Where and how did San Francisco get its name?

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Where and how did San Francisco get its name? What does it mean?

-- Lisa Bloom (lizablue@earthlink.net), December 04, 1997


Response to San Francisco History

San Francisco is named after St. Francis of Assisi. It adopted this name in 1848 after years of being known as Yerba Buena (good herb). Portola named the Bay San Francisco when he discovered it in 1776. Mission Dolores also bears the name of St. Francis.

The reason for the change in 1848 was, I understand, that a new city was being built on the site of Vallejo(?) which the builders planned to name San Francisco. City fathers thought that they would lose their strategic identity and much business if this other town got the name, so they held a quick referendum and changed the name.

-- Joel GAzis-SAx (gazissax@best.com), December 11, 1997.

While I agree with the previous answer, it was Benicia, not Vallejo, that was being named San Francisco. Robert Semple obtained the land from General Mariano Vallejo and began development.

-- Keith Olsen (keithglenn@msn.com), January 22, 1998.

The name change was in 1846 as I've heard from many sources, not 1848.

-- Dedan H. (chipersboy01@yahoo.com), March 28, 2004.

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