Re: The Emporium on Market Street

04/29/07 - posted by John Martini

Boris: My family also has a tie to the land near the Emporium. My great-great grandfather was a young French sailor who jumped ship here in 1849 to look for gold. He was lucky; he made enough to sail back to France with a full poke.

According to my family, great grandpa Francois was offered a real estate deal in San Franciso just before leaving for home. The land dealer hiked him a seemingly endless distance into the dunes outside town and showed him a weed tufted lot that he could buy as an investment.

To our family's never-ending disgust, Francois turned him down and the lot eventually became the site of the Flood Building across from the Emporium.

(Post-script: Right after the Civl War, Francois returned to San Francisco with his wife and kids. He worked for a while as a saloon keeper, so I'm not sure how much the above story may have evolved as he retold it over a whiskey-stained bar.)

Probably every San Francisco family has a story like this one.

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