quizzical glimpse through the window of her stamps into the quaint and historical period of the past whence real money flowed through American commerce.

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