The Aftermath of the 1906 Quake in San Francisco

April 23, 2017 | By | Reply More
Soldiers looting during the fire

Soldiers looting during the fire

As might have been expected, there were several examples of thieves at work while the city was in its hours of crisis.

Indeed, six such were shot when caught at their nefarious tasks, although the mayor later reported that rumors about the number of such executions were considerably exaggerated. Although isolated accidents of drunkenness were reported, there was nothing in the nature of an orgy in this respect for Schmitz had been prompt in prescribing the closing of every saloon in the city for a period of three months, which action, surprisingly enough, seems to have been generally approved by the saloon-keepers themselves.

The problem of relief in San Francisco was a staggering one, even judged by modern standards.

A city of 350,000 had been made almost entirely dependent upon outside provisioning. Almost all had to be cared for and sustained and, here again, the record is clear that, with some few exceptions, the task of immediate and later relief was well taken care of by those concerned with it.

Quickly, the entire city was divided into seven sections for purposes of ”food relief distribution.” Within several weeks, about 70,000 persons were living in tents and temporary dwellings in the Presidio, of which number about 35,000 were in the general vicinity of the present Presidio Golf Links.

Here again the military proved of the greatest help in issuing rations and blankets to those in need; in all, there were, in the beginning, about one hundred camps in the city; some were large, as indicated, and others, at first, were quite small. Of these, fifty were under some form of military supervision (all subject to civil approval, though); when the military officially withdrew from this work in favor of the Red Cross and other agencies, Mayor Schmitz was quick to express his gratitude for ”the magnificent work which has been done in the matter of taking care of our homeless and destitute”

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Category: Fog City - City of Fog, History

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