San Francisco (1862)

San Francisco Capitol
550 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
State Capital (1862)

The site of the 1862 San Francisco capital was the Merchants Exchange Building, a building constructed in 1854. The Merchants Exchange Building didn’t survive the 1906 earthquake, and the new Richard Henry Dana Building was constructed in its place. A major source of confusion is the existance of a new Merchants Exchange, which was constructed beginning in 1904, at 465 California Street, six blocks away from the former Capitol.

HISTORY: “When in December 1861, Sacramento became completely flooded and many spoke of temporarily moving the capital to San Francisco, but nothing was done. Then, again, on 10 January 1862, the city was inundated even 20 inches higher than the previous flood. It was said Governor Leland Stanford arrived in a rowboat for his inauguration. This time, the temporary change was not only talked about, it was acted upon. The legislature moved on 24 January 1862 to San Francisco. They conducted their business in the Merchants Exchange Building at Battery and Washington Streets. When the next session convened, it was in Sacramento once again.” The Senate voted 20 to 13 to adjourn to SF on the January 11th. The Assembly passed a similar resolution on the 22nd, the Senate concurred the same day. The rent totalled $4,047.
Source: “Previous Capitals of California” by the California State Library