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'Raising the Bear Flag' and 'Ending Gold at Sutter's Mill'

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Posted 7 years ago


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There is a fabulous series of murals at the former post office on Spear Street in San Francisco, now known as Rincon Center. In it muralist Anton Refregier goes step by step through the history of California from the Indian settlements to the World Wars.

These are murals 10 and 11, as well as the outside of the annex. The description provided by the post office of each mural is transcribed below:

10. Raising the Bear Flag: "The Bear Flag Revolt established the Republic of California for one month just before the United States won the territory in teh Mexican War. John Charles Fremont was a prime force in instigating the revolt and William B. Ide became president of the short-lived republic. The original Bear Flag, designed by William C. Todd, flew over Sonoma for a brief time."

"The piece of white cloth seen lying on the ground was originally the Mexican flay. Because some people thought this was disrespectful, Refregier painted it out. Its colors are still visible beneath the white overpaint."

11. Ending Gold at Sutter's Mill: "Sutter's Mill was a sawmill on the property of John Augustus Sutter. Located on the South Fork of the American River, it was financed by Sutter and constructed under the supervision of his partner in the venture, James W. Marshall. Marshall discovered gold there on January 24, 1848 and began the California Gold Rush. The nugget he found is known as the Wimmer Nugget, named after Marshall's assistant, Peter L. Wimmer."

Part of my trip to Rincon Center. For more on New Deal Post Office murals, check out this website:

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