#0091 Telegraph Hill


#0091 Telegraph Hill

Site information:

W side of Coit Tower parking lot, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco


Plaque information:

Private plaque

Plaque text:

During gold rush days a look-out stationed in a structure on this spot observed and signalled the arrival of incoming vessels. By adjusting movable arms high on a tall pole and by hoisting national colors, he identified the nature of the ship arriving and alerted the town below. After four years, in 1853, this novel signalling system become obsolete through use of electrical telegraph.

This monument erected by California Historical Society July 20, 1961, on the occasion of the arrival of "S.S. Canberra" of the P&O Steam Navigation Company.

Original plaque replaced by the Coit Tower Preservation Fund, and rededicated January 31, 1993 on the arrival of "S.S. Canberra", world cruise 1993

OHP description:

A signal station was erected on Telegraph Hill in 1849 from which to observe the incoming vessels, a tall pole with movable arms was used to signal to the people in the town below whether sailing vessels or the sidewheel vessels of the Pacific mail were passing through the Golden Gate. In September 1853, the first telegraph in California, which extended eight miles to Point Lobos, was stationed here, giving the hill its name.

Registered 3/29/1933