Showing posts with the label San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay and History Come Together

San Francisco is the city of misty ocean bay sites, fishing boats, art, and technology. From sour dough bread to dark chocolate, it has a history of survival. Walking along the pier it is easy to see the charm, as trolley’s flow through streets and lively patio dining are commonplace. Like Paris, it affords a unique opportunity to watch the multitudes of people from all of the world come to experience the tours, eat their fill, and enjoy the nightlife. Walking up the shop lined streets you may even find a local art vendor willing to part with their masterpiece for a few dollars. Its history is as international as its people.  Sir Francis Drake first saw the bay in 1579 and took note of it as he moved on to explore other opportunities. It stayed untouched by European hands until the expedition by Gaspar de Portola who founded the Presidio Army Base and a Catholic Church in the area around 1776. The goal was to enslave and convert the local Ohlone population and set up a Spa

The History of Alcatraz "The Rock"

The story of Alcatraz starts in 1775 with the discovery by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala who called the 22-acre island “La Isla de los Alcatraces” which means “Island of Pelicans”. President Millard Fillmore in 1850 reserved the island for the Army. With the advent of the Gold Rush and increased growth in the area both a lighthouse and the 100 cannon Fort Alcatraz was built.  Like many forts in the U.S., the island never came under attack or needed to defend the area. In the 1860’s the island became a prison for treason under the Civil War and hosted 300 people with room for 500 for over a 100 years. A 1906 earthquake brought more prisoners who were commissioned to build a prison.  The prison became the Pacific Branch, U.S. Military Prison, Alcatraz Island where discipline to military members was the common call of the day. It also trained them in vocational and military skills. This was the time Alcatraz was known as “The Rock”. As a minimum-security prison, it