In 1776, the Spanish established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for St. Francis of Assisi on the site. The California Gold Rush in 1848 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth, increasing the population in one year from 1,000 to 25,000, and thus transforming it into the largest city on the West Coast at the time. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. During World War II, San Francisco was the port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States.
In 1979, San Francisco was one of the safest places in the world for homosexual men to practice their romantic preferences freely. And so did Gaetan, a vacationing Air Canada flight attendant, and Lingol, a beautiful foreign man, who hit it off together for a whirlwind courtship in that city. Unbeknownst to either, their brief encounter would doom Lingol's people to potential extinction.
The Crosstime Traffic corporation chose San Francisco as one of the cities to set up an outpost in "Alternate 3477". The company established the retail store called Curious Notions, which specialized in electronics. San Francisco was chosen for two reasons. First, it was one of the few American cities to survive an atomic war with Imperial Germany in 1956 because the bombers headed for the city were shot down. Second, it was close to the Central Valley, a particularly fertile agricultural area in nearly every timeline.
As the United States had been under the rule of Imperial Germany, San Francisco had become rather rundown. Many buildings still bore the marks of the 1989 earthquake over a century later. It was also quite common to see officers of the Feldgendarmerie patrolling the streets.
The Chinese gangs known as the Triads maintained a quiet but powerful presence in the city.
When the Woo family was brought to the San Francisco of the home timeline, they were astonished to find a sophisticated, cultured, and world-class city.
A phenomenon often noted by Crosstimers was that in any alternate where both San Francisco and Los Angeles existed, the two cities were cultural rivals. This included the alternate where the United States dissolved in the early 1800s.
People living in the various little states into which Los Angeles had been divided after the big war, knew of Frisco as a place far away to the north, which hardly any of them had visited or was likely to visit - since the trip there would be long, difficult and dangerous, requiring to cross the national boundaries of many small states as well as various lawless areas where robbers waited to prey on travelers.
In May 1968, an iceberg which had broken off from Antarctica'sRoss Ice Shelf more than a year before and made its way north finally landed off the coast of San Francisco. A swarm of shoggoths attacked the city, destroying a number of artifacts pertaining to the Old Ones that were housed around the city.
The attack also killed several, including a pair of Old Ones who'd come to see a concert at the Fillmore, before it was finally halted. Members of the band HPL were witnesses to the Fillmore attacks.
San Francisco was one of several cities the Soviet Union successfully atom bombed on the morning of March 2, 1951 during World War III. The bombing destroyed most of the city and also caused the famous Golden Gate Bridge to collapse into the San Francisco Bay, blocking marine traffic from entering and exiting the bay. In the aftermath of the bombing, the federal government established a number of refugee camps around the bay.
In the 20th century, the city was a major port of call for the US Navy and other Central Powers fleets in the Pacific. It was a staging area for the 1914 assault on the Sandwich Islands during the Great War.
Drakestown (San Francisco before the 1860s war) was a major city in the Americanprovince of Upper California. It was situated on the west shore of San Francisco Bay which had retained its original Spanish name. Although people had talked for years of bridging the bay, they could never come up with an earthquake-proof design. Due to this absence, numerous ferries continued to adequately connect Drakestown with the cities and towns on the east side of the water.