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California Counties

The U.S. state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. On April 22, the Counties of Branciforte, Calaveras, Coloma, Colusi, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Trinity, and Yuba were added. Benicia was renamed Solano, Coloma to El Dorado, Fremont to Yola, Mt. Diablo to Contra Costa, San Jose to Santa Clara, Oro to Tuolumne, and Redding to Shasta. One of the first state legislative acts regarding Counties was to rename Branciforte County to Santa Cruz, Colusi to Colusa, and Yola to Yolo.

The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.

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San Francisco County, California

San Francisco County History, Geography, and Demographics

County Seat: San Francisco
Year Organized: 1850
Square Miles: 47
Court House:

1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place Room 244 City Hall
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689

Etymology - Origin of County Name

The sixth mission in California was established here by Padre Junipero Serra on October 9, 1776, and was named Mission San Francisco de Asis a la Laguna de los Dolores (Saint Francis of Assisi at the Lagoon of Sorrows). The mission is now known as "Mission Dolores."

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

California grows as the discovery of gold in 1848 drives people westward. As a result of this growth institutions are established and in 1850 the California Legislature created the original counties, including San Francisco (18 Feb). The San Francisco County government was established on 1 April while on April 15th the City of San Francisco was incorporated by act of the legislature. Later, California became the 31st state admitted to the Union (9 Sep).

The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 14th most populous city in the United States. The city is located at the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Francisco Bay to the east, and the Golden Gate to the north.

San Francisco Historical Timeline

10,000 B.C About 10,000 to 20,000 years ago, the Bay area was inhabited by the native people indigenous to the area, later to be called the Ohlone (a Miwok Indian word meaning "western people"). The Ohlone, composed of forty or so culturally diverse native tribes was a mobile society of hunter-gatherers that lived in the coastal area between Point Sur and the San Francisco Bay.

1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed along the coast near San Francisco and discovered the Farallones (16 Nov). Later in 1575 Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno landed in Drake's Bay, claimed the land for Spain, and named it Puerto de San Francisco. In 1579 Sir Francis Drake landed in Drake's Bay, claimed the land for England, and named it Nova Albion.

1769 Scouts, including Jose Francisco Ortega, from a Spanish expedition led by Don Gaspar de Portola discovered the Golden Gate (2 Nov).
1776 A Spanish expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza reached the Presidio (27 Mar) while a colonization party led by Lieutenant Moraga reached the original site of Mission Dolores (27 June). The United States of America declared its Independence from Britain (July 4). The Mission of San Francisco de Asis was officially dedicated (9 Oct).

1846 As the Mexican-American War unfolded, the United States took possession of a portion of California which included San Francisco (7 July). That year Yerba Buena (founded in 1835) was renamed San Francisco by an ordinance published in the California Star newspaper by Washington A. Bartlett, Chief Magistrate


1850 California grows as the discovery of gold in 1848 drives people westward. As a result of this growth institutions are established and in 1850 the California Legislature created the original counties, including San Francisco (18 Feb). The San Francisco County government was established on 1 April while on April 15th the City of San Francisco was incorporated by act of the legislature. Later, California became the 31st state admitted to the Union (9 Sep).


1856 The Consolidation Act of 1856, combining the City and County of San Francisco went into effect (1 July). In 1856 San Francisco had a population of 30,000.


1861 The current Fort Point was completed to defend San Francisco(15 Feb). This was also the year when the Civil War began when Confederate forces assaulted Fort Sumter (12 Apr).


1865 San Francisco was hit on Oct. 8th, 1865, by a great earthquake that caused extensive damage in the City. Unfortunately even more damage and loss of life occurred when the City was hit by another severe earthquake at 7:53 A.M. on October 22, 1868.


1873 Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, obtained a patent for the jeans, and began selling them in the same year. In the same year, Andrew S. Hallidie tested his first cable car system near the top of Nob Hill at Clay and Jones Streets (2 Aug). The next month the Clay Street line started public service.

1906 The Great Earthquake struck on April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m. It's magnitude was 8.25 on the Richter scale, and it lasted 49 seconds. The Great Fire that followed caused more damage than the earthquake, destroying about 28,000 buildings. About 3,000 were thought to have died that day while 225,000 were left homeless.


1915 San Francisco builds a Palace of Fine Arts as it hosts the Panama Pacific International Exposition (20 Feb - 4 Dec). Dedication of new City Hall by Mayor James Rolph (28 Dec). San Francisco is a growing city as the US prepares to enter World War I.


1923 A portion of Lombard Street was created into “the crookedest street in the world.” Also the Steinhart Aquarium and Golden Gate Park, opened to public (29 Sep).


1933 The Coit Tower on Telegraph hill was completed. The tower was named after Lillie Hitchcock Coit, philanthropist and admirer of the fire fighters at the 1906 earthquake fire, who left funds to the City for beautification of San Francisco. As a result, it is not a coincidence that the 210 ft. tall art deco Tower's design is reminiscent of a fire hose nozzle.


1936 After the Great depression, the New Deal period leads to the construction of major public works. The Bay Bridge was officially opened on November 12, 1936 to connect San Francisco with Oakland and the east bay. The 8.25 miles long bridge was built using 152,000 tons of steel and 1 million cubic yards of concrete.


1937 The Golden Gate Bridge was officially opened to pedestrian traffic on May 27, 1937 and to vehicular traffic the next day. The total length of the bridge that many engineers said that could not be built was 1.7 miles. The width of the Bridge is 90 ft while the total original combined weight of the Bridge, anchorages, and approaches was 894,500 tons or 811,500,000 kg.


1941 On Dec. 8, 1941 the United States enters World War II after Japanese forces attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Shortly thereafter, Japanese people are evacuated in San Francisco and other cities. World war II will show the world terror as 40 million people die on battlefields, gas chambers and gulags: Hitler's Nazi, National-Socialist regime, slaughters millions of Jews while Stalin's Communist regime starves to death millions of Russians.


1945 The United Nations World Charter of Security was signed in San Francisco (26 June) as the world begins its road to relative peace: World War II had ended with the surrender of the German Nazi (7 May) and the Japanese (14 Aug) forces after the U.S. takes Berlin and drops nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki..


1972 Transamerica Pyramid was officially opened. It has 48 stories with a total height of 853 feet, including the 212-foot spire. Construction had begun in 1969. It took about 16,000 cubic yards of concrete, encasing more than 300 miles of steel reinforcing rods to build the pyramid.


1978 Dan White, a disgruntled ex-city supervisor walked into City Hall and killed Harvey Milk, a popular gay city supervisor, and Mayor George Moscone (27 Nov). The killing of Moscone automatically thrust Dianne Feinstein, then president of the Board of Supervisors, into the role of acting mayor. She was subsequently elected to two terms as mayor and later to the U.S. Senate.


1989 Late Tuesday afternoon at 5:05 p.m., an earthquake (magnitude 7.1) occurred along the San Andreas fault (17 October). The tremor collapsed a section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge but fortunately caused only 6 deaths. The damage however was estimated at almost three billion dollars in San Francisco, which was approximately one-half of the total damage figure for the entire earthquake zone.


2001 On Sept. 11 middle eastern terrorists crash airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in DC and in Pennsylvania. The attacks caused 3,000 deaths and would subsequently lead the US into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The economic recession that followed, as the investment bubble burst, hit California's and San Francisco's economies hard with thousand of IT ventures and jobs lost.

Geography

San Francisco is located on the West Coast of the U.S. at the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. Several islands are part of the city, notably Alcatraz, Treasure Island, and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, together with small portions of Alameda Island, Angel Island, and Red Rock Island. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a "seven-by-seven-mile square," a common local colloquialism referring to the city's shape.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Alameda County, CA to the east
  • Marin County, CA to the north
  • San Mateo County, CA to the south
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