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[By California Beat | 25 Jan 2009 | 4 Comments]

There is no denying that the city of Sonoma has been a historical city. It fact it can be called the birthplace of the California Republic. While many of the city’s historical buildings and sites can be found at Sonoma State Historic Park, many of the Sonoma Valley’s pioneers have found rest just a few blocks away at historic Mountain Cemetery.

Founded in 1841, Mountain Cemetery is located at 90 First Street West a few blocks away from Sonoma Historic Park. It is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. For those planning to visit the cemetery, I suggest that you be physically fit. I had known that the cemetery was located along some hills, but what I didn’t realize is that it is literally located on the side of one.

[By California Beat | 10 Jan 2009 | No Comments]

Arthur Brown Jr.

May 21, 1874 – July 7, 1957

San Francisco

Oakland born architect Arthur Brown Jr., not to be confused with fellow architect Arthur Page Brown, earns his place as a California Beat hero because some of his work in the Bay Area is well known nationwide.

Among the many projects he is linked to are San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal and City Hall, as well as the Bancroft Library at the University of California in Berkeley. However his most important, and well known, work has to be the tall and odd looking tower which stands on top of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill.

Quite visible from many locations in San Francisco, Coit Tower is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Completed in 1934, the tower was the product of funds left from the estate of San Francisco personality, Lillie Hitchcock Coit (1842 – 1929), who wished that the money would be used to …

[By California Beat | 18 Dec 2008 | No Comments]

Carl Patrick McCarthy

December 15, 1898 – October 15, 1981

Pacifica

To describe the work that Mr. McCarthy has done for the state of California, it is best that I quote the monument that is dedicated to his memory:

“In memory of Carl Patrick McCarthy whose dedicated efforts for national recognition of the Portolá Expedition’s discover of San Francisco Bay in 1769 included personally bringing 11,863 visitors to this Discovery Site and presenting the Expedition’s history in pictures to 9,343 between 1966 and his death October 15, 1981.”

[By California Beat | 25 Nov 2008 | No Comments]

On November 27th, 1978, the city of San Francisco changed forever.

By the day’s end, two of the city’s leading politicians were dead, another forever disgraced, and a fourth starting her way up to national prominence.

George Moscone was no stranger to politics. Previously a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, he had served in the California State Senate from 1967 until 1976, when he was elected mayor of San Francisco. Harvey Milk was a Korean War veteran from New York. A strong activist in the gay rights movement, he was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1977.

[By California Beat | 23 Aug 2008 | One Comment]

The Second World War was an important time in the development of San Francisco Bay Area. With it’s proximity to the Pacific Theater, military bases were quickly mobilized and placed on alert. In addition, the bay made for an excellent place for wartime industries to kick up production of supplies and equipment. For many young men bound for service in the Pacific, San Francisco would be their last view of the continental United States until war’s end.

Many of the wartime sites are silent now. Some are gone while others are crumbling away. However moored at Pier 45 in San Francisco, the Liberty ship S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien still actively sails as a reminder of the past.

Easy and quick to build, the whole purpose of the Liberty ship was to carry supplies from the states to the Allied forces fighting in the European and Pacific Theaters. Manned by the U.S. Merchant Marine …

[By California Beat | 20 Aug 2008 | One Comment]

During the Second World War, perhaps no branch of the United States Navy held as much difficulty and danger then that of the submarine service. While it was the smallest branch in the Navy, the submarine service would at war’s end have the largest casualty percentage of any military service. While there really is no way of truly understanding the risks the service carried with it unless you actually lived it, you can get a small glimpse by visiting one of the wartime submarines. Moored along San Francisco’s Pier 45, is a chance to do just that with the U.S.S. Pampanito.

Built and commissioned at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire in 1943, the U.S.S. Pampanito is a distinguished combat veteran of the war. The Balao class diesel submarine made a total of six combat patrols in the Pacific theater and would sink or destroy ten Japanese vessels. In 1986, …