Neighborhood History

Telegraph Hill is more than a matter of views; it is a way of life. On the streets, climbing the wooden steps or narrow paths, perhaps passing some of the oldest houses in San Francisco, it is a microcosm of San Francisco. Not only have local events on the Hill been duplicated in other parts of the city, but from a perch on Telegraph Hill a series of residents could have observed most of the major events in San Francisco history.

They would have witnessed the arrival of Captain John B. Montgomery and the hoisting of the flag of the United States, as well as the arrival a few years later of gold seekers from all over the world. Admiral Dewey’s return from the Philippines, the great fire of 1906 and the secret ship movements of World War II, Korea and Vietnam would all have passed around them. They would have noted the growth of San Francisco to the south and west to accommodate new arrivals, along with changes and developments in North Beach and the immediate neighborhood.