Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Site of First U.S. Branch Mint

 
 
First U.S. Branch Mint Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 12, 2008
1. First U.S. Branch Mint Marker
Inscription. The first United States Branch Mint in San Francisco was authorized by Congress July 3, 1852, and opened for operation on April 3, 1854. Dr. L.A. Birdall was the first superintendent: J. Huston, first minter: A. Haraszthy, first assayer.

State Registered Landmark No. 87

Tablet placed by California Centennial Commission with the Cooperation of the Society of California Pioneers. Dedicated October 21, 1949
 
Erected 1949 by California Centennial Commission. (Marker Number 87.)
 
Location. 37° 47.653′ N, 122° 24.193′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Commercial Street near Montgomery Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 608 Commercial Street, San Francisco CA 94111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hudson's Bay Company (a few steps from this marker); "The Family" (within shouting distance of this marker); Bank of Italy (within shouting distance of this marker); Commander John B. Montgomery's Landing Site (within shouting distance of this marker);
Site of First U.S. Branch Mint as it appears today image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 12, 2008
2. Site of First U.S. Branch Mint as it appears today
Pony Express (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Headquarters of Russell, Majors, and Waddell (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (about 300 feet away); Site of What Cheer House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Regarding Site of First U.S. Branch Mint. The boom in economic activity in California caused by the Gold Rush created an unmet need for coinage. Congress recognized this in 1852 by passing legislation authorizing the Treasury Secretary to choose a site for the new branch mint. The new mint became operational in 1854, although production was hampered in the early years by a shortage of sufficient chemicals. Continued economic growth meant that the relatively small facility was soon inadequate, and in 1874 Congress appropriated $300,000 for the construction of a larger replacement facility. The building was razed in 1875, and a new four-story building for Treasury offices was erected on this site. The April 1906 earthquake and ensuing fire gutted the building, and subsequently it was reconstructed
Depiction of the first US branch mint in San Francisco image. Click for full size.
Artist unknown. Image is in the public domain.
3. Depiction of the first US branch mint in San Francisco
as a one-story building. Today the building houses the Pacific Heritage Museum.

This mint's successor, the "Granite Lady" located at Fifth and Mission, continued operation into the 1930's. That facility was subsequently replaced by a larger facility which is still in operation today.
 
Also see . . .  History of the San Francisco Mints. See the US Coin Values Advisor website for a history of the minting of coins in San Francisco. (Submitted on July 14, 2008.) 
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 14, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,183 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 14, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement