San Francisco’s Coit Tower was dedicated as a monument to firefighters in 1933 on this day.
The San Francisco Bay area sits on top of the San Andreas and six additional faults which are on the edge of the North American and Pacific Plates. In San Francisco earth tremors are relatively common and there are the occasional large earthquakes. To put it in perspective, the Bay area experiences about 20 seismic events per day. The last major earthquake was in 1989. A previous large earthquake in 1906 ignited many fires and destroyed about 500 city blocks.
There is a special need for firefighters in San Francisco.
So why build here in the first place?
San Francisco grew exponentially starting in 1849 from a small village thanks to the California Gold rush, making it the largest city on the West Coast for a period. The prospectors and those selling items to them didn’t particularly care about earthquakes…
Here is a wonderful view of the growing city of San Francisco by Currier and Ives from 1878.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.