February 21, 2007
History is rife with bizarre confrontations and grand feuds, but in San Francisco none were more bizarre than the showdown between Charles Crocker (bellicose railroad robber baron) and Nicholas Yung (unassuming German undertaker).
Call it “a tale of two egos”. It was over a very small piece of land, but this property was located on center stage of 1870′s San Francisco — the very top of Nob Hill.
This podcast pulls several threads from the San Francisco tapestry — the Big Four, the Transcontinental Railroad, rabble rouser Denis Kearney and photographer Eadweard Muybridge — and weaves them together into a 25 year saga of pigheadedness that could only be resolved by the destruction of the entire city.
For further edification:
» 1902 SF Chronicle “Spite Fence” article — SFGenealogy.com
» The Big Four — Central Pacific Railroad Museum
» “Kearneyism” — Virtual Museum of San Francisco
» Grace Cathedral — official site
- SFist — whiskerless waiters at the palace hotel
- OldSF.org – Map of the San Francisco Public Library’s Historical Photo Collection
- #30: Streets of San Francisco #2
- Vintage snapshots of San Francisco pt. 2: Google-mapped
- #18: Firebelle Lil — Elizabeth “Lillie” Coit