San Francisco has a short and interesting history filled with dramatic events and intrigue. If you’re curious about seeing our beautiful city in the beginning then keep reading. Take a look at these historical photos that will bring you to a different time and period of California. Check out the oldest photos of San Francisco that will fascinate you.
1. Yerba Buena Cove, 1850 – This is a Gold Rush era photo that shows San Francisco harbor at Yerba Buena Cove in 1850 or 1851. You can see Yerba Buena Island, and Berkeley Hills, in the background.
2. Bella Union, 1850 – This is the Bella Union Theatre in San Francisco. This picture dates from 1850. The Bella Union existed until the great fire of 1906.
3. Portsmouth Square, 1851 – Another Gold Rush gem, this is Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, the is dated around 1851.
4. San Francisco Park , 1888 – The location could be Alta Plaza Park, which was established in 1888. The location of the photo is not listed.
5. Mission Dolores Church, 1890 – This is a classic shot of Mission Dolores Church on Dolores Street in San Francisco. The dates is from around 1880 – 1890.
6. Chinatown, 1898 – This is the oldest Chinese neighborhood in the USA. This picture is at Ross Alley in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1898.
7. Ferry Building, 1906 – The monumental and historic Ferry Building after the great earthquake of 1906.
8. San Francisco, 1906 – One of the most famous early photos of San Francisco is from April 18. 1906, the day of the earthquake. This photo is quite powerful.
9. Downtown San Francisco, 1906 – Taken after the earthquake of 1906. These are damaged houses on Howard Street and the area of Post and Grant Avenue, San Francisco.
10. Golden Gate Park, early 1900s – This is a track cycling race at the Polo Fields from Golden Gate Park.