Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

What a Rush 

Wednesday, Nov 7 2012
This might shock you, but San Francisco has a debaucherous past. Once home to less than 500 people, as soon as James Marshall found gold in them thar hills, the population began to double every 10 days, creating a Boomtown full of saloons, sailors, slummers, and sinners. This was an era where the city burned down frequently, where a murder a week was not news, and where robbing newly arrived Oregonians had its own slang phrase ("jayhawk a webfoot"). While that colorful history is behind us (mostly), you can still experience S.F.'s bawdy past rendered in miniature with the fifth-annual Garden Railway exhibition, "Boomtown: Barbary Coast." In addition to the popular model trains, witness historic versions of landmarks like Union Square and Maiden Lane, which is now a fancypants shopping center, but was once home to the best dives and brothels in the city; gawk at the houses built on abandoned ships; and marvel at the shanties, schooners, and S.F. eccentrics of yore. Since it wouldn't be S.F. without an eye toward sustainability, all replicas were made of recycled and repurposed materials.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 16. Continues through April 14, 2012

About The Author

Anna Pulley

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"