1. Old Building 2. Boarding house Crimps

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Question 1: Could anyone tell me anything about the old (yellowish/brownish) building at the waterfront at the end of Mission Street? Is this a building from before or after 1906?

Question 2: My great grandfather lived in San Francisco from ca. 1850 to 1863/64. When he returned to Norway, he was very rich. He had found gold, he told, but that I don't believe, because he obviuosly has lived a maritime life most of his 10-12 years in S.F. The last few years he was a boatman. Before that he was captain of the sloop "Sycamore"(City Directory). I find it hard to believe that this made him a very rich man. Am I mistaken? On the other hand, clues are there that he may have operated as a boarding house crimp, at least his last years in S.F. As I have understood, fast money could be made in that business. Living at the boarding house Columbia House, Steuart Street, does that make my hypotheses likely? Does anyone know anything about Columbia House?

-- Roar Holmedal (holmedal@netcom.no), March 29, 2000


Question 1. I think you are refering to the Agriculure Building. It is a State of California Building which has been used by the Agriculture Department since before 1906. Also been used by the Post Office.

If you find any more uses, let me know.



Question 2: I know nothing of the Columbia house or the sloop Columbia. He could have made some money as a master depending on what kind of trade she was in. Could he have been a crimp? The fact that he was a boatman and lived at a waterfront boarding house all point to that conclusion. And yes, money could be made in that parasitic trade. I don't have any ready references but the Maritime Museum in San Francisco should have plenty of bibliographic material.

-- Don Martinich (dutchm@dcn.davis.ca.us), April 30, 2000.

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