Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 San Francisco History Expo

Are you ready for some San Francisco history?  That's right, the San Francisco History Expo is back for the fifth year!  Once again held at the historic Old Mint, this year's event will have more than 60 exhibitors, all of them looking forward to sharing history with attendees.  We'll have historical and ethnic organizations, museums, libraries, and of course genealogical societies!

An important theme for this year's expo is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), which was held in San Francisco.  Three speakers will cover different aspects of the exposition:  Laura Ackley, a well known expert on the PPIE, will talk about the people who made the event happen; Mike Phipps and Don Holmgren, directors of the Cable Car Museum, will unveil the story of the cable car designated specifically to convey people to and from the PPIE; and John William Templeton will explore the life of Wesley Johnson, a notable black American who came to San Francisco in 1915 for the PPIE.  These presentations, along with films and other talks, will be held on the vault floor at the Mint.

Living history re-enactors in period costumes will circulate throughout the expo and mingle with visitors, giving impromptu performances of well known individuals from San Francisco's Gold Rush and Barbary Coast eras.  (I've heard rumors that Emperor Norton will again grace us with his presence.)  New this year will be singers from the San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park, who will regale the crowds with sea shanties (songs) about San Francisco from the time when it was an infamous port city.

The genealogy groups participating will again be the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California, California Genealogical Society, San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, SFGenealogy, and Sutro Library (the genealogy branch of the California State Library).  AAGSNC, CGS, and SFBAJGS will be in the same room as last year, but SFGenealogy and Sutro may be in other locations.  Come talk to us about your family, and we'll do our best to give you tips to help with your research.

The Expo will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 28 and March 1, at the Old Mint, 88 Fifth Street, San Francisco.  (Powell Street is the nearest BART station.)  Hours are 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday.  The admission fee is $5.00, children under 12 are free, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

For more information about the Expo, and to see the list of exhibitors and the presentation schedule, visit or call (415) 537-1105 x100.

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