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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Fort Gunnybags

 
 
Fort Gunnybags Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 14, 2014
1. Fort Gunnybags Marker
Inscription.
Fort Gunnybags
was situated
on this spot

Headquarters
of the
Vigilance
Committee
during the year
1856
(Marker Number CHL 90.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 37° 47.658′ N, 122° 23.897′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Sacramento Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 243 Sacramento Street, San Francisco CA 94111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robert Lee Frost (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); California Street Cable Cars Line (about 600 feet away); The General Harrison (about 700 feet away); Union Bank Building (about 800 feet away); Bank of California (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Ship Niantic (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Abraham Lincoln Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Captain Leidesdorff (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. San Francisco –Saturday, June 1, interesting ceremonies will be
Fort Gunnybags Site and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 14, 2014
2. Fort Gunnybags Site and Marker
held here under the auspices of Historic Landmarks Committee of the Grand Parlor, Native Sons of the Golden West. On the site of the former headquarters of the famous San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856, situated on Sacramento Street, between Davis and Front, will be replaced a bronze memorial tablet originally dedicated on March 21, 1903. At that time the walls of old Fort Gunnybags were standing. The fire of April 18, 1906 destroyed the building, and the bronze tablet was stolen. It was later recovered, and has since been stored in Native Sons’ Building.
Recently, a new building has been erected on the original site, and permission of the owners has been obtained to replace the tablet, which will now have far greater historical interest than when originally placed. The tablet is four feet by two, and was designed by Newton J. Tharpe. The all seeing eye, appearing upon the seal which was affixed to all documents issued by the Vigilance Committee, is a part of the design. The tablet bears the following inscription:

(See photo above)
Attached to the original tablet will be a new plate bearing these words:
“Tablet placed by the California Historic Landmarks League, March 21, 1903. The fire of April 18, 1906, destroyed the original building that occupied this site. The tablet disappeared, was recovered and, upon the erection of a new building,
Fort Gunnybags image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1856
3. Fort Gunnybags
replaced June 1, 1918, by the Historic Landmarks Committee of the Native Sons of the Golden West.”

At the ceremonies held in 1903, there was brought from the California Pioneers’ building the original bell that summoned the vigilantes to headquarters when there was important work to perform during San Francisco’s early struggles for law and order. That old bell was destroyed with other valuable relics in the fire of 1906. All survivors of that famous committee will be invited to attend the ceremonies.
--The Grizzly Bear, June 1918, page 37

It appears, from the 1960 re-re-dedication, that the marker has been moved again (the building may have even been demolished and rebuilt) and the lower plaque added in 1918 is now missing.
 
Also see . . .
1. The 1856 Committee of Vigilance - The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco. Next to 1848, when gold was discovered in California, 1856 was perhaps the most exciting year of the era by reason of the flood of crime into the city and brought about the organization of the famous Committee of Vigilance of that year, a form of direct action which attracted the attention of the world to a new style of summary justice, the result of extraordinary conditions in San Francisco. (Submitted on January 23, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Re-dedication of the Fort Gunny-Bags site
Fort Gunnybags image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1856
4. Fort Gunnybags
. (Submitted on August 23, 2016.)
 
Additional keywords. vigilantes
 
Categories. Forts, Castles
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 480 times since then and 5 times this year. Last updated on , by James King of San Miguel, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on August 23, 2016.
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