Friday, February 19, 2016

San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint

For the past five years several thousand people have enjoyed the San Francisco History Expo, celebrating the history of many different aspects of San Francisco and its residents.  This year the history celebration is back with a slightly different name — San Francisco History Days — but with the same great mix of historical and ethnic organizations, museums, libraries, genealogical societies, and historical reenactors.

San Francisco History Days will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6, at the Old Mint, 88 5th Street, in San Francisco.   (Powell Street is the nearest BART station if you, like me, don't like to drive in downtown San Francisco.)  Hours are 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  The event is free and open to the public.  This year the event is being hosted by the City of San Francisco's Mayor's Office and NonPlusUltra, Inc., the current tenant of the Old Mint and also the event's underwriter.

Some planned highlights of the weekend include presentations by local historians on uncovering the mystery of the origin of your house with tips on researching its past, how to understand Victorian architecture, collections of rare and newly digitized photos and film footage, the roles of community archives, and tips for organizing your personal archives.  Transit aficionados can learn about historic ships used during the height of the maritime era.  Experts will discuss treasures such as the murals of Rincon Annex and Coit Tower, the Golden Gate International Exposition, and the visual histories of San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

A new feature for this year's event will be Education Day, a day exclusively for students on Friday, March 4.  Interested educators can reserve a two-hour look at the Old Mint and meet a dozen History Days exhibitors with their school groups.  Reservations must be made as soon as possible.  For information on reserving a space for your class of students on Friday, contact Patty Pforte at

Mini theaters will be set up in the ground-floor vaults of the Old Mint and will feature four views on various aspects of San Francisco’s past through moving pictures.  Special meet-up tables for social-media history geeks as well as for alumni of San Francisco high schools will be available.  Guided tours of the building will be offered.  Dozens of authors will be on hand to discuss and sell their books.

Participating genealogical groups are the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC), California Genealogical Society, San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS), SFGenealogy, and Sutro Library (the genealogy branch of the California State Library).  You'll find me helping at the AAGSNC and SFBAJGS tables.

For more information about History Days, and to see the list of exhibitors and the presentation schedule, visit or contact  And if you feel like volunteering (we can use more volunteers!), send a message to

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