Portsmouth Square

Washington & Kearny Street
San Francisco
CA 94111

Portsmouth Square

Public Space/SquarePark/Recreation AreaChild Friendly Site


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Portsmouth Square is located on the site of the first public square established in the early 1800s in the Mexican community of Yerba Buena, whose name was changed to San Francisco in 1847. During the Mexican-American War, when the Americans were bent on acquiring Alta California, Captain John Berrien Montgomery of the USS Portsmouth was ordered to seize Yerba Buena. On July 9, 1846, the first American flag was raised near the Mexican adobe custom house in the plaza that would eventually be named Portsmouth Square in honor of the ship. Many historical events have happened at the plaza. In 1847, the first public school in California was erected at the southwest corner of plaza. On May 11, 1848, the discovery of gold was announced when Sam Brannan showed his gold to a crowd


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