April 29, 1830: Adolph Sutro is born in Aachen, Prussia.

1845: Texas is annexed to the United States from Mexico.

1846-48: The Mexican-American War breaks out following Texas’ annexation.

1848-49: The German Revolution breaks out, and bleeds over into roughly 50 other European states.

1849: The California Gold Rush begins

Fall 1850: The Sutro family arrives at Ellis Island.

November 21, 1851: Adolph Sutro arrives in San Francisco.

1859: The Comstock Lode is tapped for its rich silver deposits.

1861-65: The American Civil War breaks out, leading to a complete reconstruction of the country.  Americans begin to identify themselves as “Americans” after this conflict.

1870s: Denis Kearny begins organizing the California Workingman’s Party, an early precursor to the labor conflicts in San Francisco during the early decades of the twentieth century.

1872: Self-anointed Emperor Norton I, Guardian of Mexico is priced out of the rice market and begins issuing a wave of public decrees, among the most prominent of which is a plan to build a bridge across the San Francisco bay, from east to west, connecting San Francisco with its rapidly growing neighbors in the East Bay.

October 1878: Sutro Tunnel is completed, providing ventilation and allowing for miners to continue tapping the Comstock Lode unimpeded.

1879: Andrew Hallidie successfully tests the first rail and chain-bound cable car, allowing for residential construction to begin on the city’s steepest vistas.

1883: Adolph Sutro purchases the Cliff House restaurant and lounge, but is unsuccessful in its management.  He sells the establishment to independent proprietor J.M. Wilkins.

1894: The schooner Parallel, packed with high-yield explosives, slams into the rocks below the Cliff House, closing it for significant repair.

1898: Adolph Sutro dies after a long battle with illness.

1899-1901: The Boxer Rebellion drives thousands Chinese from China, many of which settle in San Francisco.  The large influx of Chinese leads some to denounce their labor as the city was experiencing its most dramatic growth to date, arguing that it was taking jobs from white, American, laborers.

April 18, 1906: San Francisco is struck by an earthquake of roughly magnitude 7.9, which, while doing little initial structural damage to the city, ruptures gas lines leading to the massive conflagration that all but levels San Francisco.  The Cliff House largely survives the disaster.

1907: A kitchen fire burns the Cliff House to its foundation.  It is again rebuilt, and placed under new ownership.  The Cliff House suffers a number of successive fatal blows before being constructed into its current form during the 1970s, after the deconstruction of Playland.

1914-1918: World War I erupts in Europe.  The United States enters the war in 1917.  The war all but halts any planning of bridges across the San Francisco Bay until the early twenties.  During the intervening years, combustion technology is greatly improved upon, allowing the construction of massive battleships and aircraft.  Because of the size of the ships, the Navy opposes the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Project.

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