Why was the Golden Gate Bridge named Golden Gate Bridge?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

Why was the golden gate bridge named the Golden Gate Bridge? Who decided this name and when?

-- Brett Hasasett (bretthasset@yahoo.com), May 18, 2004


The opening spanned by the GG Bridge was named "Golden Gate" in 1846 by U.S. Army engineer and explorer John C. Fremont. Naming the bridge after its geographical location seemed the logical thing to do. In all my reading about the bridge's planning and design, no other name ever seems to have been proposed.

-- John Martini (jamartini@slip.net), May 18, 2004.

The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots. It is generally accepted that the strait was named "Chrysopylae", or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846. It reminded him of a harbor in Instanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

It should be noted that the name 'Golden Gate' is not associated with the discovery of gold in California, but was named two years earlier.

-- strange (stranger@yahoo.com), May 18, 2004.

In the early 19th century the Nation starting looking west. Early explorations were led by Lewis and Clark. Visionaries, financiers and industrialists saw the eventuality of railroads spanning the continent, with west coast ports as jumping off points for trade with the Far East. In San Francisco in 1846, having completed one of his trail blazing efforts, Army Lieutenant John C. Fremont gazed at the narrow strait that separates the Bay from the Pacific Ocean and said "It is a golden gate to trade with the Orient." His published journal established the name for history. The construction of the bridge, the most photographed structure in the world, many decades later adds to the historic allure.

-- Charles Grant (clgrant@ix.netcom.com), May 20, 2004.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ