San Francisco's Literary Frontier

By Franklin Dickerson Walker | Go to book overview
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THE LUSTY city of San Francisco came of age in the early sixties. There had been a moment during the most distressing days of its adolescence when its future looked very doubtful. Not only had the nation-wide panic of '57 been felt in the Western city, but the output of gold from the Mother Lode had fallen off appreciably, real-estate speculation had been checked by a collapse in prices, and, as a final blow, nearly twenty-five thousand San Franciscans had stampeded to the Fraser River. But by Christmas of '58, when most of them had returned swearing never again to leave "God's country," the corner had been turned.

No longer did the croakers prophesy that San Francisco would dwindle to the size of Vallejo or become a ghost town in the midst of a territory gutted of its mineral wealth. The steam paddy, which had stood cold for six years, fired up and set about removing more sand hills and dumping them into the bay. The vexatious Santillan land suit was dropped, opening up the southern and western parts of the city to purchasers and builders; overnight Happy Valley and Rincon Hill became pretentious residential sections. In '59 thirteen thousand newcomers


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