Unofficial Website for Historical Artifacts from the Palace Hotel.

     Shown here is the most comprehensive timeline of the Palace Hotel ever assembled! All of the information that you read I have pulled from the California Digital Newspaper Collection, to which I have spent weeks combing through the original Palace Hotel articles. I began reading these articles on March 17th, 2024 and am still in the process of adding more information to the end of these pages. I have only kept the dates and haven't noted the newspapers, volume, etc., for the sake of time and space.

     There were a total of 194,961 search results which mentioned the Palace Hotel, including many of the same article or advertisement run by several different newspapers. I have gone through as many as I could to bring this timeline to fruition, republishing those I deemed interesting or important to the history of the hotel. Most are typed verbatim, while others may be a quick summary of an otherwise lengthy article. Many of the papers have a "Brevities" section where the news is no more than a sentence or two. Above: Two internet sourced photographs of the Palace Hotel c1880s.

Palace Hotel Timeline: 1873 to 1876

December 6th, 1873: The Palace Hotel, to be erected on Market Street, San Francisco, will cost $850,000.

December 13th, 1873: A bright idea has struck the architect of the new Palace Hotel to be erected in San Francisco on New Montgomery and Market Streets. The stores in the block are open on an arcade in the hotel, so that ladies can do their shopping without leaving their palatial quarters. The idea will be voted a failure when it is remembered that ladies go out shopping for the purpose of showing their elegant manners, fine clothing, and for the charm of a promenade. The idea of a lady doing her shopping in the hotel where she stops! "Shoo fly!"

January 24th, 1874: The excavation of the foundation of the Palace Hotel at San Francisco will begin next week. It is believed the hotel will be ready for occupation on July 1st, 1875.

March 6th, 1874: The contract for furnishing the furniture of the Palace Hotel has been awarded to the Kimbal Manufacturing Company, who have engaged to manufacture 800 sets of our coast wood. The proprietors of the establishment are determined that it shall be a California production. 

April 1874: Construction begins on the first floor of the Palace Hotel. 

June 21st, 1874: The new Palace Hotel is to have the inevitable Delmonico restaurant. 

July 8th, 1874: Work on the Palace Hotel is temporarily suspended, to allow contractors the time to obtain more bricks.

July 11th, 1874: We are constantly hearing of generous actions by W.C. Ralston. The last is that his foreman on the Palace Hotel objected to using one million of brick purchased of W.W. Hull, of Belmont, on the ground that they were not hard enough. Mr. Ralston had a talk with his foreman, and then authorized Mr. Hull to complete his contract and consider that he had entered into a second for a million more at the same figures. Occasionally poor bodies of clay are encountered, making it almost impossible for contractors to fill their agreements, and mean builders take such opportunities to grind laboring men. How different with Ralston!

July 11th, 1874: The Palace Hotel, now being built in San Francisco, and which it is expected will be open for business by the 1st of August, 1875, will cost an aggregate $2,750,000. The furniture is all to be manufactured in San Francisco, out of woods of this coast and is estimated to cost $500,000. This is to be a world beater. 

July 18th, 1874: The new Palace Hotel at San Francisco, is to have a cistern to hold 6,300,000 gallons. The papers don't say whether it is for wine, water, or larger. *As a wine connoisseur, I got a laugh out of the thought of that cistern holding that much wine!

July 31st, 1874: The first-story corner upright of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, has been placed in position. It weights 11,250 pounds!

August 18th, 1874: The Palace Hotel -- It may be interesting to know that the Palace Hotel requires, to furnish material for its construction, the constant operation of sixteen brick-yards, that it furnishes large orders for three granite quarries, four boiler manufactories, the rolling mills in this city and a gas and water pipe manufactory in Philadelphia; also large orders for plaster works from the New York plaster works; for cement from kilns in New York and England; for marble and slate tiles from the quarries in Vermont - 16,500 square feet of marble and 12,500 square feet of slab; for 685,000 sheets of plate-glass from England, and 8,700 double thickness sheets of glass from France, and for 340 bath-tubs from a manufactory in New York. Among the other orders to be filled is one for 350,000 feet of yellow pine from Georgia, another for teak and camphor wood for closet and floors, from India; for white mahogany from Mexico, for floors and wood finish; Tomano wood, for finish; and yellow fir, oak, ash from Oregon. - S.F. Examiner. 

Right: August 23rd, 1874 newspaper ad. 

October 17th, 1874: One new story is added every 14 days at the Palace Hotel. The workers are making their way up the outer wall of the third story, which is almost finished. Just over 1,000 men are working to get the job done. The article also mentions a grand staircase, which is shown in the original plans, but was never built. 

October 28th, 1874: 225 bricklayers are now laying 20,000,000 bricks at the Palace Hotel under Superintendent E.R. Shain and 9 foreman. 190,000 bricks are being laid daily. $13,505.30 were paid to workmen last week alone. Work was only begun on the first floor in April, and the anticipated opening date is September 1875. 

October 30th, 1874: Lathers attempt to strike at the Palace Hotel and fail. Ralston directed Superintendent King to employ boys and young men for the job. 

October 31st, 1874: "Not a Fortress" A contemporary weaves an ingenious web of evidence to show there is some foundation for a theory the Palace Hotel is being built as a possible fortress incase of need. 

November 7th, 1874: Since construction began at the Palace Hotel, 8 men in different capacities have been injured in the discharge of their duties. Ralston covered all medical costs for the best doctors to take care of them. 

November 13th, 1874: The number of workmen at the massive Palace Hotel. The force includes 290 carpenters, 282 masons, 147 bodmen, 215 laborers, 36 plumbers, 50 gas fitters, 14 blacksmiths, 14 riggers, 11 watchmen, 9 engineers, 166 apprentices, and 10 drivers. 

November 17th, 1874: Workmen are laying the floor of the seventh story of the Palace Hotel. The outer walls of the edifice, a large portion of interior masonry and flooring are now completed to the top of the sixth floor. The company expects to have the structure roofed by the 15th or 20th of the coming month. 

November 21st, 1874: The top of the Palace Hotel is accessible by two winding staircases, more easy than the ascent of Bunker Hill Monument, and the view obtained, aside from the inspection of this enormous enterprise, well repays the labor of ascent. Four million feet of lumber passed through the wood preserving process of steam-seasoned for the Palace Hotel. 

Plasterers Wanted for the Palace Hotel ad. 

Daily Alta California Newspaper,

November 22nd & 25th, 1874.

A later "brevity" (brief statement) says workers must work 10 hour days at $4.00 a day. There has been a lot of issues with the demand for 10 hour day workers and workers only agreeing to work 8 hours. 

November 26th, 1874: A Fatal Fall. A Laborer Falls from the top of the Palace Hotel and is Instantly Killed. One of the laborers waiting on the carpenters on the Palace Hotel met with a horrible and instant death at half-past twelve o'clock yesterday afternoon. He was at the top story, and at the time had a plank on his shoulder, as he walked across the joists. In an unguarded moment, the rear end of the timber struck against an upright scantling which unbalanced the unfortunate laborer, and he fell with terrible velocity from that eminence down through the unfloored building, rolling over and over, striking from side to side on the timbers, to the basement, seven stories, and striking the Earth was literally smashed to a pulp. His head was crushed like an egg-shell, both his legs were broken in many places, and death of-course, was immediate. His name was William Rogers and he was a native of England, aged about forty years. He arrived here recently from New York, where, it is said, he once conducted a drug store. In his pockets were found letters very recently received from his wife, who, with two children, live in New York. It is probable an inquest will be institured tomorrow. 

November 28th, 1874: An inquest on the body of William Rogers, who was killed at the Palace Hotel, Wednesday, resulted in a verdict that death resulted in a fall from the top of that building. No one is blamed. *A later article also mentioned he fell 110 feet down the flue of an elevator shaft into the cellar and was breathing for 15 minutes after the fall. 

December 5th, 1874: Progress of the Palace Hotel. From the San Francisco Examiner, we obtain the following interesting items; The Palace Hotel is one of the seven wonders of the day. Such a magnificent work was never constructed more rapidly in modern times. An army of workmen are continually engaged, and the structure grows before the eyes of him who stands looking at it. This week the plasterers begin their labors. There are 2,046 ventilating flumes in the building. The exterior of the hotel is to be plastered with cement, which will add still further to the structure. The cement will become, in fact, a portion of the brick, making the wails a solid mass of stone almost us hard as granite. After the cementing is finished, the building is to be painted white. The washers are to be gilded. These washers connect with iron rods of great thickness, which extend the full width of the wall and are interlocked with other bars which extend through the partition walls until they are secured by washers at the other end. The hotel is actually a basketwork of iron enclosed in brick. As the walls approach the roof, double the usual quantity of iron is used. The bands are two feet apart, instead of four. Above the upper story bay-windows there will be twelve large iron rods running around the building and connecting with rods which extend through all the back partitions.

Seven Stories. The seventh story of the Palace Hotel has been completed and the mammoth building is now being roofed in. Work is progressing upon the structure night and day - some 200 gas lights being required for night work. 

December 8th, 1874, Daily Alta California

Hardware Requisition for Palace Hotel Ad.

December 12th, 1874: The Palace Hotel. The Sacramento Record speaks in the following manner of the Palace Hotel. As the Palace Hotel approaches completion, the people of San Francisco begin to see that it is not destined to be an ornament to the city. In fact, from present appearances it threatens to be the ugliest building in the metropolis, and that is not its worst defect. It dwarfs everything around it. It makes the adjoining Grand Hotel look dumpy and squat, completely blocks up the view of Montgomery Street, and gives to New Montgomery Street the aspect of a dark and narrow alley. Architecturally it is merely a huge brick box, without a trace of beauty in outlines or proportions. It is, in fact, simply enormous, and conveys the impression that its projectors were solely concerned to put together the largest quantity of bricks and mortar ever consolidated into a modern building. When it is finished it will be possible to say of it that it is the biggest hotel on the continent, but that will be all, and as mere size is not a merit in a building, and may be a serious defect, we imagine that the Palace Hotel will not be a particularly good subject for bragging about. As far as it may be taken to represent the tendency of enterprise on the Pacific Coast, moreover, it is not encouraging, for it seems to indicate that the only thing aimed at is a barbarous vastness, incompatible alike with comfort and good taste. The man who lives in such a huge caravanserai will never have a home. He will be a sort of modern Bedouin, wandering amid a blank wilderness of brick and stucco. It is to be regretted that no attempt was made to make such a structure harmonize in some degree with its surroundings, or to adapt it to the requirements of the neighborhood. But as it stands it seems to be the embodiment of the least attractive characteristic of modern capital, and in every brick it announces the brutal power of money to plant itself where it ebonies, and to shape itself bow it chooses, without the least regard for the convenience or culture of others, and with a single eye to the enlargement of its own sordid opportunities.

December 12th, 1874: We understand that the employees of the Palace Hotel have contributed some $3,500 in aid of the widow of the man Rogers , who was instantly killed by a fall from that building last week. 

December 18th, 1874: Between twenty-four and twenty-six million bricks were used in the construction of the Palace Hotel, the mason work of which is now nearly completed, their aggregate cost being around $400,000. No bricks are manufactured in San Francisco, and most of those used there are made in Marin, Sacramento, and San Joaquin counties. 

December 19th, 1874: The Big Hotel: One of our German contemporaries has been poking fan at the big Palace Hotel enterprise in this city. Perhaps he thinks its mammoth proportions have been overstated. This is substantially the way a German paper puts it: The latest American progress in hotel building is in the shape of a projected mammoth structure at San Francisco with a frontage of 3 miles, a depth of 6, and a height of 7,000 feet, or 70 stories. The hotel will have no stairs or elevators, balloons will be always in readiness to take guests and visitors to the upper stories. Communication between the office and rooms will be maintained by telegraph, so simple that guests will readily understand its operation at sight. A 21 pounder will be fired to call the guests to meals. A railway will be maintained on each floor, as well as a special telegraph with offices for the use of occupants in communication with each other. The billiard room will contain 100 American, 10 French and 1 English tables, in the center of which will be placed a spittoon 100 feet in circumference. The roof will be utilized as a public garden and a mile race-track. The hotel is to cost, complete, $80,000,000.

December 20th, 1874: The scaffolding for the exterior finish of the Palace Hotel is now being put up, and next week the plasterers will begin their work on the facade. 

December 25th, 1874: The Palace Hotel, The work on the Palace Hotel is vigorously prosecuted. Hundreds of carpenters are now engaged in putting in the bay windows. The lathers have nearly completed their labors and the tinners are doing their last stroke of work on the roof. Next week an army of plasterers will be set in motion. Fires have been kept steadily burning night and day in nearly every room for the purpose of drying the walls. Everything proceeds like clockwork in this vast hive of industry. The guiding hand of some master mind is apparent at every turn. All within the great walls are workers. The loud and incessant puffing of the steam engines engaged in hoisting material to the upper stories mingles with the music of a thousand hammers ringing out upon the air. The harmony with which the vast work proceeds, the absence of anything like stentorian shouting of orders, and the quiet, easy, self-possession of those who have charge of the different departments, are among the remarkable features of the stirring scene. The Palace will be unquestionably a hotel born of now ideas. No modern improvement will be ignored in its construction or equipment. The latest novelty adopted is the introduction of an automatic fire alarm apparatus in every room in the building. The instant the temperature of the room reaches above a certain degree, the apparatus will be at affected and will transmit word to the fire indicator in the office, so that there can be no delay in suppressing the blaze. Three watchmen will be required to constantly patrol the building, visiting 71 different stations and walking 2 1/4 miles in their rounds. At each station will be located an electrical apparatus which will register the time the watchman visited it. These will act as tell-tales on the watchman, showing whether he is attending to his business or not. A large electrical clock is to be placed in the main office. Dials in electrical communication with this clock will be distributed to the number of 116 throughout the building. There will be a dial recording the time at the end of every passageway. An electrical lighting apparatus will also be among the features of tire interior. This will be on the same system as that in use at that at the California Theater. Only the chandeliers in the dining rooms and lamps in the corridors will be lighted by the electric spark. Eight hundred and twenty burners in all will be lighted in this way.— S. F. Chronicle.

December 29th, 1874: The Palace Hotel will contain 863 rooms, exclusive of the bath and dressing rooms, which are attached to each of the 755 for the use of the guests. The rooms fronting on the streets, 350 in number, will have bay windows. 

1873 & 1874


January 2nd, 1875: Oak for the Palace. Macdonald and Co., of San Francisco have contracted with the builders of the Palace Hotel to furnish 500,000 feet of oak timber, mostly to be used for flooring.

January 7th, 1875: THE PALACE HOTEL. To Be Completed by the 1st of September Next. Within the past few days a large number of bricklayers at work upon the Palace Hotel have been discharged, as the greater part of their labor has been performed and their services no longer required. A force of about three hundred men are yet busily engaged under the supervision of Mr. Shane. There are now very nearly eleven hundred men at work. All the rooms in the building have been lathed and plastered with the exception of a portion of the two upper stories and this will be completed in a few days. Fires are kept burning constantly in all portions of the building for the purpose of drying the walls as rapidly as possible. The roof is finished and made water tight, and workmen are painting the huge iron tanks into which will be pumped the water from the artesian well, to be used at the hotel. A good idea of the great size of the building can be obtained from the fact that there is over one hundred miles of telegraph wire used in connecting the different rooms with the main office. Every precaution has been taken to prevent the spread of a conflagration during the construction of the building. Sixteen dozen buckets filled with water are placed in convenient positions, and large barrels of water stand at the end of each corridor. Painters are busily employed in painting the bow windows, and the glass will shortly be placed in the sashes. The system of ventilation is most admirable and has been proved to work as successfully as could be desired. Gentlemen who are connected with the business management of the construction of the building state that it will be certainly completed by the first day of September next, and probably by the first of July.

January 9th, 1875: DANGEROUS FALLS. Three Carpenters Fall From a Staging in the Palace Hotel. A very serious accident took place at the Palace Hotel yesterday evening, at quarter-past five o'clock. A scaffolding in the sixth story, upon where carpenters were standing to their work, gave way, and three of them were precipitated two stories below. Their names were Mustard, Pritchard and Crawford. Instantly the report spread that five or six men had been killed; but when the injured men—only the three named—were taken to Thayer's drug store, under the Grand Hotel, it was found that Mustard had sustained very severe concussions about the forehead and a badly mashed nose, the staging having fallen upon him. After he had been temporarily cared for at the drug store, he was sent to the French Hospital. Pritchard and Crawford were bruised about the limbs, especially the feet, and were taken to a physician's and cared for, after which they were taken to their rooms. It was not considered, after hasty and immediate inspection, that the unfortunate men had received internal injuries, though it may prove otherwise. As it is, it was a very fortunate escape from instant and terrible death for the three.

The appointments of the Palace Hotel will be thorough in every I respect. The building itself has been constructed with a special view to endurance. The ventilating system of the hotel, which is constructed on scientific principles, is a special feature of the plan, of great excellence. It embraces no less than 2,042, distinct flues, laid in the walls and ascending to the roof. Of these 794 ascend from the open tire grates, 16 from the kitchens, 755 room ventilators, 140 flues from the working rooms and; the basement, including the bakeries, laundries, &e; and 306 flues from the bathrooms. All the rooms occupied by guests will have a ventilator admitting a current of fresh air, and a draft will be given to the upward flues by machinery, producing a vacuum. The amount of money which has been already disbursed in the erection of this building has been very large; thirteen hundred persons being employed at one time, of which number 157 were boys, apprentices to the lathing business. *The article continues with all labor pay broken down for the week.

January 10th, 1875: A laborer, Cornelius Daly, employed on the Palace Hotel fell a distance of twenty-live feet and sustained serious injuries to his spine, the extent has not been determined. He was crossing a timber and missed his footing. By walking a trifle out of his course he would have had a safe passage and escaped the mishap.

January 16th, 1875: In the fore part of last week Mr. Samuel Sharp, of Santa Cruz, while working as a brick-layer on the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, fell from a scaffold, breaking his collar bone and sustaining other severe injuries.

January 21st, 1875: A locksmith in San Francisco has the contract to supply the Palace Hotel. All the locks and doorknobs will be made specially for the hotel, and have the word Palace on them. There will be several tons.

As of January 1st, over $9,000,000 has been expended on the Palace Hotel. *Later papers quote $4 to $5 million when it is completed.

January 26th, 1875: It will take seven tons of locks and keys to supply the 4,000 doors of the Palace Hotel at San Francisco. Each lock is to have a dozen keys, and the contract for supplying them has been awarded to a San Francisco mechanic, who is to furnish 3,000 locks, and 48,000 keys for $20,000. 

February 16th, 1875: The Palace Hotel Carpets. The contract for carpeting the Palace Hotel has been awarded to W. & J. Sloane & Co., of New York. There was considerable competition, for both A. T. Stewart and Lord & Constable having, through gentlemen specially sent out to San Francisco, endeavored to obtain the contract. It will take 60,000 yards of carpet to furnish this great hotel, -which is about equal to 34 1/3 miles of single breadth stretched out lengthwise. It will all be of Body Brussels. The parlors will be carpeted with Axminster, each being fitted with one complete piece, wove exactly to the size of the floor. It is estimated that the making of the carpet will require the running of thirty-five looms, night and day, for two months.

February 18th, 1875: The proprietors of the Palace Hotel have contracted with the J. M. Brunswick & Balke Company to furnish their billiard rooms with the New Novelty tables. M. J. Markees, agent, is at the Lick House.

February 28th, 1875: The West Coast (Kimball) Furniture Company have contracted lor 60,000 pounds hair and 12,000 pounds geese feathers to make the beds and pillows for the Palace Hotel. That accounts for all of their bald heads. The company also employs 260 men and ran until 10 o'clock at night on the furniture order of the Palace Hotel, at which rate it will take until the 30th of June next to complete the order. 

March 17th, 1875: It will take 15,000 yards of pillow case linen and 5,750 yards of damask table linen to supply the wants of the Palace Hotel. 

March 18th, 1875: Lawton & Co. are to furnish everything in the crockery and glassware to the Palace Hotel. 

March 30th, 1875: Marble for the Palace. John Maccamee, the enterprising Superintendent of the Marble Works, situated near Columbia, has succeeded in wedging from the quarry, twenty-five feet below the surface of the ground, a solid block of white marble, thirty feet and five inches long by twenty foot wide and ten inches in thickness, which will weigh 610 tons. This will be reduced to smaller blocks and then transported to San Francisco, to be used in and about the Palace Hotel, now in process of construction.

April 10th, 1875: Silverware for the Palace Hotel. The award of contract for silverware for the Palace Hotel to the Gorham Manufacturing Company, of New York, is a very significant fact. It seems that the order, which is valued at $60,000, is the largest of the kind ever awarded to any firm or company, and the competition was very lively...... The leading competitors against the Gorham Company were Tiffany & Co., and Reed & Barton of New York, and the Meridan Britannia Company. Among other novelties, each guest will be provided with a neat little tea service, combining four tea caddies to contain four different kinds of tea. The guests will thus be enabled to prepare their own tea as their tastes may require.

April 24th, 1875: A flagging of white marble is now being laid in front of the Palace Hotel. 

April 25th, 1875: A pneumatic tube is to be introduced into the Palace Hotel, for the purpose of distributing letters and newspapers throughout the establishment.

May 14th, 1875: It is reported that Ralston has sold his interest in the great, unfinished Palace Hotel to Senator Sharon for $1,750,000.

May 19th, 1875: The proprietors of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, have contracted for two hundred and fifty of the celebrated Bartlett & Barker Spring Bed. This bed has been thoroughly tested in the States. It is acknowledged far superior to any other bed in many respects. It is light and airy, easy to handle and to keep clean.

May 23rd, 1875: The seventh story of the Palace Hotel will be in readiness for carpeting on the 10th of June.

May 25th, 1875: A Corner In Tea Expected. It will take just about a ton of tea leaves daily to go over the carpets of the Palace Hotel when they are swept.

June 14th, 1875: Over one thousand artisans are putting the finishing touches on the Palace Hotel structure. Though the army of bricklayers and masons have vanished, an impressive force of painters, carpenters and plumbers is distributed throughout the interior, and the music of the hammer resounds from every passageway and apartment. The iron beams to support the immense glass roof ever the inner court are now being placed in position. Their span is 84 feet, and there are five of them. A temporary frame scaffold of great strength has been erected, to enable the men to roof the same. Jonathan K. Kittredge & Co. have the contract for this work. A flying trip through the building yesterday showed that the marble floors were being laid in the bar, billiard and washrooms, that strips of Georgia pine were going down on the great dining-room floor, and strips of oak on the office and ballroom floors. A large quantity of East India teak wood had been ordered for the flooring, but upon its arrival here it was found to be of such inferior quality that it was rejected. The painters were putting on the second coat of paint on the wood-work on the three uppermost floors, and the stair-builders were finishing the stairways. It is intended to run a length of heavy plate glass, sixteen inches high, along the top of all the bannisters and balustrades. It was Ralston's idea originally to place iron network on the top, but the objection was made that a fence of that character would detract, from the appearance or the interior. He laid he did not mind that, as he was determined that children should have no opportunity to break their necks by sliding down the banister or climbing the balustrades. It then occurred to J. P. Gaynor, the architect, that plate-glass would answer the same purpose, combining, also, a high degree of ornamentation with utility. His suggestion was accordingly adopted. The plate-glass will reflect the gas jets, and at night the interior courts will present a dazzling scene, with the glitter of many lights. It has been observed that out of the 745 rooms fronting the different streets and courts, not one is without an installment of sunshine at some period of the day. The latest improvement to be introduced in the building is a signal b x of the American District Telegraph Company upon each floor. An effort will be made to open the Palace Hotel in August next.

June 18th, 1875: He Fell and Was Killed. Wednesday afternoon a laborer, named John (One paper says Riordan, the other Reardon) working on the Palace Hotel, walked too close to one of the elevators, fell through a distance of two or three stories. He was taken to the City and County Hospital, but such were his injuries that he died yesterday before noon. He was a native of Ireland, ages 35 years. 

June 20th, 1875: Ahead of Time. The West Coast Furniture Company have been delivering furniture at the Palace Hotel for the last three weeks, and the delivery goes steadily along. All the beds have been delivered, also three hundred bedroom sets and one thousand rocking chairs. The contract does not demand delivery before the 1st of July; the company are therefore just a month ahead of time, although it was asserted by many in the furniture business that it was impossible to manufacture that quantity of furniture in the limited time given. It has been done, nevertheless, and is only another illustration of the enterprise and push characterizing everything pertaining to the construction of this enormous Institution, and highly creditable to our San Francisco mechanics.

July 1st, 1875: There will be 5,212 gas burners in the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, and the fixtures are to cost $50,000. The gas bills of that institution will be no trifle - say full $5,000 a month!

July 12th, 1875: Mr. Charles Dodge, the well-known Cashier of the Grand Pacific Hotel in Chicago, has severed his connection with that house to accept the position of room clerk in our Palace Hotel. 

July 17th, 1875: Jules Harder, a great French cook who studied his profession in the kitchen of Louis Philippe, is to be chief cook of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, at a salary of $5,000 a year. 

July 23rd, 1875: The stores in the front of the Palace Hotel on Market Street are starting to be occupied.

July 24th, 1875: The Palace Hotel will be opened as the largest caravansary in the world on the 1st of September. Mr. Leland has made all his arrangements in the vast department of help required for the building. A hundred and fifty waiters from the brigade will attend to the dining-room and the private suites.

August 18th, 1875: The opening of the Palace Hotel has now been delayed until the 1st of October. 350 painters are still on site finishing up touches to the building. 

August 20th, 1875: The carpets in the upper story of the Palace Hotel at San Francisco are nearly all laid, the painting is being completed with all dispatch, the scaffolding has been removed from the immense window that roofs the court, and the circular carriage drive below it has been paved with wooden blocks. Everything indicates that the finishing work will be completed, the furnishing an accomplished fact, and the vast caravansary thrown open to the public, with the jolly landlord Leland at the counter ready to receive five or six thousand guests by the 1st of October sharp!

August 26th, 1875: The Palace Hotel, San Francisco, will be supplied with ice by an Eastern ice machine that will make 10 tons a day at a cost of only $25. The same amount of ice at regular market rates is $250.

August 28th, 1875: William C. Ralston drowns off Black Point in San Francisco Bay the day prior. They attempted to resuscitate him for an hour afterwards. 

August 31st, 1875: All work is suspended on the Palace Hotel for the funeral of William C. Ralston. More than 450 workers on the hotel attended.

September 2nd, 1875: The Palace Hotel has not suffered any damage from the suspension of the Bank of California, and it will soon be opened to the public. 

September 3rd, 1875: Two men from Oregon recently visited the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, the other day. One of them got into an elevator and rode up and down for three hours, after which he inquired for the conductor of “that ’ere car,” and offered to pay his fare. Honest fellow, wasn't he?

September 4th, 1875: The Palace Hotel. The internal arrangements of this huge building are rapidly approaching completion, and from present indications It would appear that, it necessary, it could ho opened for the reception of guests before the 1st of October, the date fixed by Mr. Leland. The bedrooms are carpeted, and some of them partly furnished. The interior appearance is certainly far superior to that presented by the exterior of this hotel. The rooms are handsome, lofty and spacious, some being really magnificent apartments, especially the dining-room, which measures 150x55 feet. The three inner courts will, it is to be presumed, furnish sufficient light to the rooms opening on them, but when the Ledger reporter visited them, they were darkened considerably by scaffolding. The arrangements for the convenience and safety of the guests are of a character nearly approaching perfection. There is a thermostatic bulb in every room and passage, by which means fire in any part of the house is immediately announced in the office, and every precaution is taken to guard against danger from that element. The tube for letters for mail is an improvement that will add considerably to the comfort of the guests, especially of the young ladies, who are such indefatigable wasters of ink and paper. The rooms are so arranged that a suite of any number can be obtained. The tropical garden, with its exotic plants, fountains and statuary, will lie one of the most attractive features of the building, and will make a charming promenade when the hotel band discourses eloquent music in the evening. In the lower rooms yesterday, fires were brightly burning and the tradesmen hard at work. There are to be five elevators and seven stairways, and one great recommendation of the elevators, which are worked by hydraulic power, is that they are noiseless. How often have people's nerves been shaken by the wheezing and groaning of most hotel elevators? The balustrades of the stairways are particularly handsome, being made of highly polished teak and prima vara, by some erroneously called California mahogany. This wood, which much resembles maple, comes from Mexico, where Mr. Ralston has some interest in a large forest. It is susceptible of a high polish, as is also teak, but the latter requires much more labor on account of its extreme hardness. Mr. Keefe, who came from Huston to work on the hotel, is superintendent of this department, and employs forty-two men to give polish to the woodwork. The view from the roof, which, with its numerous bridges, bears a strong resemblance to the hurricane deck of a large steamer, is probably one of the best views that can be had of the city. The people beneath look like pigmies, and the largest buildings are dwarfed in comparison with their gigantic neighbor. The whole building is a perfect labyrinth —a veritable Rosamond's bower. What a charming place this roof on a calm summer’s evening to sit smoking a meditative cigar and gazing on the broad expanse of day lit up by the rays of the setting sun. The Hotel du Louvre and the Grand hotel in Paris, are immense and magnificent establishments, but cannot compete in size with the Palace Hotel, though in splendor of appointments they are superior. The majority of the great London hotels are built over the railway stations, where the guests are entertained night and morning by the noise of the incoming and outgoing trains and the piercing shrill whistle of the engines. The Palace Hotel offers as many conveniences as these, and, in fact, being built on the most improved modern principles, is in many respects their superior. Its position is admirable, and San Francisco may well be proud of having the largest and best-appointed hotel not only in America, but in the world.

An exchange informs us that the head waiter at the new Palace Hotel, San Francisco, will wear a purple velvet suit, powdered wig, silk hose, and pumps. He will receive guests at the dining-room door to the sound of operatic music, and gently assign them seats by a slight inclination of the head and a graceful wave of his hand. On Sundays, he will walk on rosewood stilts. As his fine clothes are thrown in with his board, the idea of feeing him must never be entertained.

September 9th, 1875: The Carson Appeal suggests that the name of the Palace Hotel be changed to the "Ralston House" in honor of its founder. The resolutions were drawn up by Charles P. Duane.  

September 14th, 1875: That petite actress, Lotta Crabtree, has again distinguished herself by presenting to her admiring citizens of this city, an elegant and costly fountain. It is situated nearly opposite the Palace Hotel, at the junction of Market and Kearny streets, and is one of the most graceful and fitting ornaments of San Francisco. It is constructed of bronze resting on a granite foundation; the height of the whole is about 25 feet, and it is neatly ornamented with emblems of California out in relief. It has four water spouts at which the thirsty can find ample and speedy relief.

September 18th, 1875: A. F. Green of Milbrae has obtained the contract for supplying milk to the Palace Hotel. He is to receive 62 cents per can, each can containing three gallons. 

Miss Burr is to be the telegraph operator at the Palace Hotel. 

lt is reported that Mr. Sharon has tendered to Mrs. Ralston a suite of seven rooms in the Palace Hotel, with private servants, a private coach and coachman, so long as she may see fit to use them.

Thirteen colored waiters, tbe advanced guard of a small army of waiters for the Palace Hotel. San Francisco, arrived by tbe express train from the East.

September 25th, 1875: Messrs. Will A Finck have manufactured a large number of elegant door-hinges for the Palace Hotel, one of which, a really elegant piece of workmanship, has been placed on exhibition.

September 26th, 1875: Mr. George Andrews, the energetic and gentlemanly painter on the Palace Hotel, was, on Saturday last, presented with a magnificent Andrew's watch and massive gold chain of the most beautiful workmanship, by the painters. 

September 28th, 1875: A man fell through the elevator shaft at the Palace Hotel at 9 o'clock morning; he struck on his head and was killed instantly; name Geo W. Mitchell in a few articles, Thomas J. Mitchell in another.

September 30th, 1875: The new Palace Hotel, San Francisco, is to charge $4.50 in gold per day.

October 2nd, 1875: About twenty families will move into the Palace Hotel tomorrow, and within the next ten days the finest hotel on the globe will be opened to travelers. As on the first day of the month many families are changing their residences Mr. Leland has accommodated those of the number who propose making their homes in the Palace by admitting them before the arrangements for the reception of guests are complete.

Progress at the Palace Hotel. The notice which has been posted at the main entrance oi the Palace Hotel for many weeks past, “visitors positively not admitted,” no longer carries much force with it, for the halls, galleries and court are daily thronged with a curious crowd who have come to gaze openmouthed at the wonders of the gigantic structure. Yesterday afternoon a Post reporter visited the caravansary, and like all who enter here, had his gaze at once fixed by the glass dome which surmounts the grand court. The painters were busily at work upon hanging scaffolds which were suspended from beams thrown out from the upper gallery. They were tinting the railings and outer walls a delicate pink and though they were working only on a level with the fifth story, their elevation was so great that they appeared more like small boys than grown up men. The standing lights which are placed above all sides of the court, and in every gallery, are of highly polished brass and bronze, and add much to the elegant appearance of the place. Most of them are still under cover. The glaziers are now busily at work putting in heavy sheets of plate glass, about two feet in width, in the frames which surmount all the railings and banisters in the building. In the grand dining hall workmen engaged in polishing the tops of the many heavy tables which are piled up on every side. The magnificent chandeliers are all under cover, to protect them from damage from the dust. On the floor of the grand court a little army of artisans is at work making chests, tables and shutters. Many suites of rooms were thrown open yesterday, and their appearance is luxurious in the extreme. The beds and bedding have not yet been placed in them, but the carpets and all other appointments are in place. The exact day of the opening cannot at the present time be stated. Many suites, we are told, have been engaged, and the hotel will open with full quota of guests. It is reported that Mr. Friedlander, the grain king, has engaged seventeen rooms, including a private dining room. He will be attended by his own private servants.

Mrs. William C. Ralston is occupying rooms in the Palace Hotel, seventh floor. 

A large portion of the 512 gas jets that illuminate the grand court of the Palace Hotel were lighted on Saturday evening, and the effect was dazzling in the extreme.

It is said that those who are "way up" socially and financially, will congregate on the top story of the Palace Hotel. 

The Palace Hotel will be completed and in running order in about three weeks. Schedule of prices, (as likely as not:) Board per day, $4 00; per month, board and room on the twentieth story (obviously an error), $1OO. A number of colored waiters and waitresses have been imported from the East, and then in place of “corned bafe and cabbage, Sur?” we shall be forced to listen to the dulcet tones of the dusky Ethiopian as he murmurs “Massa, what yer gwine to hab dis mornin’?”

October 4th, 1875: Senator Sharon Serenaded. The Call of October 3rd gives the following account of the serenade of Senator Sharon at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday night: Quite a large crowd assembled in the courtyard of the Palace Hotel last night to enjoy the spectacle of hundreds of dazzling gas jets and the music of the California Theater Orchestra, which appeared according to announcement, to serenade William Sharon. General Dodge in introducing Mr. Sharon, made the following speech: " Ladies and gentlemen— l take great, pleasure in introducing to you the honorable William Sharon [applause], first and foremost in sustaining and establishing the credit of the city of San Francisco and the great State of California." [Applause and music by the orchestra.] Mr. Sharon then appeared upon the improvised stand with three pages of manuscript in his hand and was greeted with applause and three cheers. His remarks were heard by those who were fortunate enough to get within a radius of 30 feet of the speaker. He said that he would fail in his duty to those present if he forbore to express the emotions and kindly sentiments which had been awakened in the hearts of his hearers, as well as in his own, by the dawning of what he considered a day of triumph, the flay on which the Bank of California had resumed business. But in the glorious triumph of hospitality he experienced a sense of overpowering sadness. He missed the proud and manly spirit of him who devised the magnificent structure in which they were assembled. He mourned that he was not present at this scene of beauty, and he should fail in his duty if he did not express a sentiment of regret and affection for his memory. The especial cause of rejoicing was that the Bank of California, of which William C. Ralston was the founder, has again opened. It was not his intention to make an address of any great length, nor, indeed, was it the habit of his life to do otherwise than act. His only desire was to thank the people with all his heart for what they have done in aiding to bring the Bank of California to this day of proud rejoicing on this night of congratulation; " and, invoking the blessings of kind Providence on all present, I bid you a kind good night." [Applause and three cheers.] The band then played the "Blue Danube," and dismissed the crowd with the melody of "Home, Sweet Home."

October 9th, 1875: Randolph named head waiter at the Palace Hotel. Yesterday, Thornton & Co. killed their first machine stuffed chickens, to fill an order from the Palace Hotel. This order is for any number up to 250 per day, and to fill it eighteen revolving coops are necessary. The chicken are sold by the pound.

The Palace Hotel, it is now stated, will be opened to the public about the 12th of October.

October 11th, 1875: Lieut.-General Sheridan and party returned from the country last night, and are quietly quartered at the Palace Hotel. It is understood that the banquet to be given by leading citizens to General Sheridan will take place at the Palace Hotel on Thursday evening at 8 o'clock.

October 14th, 1875: The Palace Hotel will be formally opened next Saturday.

The Sheridan Banquet. The preparations for a magnificent banquet in honor of General Sheridan, says the San Francisco Call of October 12th, are in the hands of a committee of prominent citizens. The dinner, which is expected to surpass anything of the kind ever spread in the state, will be given in the grand dining-room of the Palace Hotel on Thursday evening. The great central court will be illuminated all the evening, and the splendid band of the Fourth United States Artillery Regiment will furnish music for the occasion. It is also understood that the spacious banquet hall will be still further embellished by the names, worked in evergreens, of "Winchester," "Five Forks," "Mission Ridge" and other great battles of the war in which the host distinguished himself. The following correspondence in relation to the banquet explains itself:

San Francisco, October 11, 1875. P. H. Sheridan, Lieutenant General U. S. A.-— Sir: The citizens of San Francisco, taking advantage of your visit to this coast, desire in some public manner to express to you their great respect and esteem for you personally, and their admiration for your brilliant military achievements. As residents of this city, with whom some years since you associated, we desire to meet you in closer association, and offer an assurance of our high regard for one so distinguished. We therefore tender you a dinner to be given at the Palace Hotel, on Thursday evening next, at 8 o'clock, at which time and place we shall feel honored and gratified by your presence. Trusting that we may receive an early and favorable reply, we are, dear sir, your most obedient servants, J. C. Wilmerding, M. P. Jones, Leland Stanford, and some two hundred others.

Among the passengers who are to arrive from the East this morning are Warren Leland, Jr., and his mother. The former is to assist his father in the management of the Palace Hotel.

October 15th, 1875: Rooms are being engaged very rapidly at the Palace Hotel, and Mr. Leland has received many letters from wealthy Eastern people, wanting to engage rooms for the winter. It is thought now that the superior accommodations offered by the Palace will bring many wealthy people to California to winter. But it strikes us that, as the people of the Eastern cities run away from the hot weather of the summer, as well as the cold weather of the winter, they had as well engage permanent board. In fact, we think it would be a jolly idea for all the rich people to immigrate to California. We know that we would not live in any of the Eastern States, if we were able to get away. 

The Sheridan Banquet.

     San Francisco is never behindhand in giving honor to whom honor is due and gladly welcomes every opportunity of showing her appreciation to those who deserve it. The banquet to Lieut. General Phil. Sheridan at the Palace Hotel last evening was another brilliant instance of her characteristic hospitality. It was a willing tribute to a brave soldier of the nation, paid by our representative citizens, without regard to political sentiment. Leading men of all classes in our community were congregated there, and all hearts delighted in doing honor to a man who has done honor to his country.

     The banquet was in every respect an elegant affair, and reflected credit upon all engaged in its management. Nothing could surpass the completeness and nicety of the arrangements, which to the minutest detail were admirable. It was the first affair of the sort that has taken place at the new Palace Hotel, and Mr. Leland left nothing undone to ensure its success. The monster building was endowed with unusual animation, and the interior of the large, open court with its innumerable gas jets reaching up to a dazzling height, formed a brilliant scene. It seemed like a little world full of bustle and confusion. 

The Reception

     Members of the Committee, with Mr. Warren Leland, were on hand at an early hour in the evening to make the final preparations for the entertainment, and to see that every possible detail was properly carried out. The large court of the hotel was illuminated and was filled by hundreds of people anxious to obtain a glimpse at the dining hall. The corridors leading to the reception room were also filled, and policemen were stationed all along to keep a passage way open for the guests. A number of ladies in the hotel, with escorts, were delighted that they had been favored with an opportunity to walk into the dining hall and admire the beautiful sight. 

     As each of the subscribers or invited guests arrived, he was welcomed by the Committee and shown to the reception room opposite the dining hall. At eight o'clock General Sheridan made his appearance, being, as were all (excepting a few United States Army Officers) in evening dress. The little hero was promptly introduced by the Committee, and had a pleasant word for all, particularly recognizing those whom he had met during the war, but had seen since he has been in the city. 

The Banquet Hall.

     To the right of the court, on the Market Street side of the building, was the handsome dining room, which was used for the first time on this auspicious occasion. It is a spacious hall, with a double entrance and ante-room at either end. The main hall is lit up by twelve handsome chandeliers, in each of which were twenty-five globes, or three hundred gas jets in all.

     There were two long tables running parallel positions lengthwise of the hall, and one crosswise at the head of the room. Seats were arranged to accommodate two hundred and sixteen persons, though the room is capable of holding double that number. Along either side and down the centre of the room were laid broad stripes of carpeting of subdued color and rich texture. At either end and at the sides of the room large American flags were hung, jointed at the field of stars and dividing as they fell to the floor. This completed the decorations of the room. But we have now to speak in lavish terms of the decorations of the table. Such a

Display of Flowers.

     It is safe to say could not be made outside of California, and the choicest products of our gardens had been called to grace the occasion last night. Eleven beautiful baskets and pyramids, of different design and construction, were placed at regular intervals upon the tables, and two others shed their fragrance in the ante-room, by which the guests entered. Along the centre of the tables the refreshing smilax was tastefully trailed, with roses, dahlias and other flowers scattered among the bright green leaves. Altogether the floral display was magnificent, and might have done service at a feast for the gods.

     The table was laden with elegant and costly silverware of neat and unique design. It was entirely new and of the latest style of manufacture. The dishes alone were most appetizing, without looking at the contents. Handsome cakes and baskets of delicious fruit were placed at frequent intervals upon the table to add to the luxury of the spread. 

     At half past eight o'clock, the Fourth Artillery Band struck up a lively air, and the signal was given that all was in readiness in the banquet hall. Gov. Pacheco, with the guest of the evening, General Sheridan, led the march, followed by General Schofield and Senator Sharon, and then the citizens in single file, places being assigned to each by the Committee as they entered the hall. 

     The head of the table was occupied by Governor Pacheco, on his right was General Sheridan, next to him sat Senator Sharon, then ex-Governor Low, Russian Consul Klinkofstrom, German Consul Rosenthal, Austrian Consul Muecke. To the left of Governor Pacheco sat General Schofield, English Consul Booker, Colonel M.V. Sheridan, General Brooks, Rev. John Hemphill, Senator Jones. When the band had ceased playing, Rev. Mr. Hemphill offered a prayer to the Throne of Grace, after which the company were invited to take their seats.

The Menu.

     The dinner was prepared in the very best possible manner, Mr. Leland being determined that it should not be surpassed by any that had been heretofore given in this city at a public entertainment. All spoke in terms of praise of its excellence. The bill of fare was as follows: (Menu shown to the right).

     While dinner was being partaken of, the band in the ante-room discoursed sweet music. There had never been a banquet given in this city at which there were so many representatives of the better classes of society than were in the hall last evening to honor the distinguished guest. 

Who Were There.

     *I decided to skip the rather long list of names in attendance, along with a list of military officers that were there shown after. 

A Chat With The Hero.

     About eleven o'clock, just before dessert was served, most of the company, enjoying the fragrance of choice Havanas, walked about the hall until they reached the head of the table, where groups surrounded the Hero of Winchester and had a pleasant chat with him. This continued for nearly half an hour, when the company was called to order. * The remainder of the article was all speeches, which I decided not to post. 

October 16th, 1875: Removal. The agency of the Remington Sewing Machine has removed from No. 31 Third street to No. 029 Market Street, under the Palace hotel.

October 17th, 1875: The Gorgeous Palace. Opening of the Greatest Inn in the World - Its Leading Features - Thousands of Visitors Last Night. 

There is no new information in the article compared to everything that was posted prior. A few other newspapers simply state that "The Palace Hotel was formally opened last night", on October 16th. 

October 24th, 1875: Sylvester Burns, a popular barber, has set up a shop within the Palace Hotel. 

October 27th, 1875: Messrs. Bradley & Rulofson have prepared an elegant cabinet photograph of the Palace Hotel which is especially designed for mailing. It was designed for their art gallery. Attached to the card is a full description of this mammoth building and its appointments from the pen of Prof. Knowlton. Copies can be procured by addressing Messrs. Bradley & Rulofson, San Francisco or Auld & Barfred on Ninth Street. 

October 28th, 1875: Prince Frederick, of tbe Carlsbourg Ludwigsbourg line, of the noble Westphalian house of Wirtgeastein, arrived from the East on Tuesday evening, and is sojourning at the Palace Hotel.

November 6th, 1875: Creeping vines will soon cover the glass roof of the Palace Hotel, and serve to keep out the hot glare of the sun. 

November 8th, 1875: Early on Sunday morning George W. Shourds passed into eternity. He was well known in this community as one of the most accomplished engravers on the Coast, If not one of the most prominent in his profession in the country. He made the first engraving of the Palace Hotel, under the patronage of the late Mr. Ralston, by whom he was held in high esteem.

November 16th, 1875: Townsend's Palace Candy Factory is coming to 627 Market St. located under the Palace Hotel. Making all of their own candies on site, the business will be open for inspection in a few days.

An original c1875 Townsend's Candies Trade Card, Palace Hotel from my collection. The back is blank.

November 18th, 1875: There are now 530 guests at the Palace Hotel. 

November 20th, 1875: Dr. Bauman and Col. Potter relate many amusing incidents of their night at the Palace Hotel. Not finding any bed in their room they slept on the floor, and covered themselves with a door mat. The next morning in investigating the large folding doors at one end of their room, they discovered two splendid beds!

December 4th, 1875: Samuel W. Harrington, aged 25, is charged with attempted murder at the Palace Hotel after being upset he could not gain employment there and was broke. He checked into Room #669 on the fourth floor under this alias, actual name Robert W. Soutter, on November 28th. Diary entries found in his room went back weeks and told of his depression and financial situation. He tried to get money from one Mr. Haley of Hopkins & Haley Brokers in the Safe Deposit Building to a sum of $3,750. Mr. Haley was suspicious of the situation and had police follow him up to remain outside the door. When Mr. Haley came to the room, Harrington tried to switch the money with fake coin. When tensions got heated, Harrington tried to murder Mr. Haley with an axe, but only stuck his head, sustaining a severe cut. Officers were immediately there to arrest Harrington and take him to jail. 

December 6th, 1875: J.F. Sawyer - Dealer in Watches, Clocks, Jewlery, & Silver, moves in underneath the Palace Hotel.

December 18th, 1875: Palace Hotel Statistics. P. M. Wellen, as foreman, had charge of receiving all the wood-work of the Palace Hotel, of which he kept a regular account. In summing up he finds some interesting facts, for instance: There were 208 miles of mouldings used in the interior, around the doors and windows; 101 miles of casings, to doors and windows; 26.5 miles of baseboards, and 22 1/4 miles of door jambs. There were 1,963 window frames, 3,441 pairs of sash, and 60,126 feet of inside blinds. There are 2,125 turned and fluted columns in use as supports to the corridor, dining and breakfast rooms, office, halls and bay-windows. The sky-light over the court is 88x144 feet, the largest in the world. The glass is supported by 3 1/2 miles of sash bars. The millions of brick, barrels of lime and cement, the tons of iron and tons of putty are not included in this statement. It is 136 feet from the lower floor to the top of the ridge pole of the sky-light.

December 23rd, 1875: Archie McBride of the Pico House Billiard Parlor, left yesterday for San Francisco, to take charge of the Palace Hotel billiard room. Mr. McBride was a former employee of the Metropolitan Hotel, N.Y.

December 25th, 1875: A.C. Wilder, from Rochester, N.Y. and editor of the Express in that city, died of consumption at the Palace Hotel on Wednesday.


January 8th, 1876:  It is said that guests at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, need not worry themselves about earthquakes; the whole structure is pronounced earthquake-proof. This assurance is very comforting.

January 22nd, 1876: DEATH OF WILLIAM HARLAN. Today, Saturday, Hon. James Harlan and wife will leave San Francisco for their home in Iowa, bearing with them the body of William, their only son, who died at the Palace Hotel Wednesday night. Deceased was 23 years of age. Suffering for several years from consumption, he finally came west to Colorado in hopes of arresting the disease, but getting no relief came to San Francisco. About a week ago he telegraphed his condition to Washington, and his father and mother started immediately overland to see him, arriving here about twenty-four hours before his decease. William was part owner in the Washington Chronicle.

February 10th, 1876: Silver.— At the banquet given to Senator Sharon at the Palace Hotel the other night, the bill of fare was engraved on silver, dug from the Comstock Lode and highly polished. These measured about 6 1/4 by 4 1/4 inches, and were of a quarter of a dollar’s thickness, and cost with the labor, $40 each.

February 19th, 1876: A BONANZA BANQUET. A Feast with Bills of Fare Engraved on Solid Silver. Dinner Last Night at the Palace Hotel to Senator William Sharon by His Old Friends of the Comstock Lode-Exquisite Decorations.

     A highly picturesque banquet was given in one of the corner suites on the first floor of the Palace Hotel last evening. It was a feast in many respects which challenges description. The dinner, as it was modestly designed on the bills of fare, was given to the Hon. William Sharon, a United States Senator from the State of Nevada. Of the select company which sat down at the table, more than half the number were millionaires, and the other half could count their wealth in hundreds of thousands of trade dollars. In richness of viands, exquisite beauty of the floral and other decorations, table adornments, glitter of silverware and essentials of a lavish display of opulence, it is safe to say that the dinner last night to Senator Sharon has never been surpassed. With such an accomplished and veteran caterer as Warren Leland; the Hotel King of America, it could not have been otherwise.

     The Banquet Hall for this occasion on was located in the large suite of rooms, 378, 379, 380 and 381, on the first floor, at the corner of Jessie and Annie streets. When the banquet was in progress, the scene presented was one of rare splendor. The hand of the florist had transformed the apartment into a bewitching grotto in fairy land. Upon the snowy cloth were arranged bright flowers in reckless profusion, while, mingling with fruit, flowers, and wonderous dishes, the bright silverware glittered in the light of numerous gas jets and the soft rays of fifty-four wax candles rising from radiant candelabra. The recesses formed by the bay windows were turned into beautiful conservatories, and a delicious effect was produced by placing large mirrors against the windows, as a background for the plants. The reflection of the foliage in the windows appear to the eye us so many entrances to green-houses of great depth, thus imparting the borrowed enchantment of distance to the view. In one window was a little grove of orange and banana plants; another was a miniature forest of tropical plants bending gracefully to the carpet, and a third recess was filled with ferns of every description, enrapturing to the vision. The walls were hung with paintings of figures and landscapes; while eighteen cages filled with golden winged feathered songsters were suspended from the ceilings at appropriate intervals. Mammoth ornamental bronzes of costly make and vases filled with palms greeted the eye at every turn. It was in such apartment that Mr. Sharon’s “old friends of the Comstock Lode" broke bread with him last night.

     Silver Bills of Fare. Each gentleman seated around the festive board, found near his napkin a bill of fare engraved upon a heavy plate of solid silver from the Comstock Lode and highly polished. These were gotten up in artistic style at a cost of over forty dollars etch, measured about 6 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches, of quarter of a dollar’s thickness. An elegant border was engraved on each side of the plate, enclosing the reading matter. On the front of the plate, the following wore inscribed in ornamental text and script: Dinner to Hon. William Sharon by his Old friends of the Comstock Lode, Palace Hotel, Feb 8, 1876, San Francisco.  On the reverse side was executed the following:

*See Menu At Right:

Who Were Present. The company sat down without any formality at half past seven o’clock. Each gentleman was attired in full dress of the most conventional type: General John F. Miller, of the Alaska Commercial Company, sat at the head of the table, and Senator Sharon occupied a sent at his right, while D. O. Mills, President of the Bank of California, sat at the foot of the table, Among the other gentlemen present were observed Robert Morrow. General George S. Dodge, E. J. Baldwin, Judge Levi Parsons, Judge Haydenfeldt, John Shaw, Thomas Bell, A. Gansl, Thomas Sunderland, Major A. A. Selover, ex United Slates Senator Stewart, Wm. M. Lent, ex-Mayor Alvord and Messrs. Bliss, Wood and Head. While the edibles and wines were disappearing, a string band under direction of Professor Schlott, played a delightful selection of music in an adjoining apartment, and within earshot of the opulent epicures. it was a very enjoyable affair for those who participated in it, and many complimentary speeches were made during the evening. The company did not disperse until a late hour, each one taking home with him his silver bill of fair as a souvenir of the dazzling event. It is understood that Senator Sharon will leave for Washington in the course of a few days.— S. F. Call.

**If anyone knows where I can get one of these silver menus, please email me through the home page. I would very much like to add one to this Palace Hotel collection! One surviving example is shown at right:

March 17th, 1876: An ex-member of Congress from the East came to this city last year with his family to have a little recreation, putting up at the Palace Hotel. He was suddenly taken ill, and died without having seen a physician. His family implored him to take medical advice, but he facetiously replied: "No, let me alone. I wish to die a natural death."

March 18th, 1876: At the works can now be seen a pumping engine designed by Mr. Wilcox for the artesian well of the Palace hotel, it stands on end over the well, the pump being lowered 100 feet in the well. The pump can be let down to any required depth and the engine placed vertically over it. Pumps of this class are made to suit any diameter of well. In this case the water is to be raised by a single lift to the top of the building, about 250 feet in all, and the pump is constructed to deliver15,000 gallons per hour. The engine stands on two handsome fluted columns, and is; arranged so that in case the pump should get out of order the engine can be swung around from the top of the well to one side. 

March 29th, 1876: The eminent artist, William Bradford, has returned from a trip up and may be found at the Palace Hotel, in elegant parlors on the sixth floor, which look north and east.

April 12th, 1876: The Palace Hotel. Something About A Grand Caravansary. Detailed Description of the Finest Hotel in the World.

     The fame of the Lelands as public caterers, from the rotund Warren down to the congenial Jerome, cannot be further elevated.... The situation of the Palace Hotel is absolutely the finest and most central in the city, having command of the leading avenues of the metropolis, being broad, light, and pleasant, and traveled each day by a vast multitude of people, presenting a bustling, active scene of life and business, highly conducive to the spirits and capable of driving ennui away from the most afflicted. 

     The basement story on Market Street is used for the stores and storage. On Jessie Street, for the laundry; Annie Street, store rooms, larders, bakers, confectioners, engine pumps, and machinery. In the area and vaults on Annie Street are the boilers and fuel. The basement throughout is 10 feet in the clear. In the basement are the following rooms: Wine room 55x42; china and glass room, 21x55; mechanic's dining room 21x55; pantry, 21x55; servant's dining rooms each 21x55; baggage room 55x21; linen room, 41 square feet; airing room, 20x40, drying room 40 feet square; wash room 40 feet square, and other apartments too numerous to mention. This is a most extraordinary division of space, and is an indication of the gigantic nature of the whole affair. The entire basement floor and working apartments are of concrete, not a particle of wood being used in their construction, and every department connected with the working portion of the house - pantry, kitchen, bakery, confectionary, store rooms, tank room, engine room, are constructed with iron beams for floors, and a ceiling with brick arches, not a particle of wood being used in these departments, thus rendering them all absolutely fire-proof. The boiler is under the sidewalk on Annie Street, in the rear of the house, thus providing against any accident.

     In the basement directly under the grand porch is an immense cistern 60x100, 15 feet deep, containing 675,000 gallons of water, held in reserve for fire purposes. In addition, there are two rotary pumps , supplying separate sets of pipes, throughout the house eight inches in size around the entire basement, and four inch standing pipes, 36 in number, with an outlet on each floor and on the roof, with 100 feet of 2 1/2 inch fire hose attached to each outlet, making 21,600 feet of hose, or over four miles in length. The hydraulic pressure is kept at 75 pounds. Four artesian wells supply the cistern, and the Spring Valley Water Works also gives a supply. It will be seen by this how systematic everything is carried on in construction with the safety and comfort of the guests. On the roof there are cisterns that hold 100,000 gallons. 

     The First Story. The first, or ground story, presents the main entrance on New Montgomery Street, with a driveway 20 feet wide; with sidewalks 10 feet in width; the latter of white marble and the driveway of asphaltum. The Main Central Court is 152x34, which is covered with glass, on a level with the roof of the building. 160 feet on New Montgomery Street is used for hotel purposes, in addition to the driveway. The court, of which we have spoken, is surrounded on all sides with arcaded galleries on every floor, each twelve feet wide, and forming in itself, a continuous promenade. To the right of the main entrance is situated the ladies' door, giving entrance to the Ladies' Reception Room, 40 feet square. Also two rooms devoted to the use of ladies, 15x20. On the left is the door leading to the reception room for the gentleman, 40 feet square; also two small rooms each 15x20. On this floor is the office, that most important adjunct of all well-conducted hotels, 55x65; coat and baggage room, 20 square feet, and two small private dining rooms each 20 square feet. Breakfast room 110x55, ball room, 64x55; dining room 150x55; kitchen and pantry, 84x50; space for working room, servants' stair, coal and ash slide, elevator for service of the house, lock-up and pantries, 84x22, barber shop, 20x40; wash room, 20x40; public water closets 40 feet square, bar room 40 square feet; billiard room 40x60; four committee rooms, each 20 square feet. At the rear end of the court on this floor is a magnificent staircase occupying space of 60x30. This story is 27 feet in the clear, except over the stories where there is an entressol, or intermediate story. There are five elevators for the use of guests and passengers, worked by water, thus affording rapid, easy and safe transit up and down. In addition there are seven other broad stairways, conveniently located for ingress and egress to and from all parts of the building. 

     The Arrangement of Stories. A novel feature of the edifice is the arrangement of eighteen stories on Market and New Montgomery Streets, whereby each obtains a double frontage, one on the street and the other at the arcades in the rear and within the hotel, thus commanding the street trade of the city and the traffic of the hotel. There are 1,200 feet of arcades, 12 feet wide, on the office floor, connecting with the various stores and streets, all finished in substantial style, paved with marble and hardwood floors, and brilliantly lighted. By means of this original device, the stores constitute a grand bazar. Here the guests of the house can perform all of their shopping without any exposure to the weather, an advantage that the ladies are greatly charmed with. These stores are designed for the finest retail trade. 

     The Second Story We come now to the second story, which is divided up entirely into suites of rooms, except rooms for parlors, private dining rooms, rooms set aside for private entertainments, for guests or outside parties, as is the case at the Grand Hotel in Paris. These rooms are fitted up in a solid and substantial manner after the European style. The floors are of hard wood, the woods of this coast being especially adapted to this use. The handsome wood floors, with the Persian rugs, in this delightful climate, rendering it in fact an Oriental palace. The main parlor is 40 feet square, and once on each side 20x40. These rooms, fronting on New Montgomery Street, command a fine view of Montgomery and Market Streets, also of the enclosed court and its vast arcades, the way the many suites of rooms have, rendering them the most desirable rooms in the house, enabling their occupants to see all that is going on. The house is so constructed that each suite of rooms will be as much withdrawn as if they were in a private house. The suites are two rooms deep with bathrooms, with closets, etc. in the center of the building, affording access to both rooms. Both rooms have, in addition, an outside window, and the rooms are reached by a corridor in the rear of the building enclosed in glass. On this floor is also the children and nurses' dining room, 40 feet square; Dining Room for the officers of the hotel, 20x40; Ladies' Billiard Room, 40 feet square. On this floor are 138 rooms, one-half 20 feet square, and none less than 16 feet square. 15 foot ceilings. Each of the rooms have a fireplace and each of the front rooms has a bay window and a closet 3 1/4 x 7. The halls are 12 feet wide and each 1,434 feet in length, with openings on each end, on courts, also enclosed in glass. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth stories are similar to the one just described, and the seventh the same, with the exception that the ceilings are 16 feet high, thereby rendering it the most desirable portion of the house, having the facilities of five elevators, the whole space being divided into suites of rooms, (parlors and bedrooms.) There are seven hundred and fifty-five rooms for guests in the house above the office floor. There are 377 bathrooms and 348 bay windows. 

     The Number of Guests. The hotel is intended to furnish ample accommodation for 1,200 guests. 

     Ventilation. The ventilation is complete in every respect. Each room has a separate ventilating flue 4x8 inches, running to the roof; in that connection with the flue to the fireplace gives a system of ventilation that science pronounces perfect. Each bathroom and closet also has a separate ventilation flue running to the roof 4x8 inches. 

April 13th, 1876: Harrington, who some months ago attempted to murder a boy named Charles Lidlum, at the Palace Hotel, is now on trial. Ludlurn was a messenger for a firm of brokers that the prisoner endeavored to swindle, and was sent to the hotel with a large amount of money in notes. While counting it out he happened to glance into a mirror opposite to the table at which he was sitting, and observed Harrington on the point of making a deadly attack on him. Lidlum gave the alarm, and an officer who was stationed outside entered and took Harrington prisoner. It will be remembered that at the time a number of gushing letters and a sentimental journal were found on his person. The defense on his trial are endeavoring to save him on the worn-out plea, insanity. 

April 26th, 1876: Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, visits and stays in a suite of rooms at the Palace Hotel. 

May 6th, 1876: The article mentions that Dom Pedro stayed on the top floor of the Palace Hotel. Written by Pedro Alcantara, it ends with an odd statement, "Please send seven copies of the Democrat to me at Room 1102, Palace Hotel San Francisco." This room shouldn't exist.

May 16th, 1876

Pacific Stock Exchange Banquet at the Palace Hotel

June 4th, 1876: At The Palace

     Warren Leland, of the Palace Hotel, has made great preparations to receive the excursionists on this train. Yesterday he sent the following telegram, which explains itself: Mssrs. Jarrett & Palmer, and travelling companions on Lightning Train; Winnemucca or Wadsworth: Informal breakfast will be served immediately on your arrival. Leading citizens, members of the Press, theatrical profession, Army and Navy officers, leading railroad officials, and the Mayor of San Francisco, will be at breakfast. On your arrival at the wharf, thirteen guns will be fired from the roof of the Palace, and when you reach the hotel, the flag will be hoisted. Carriages will be in attendance at the ferry landing. (Signed:) Warren Leland, Palace Hotel.

     The Breakfast. To be spread for the flying travelers will resemble a banquet in more than one respect. To show them what California can produce for the table at this season of the year, the following menu will be presented : Menu: Salmon Grillé a la Maitre d'Hotel. Tom Cods Fritte, Sauce Tartare. Cucumber Salad. Filet Bœuf, Sauce Bernaise. Cotelettes D'Agneau, Sauce Soubise. Escalop de Veau a la Giennoise. Pomme de terre Frites. Pomme de terre, Maitre d'Hotel. Rognon Sauté au Champignon. Poulet Grille au Cresson. Oeuf Brouillés au point d'Asperges. Oeuf Frites au Tamben. Petit Salée. Omelettes au Rhum. Apricots. Raspberries. Strawberries. Cherries.

     The outside bears the following inscription: Complimentary Breakfast To Messers. Jarret & Palmer, and Travelling Companions, on the Trans-Continental Train, From New York to San Francsico, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, Sunday, June 4th, 1876. WARREN LELAND. The breakfast room will be decorated with bunting, the tables with the choicest flowers of the season. Plates will be set for one hundred. At the farther end of the room, over a large flag, is suspended an oil painting by A. Mario, of New York. If it had been painted for the occasion it could not be more appropriate. To the left and slightly in the background a locomotive drawing a train of cars, puffing and blowing, steams down the track. In the foreground an old plantation wagon, drawn by a sturdy draught horse, contains an old planter and his sable attendant, Sambo has hold of the reins, but is unable to check the speed of the charger. The guests will be furnished with the handsomest suites of rooms on the first floor. In the evening they will be serenaded by the California Theatre Band. 

June 5th, 1876: Mr. Sharon contemplates building a glass front to the Palace Hotel court-yard, thus enabling' the patrons of the house to sit in the court sheltered from the cold winds. 

July 2nd, 1876: 1776 - 1876 Jubilee , The City Gaily Decked in Bunting. ......"The Palace Hotel has a fine display of banner cloth over the entrance to the Interior court, which is decorated with flags and shields all around the railing on each floor."

July 21st, 1876: The Palace Hotel. Mr. Sharon Before the Board of Equalization -- He Objects to the Assessment and It is Reduced.

The Hon. Will. Sharon, U. S. Senator from Nevada, appeared before the board of Equalization yesterday as an applicant to have the assessment of the Palace Hotel reduced from two million of dollars to one million. He stated, under oath, that the building was not worth more than one million, that the receipts from the rent of rooms and stores would not amount to anything in comparison with the expense of keeping the hotel for a year or two to come. The property was taxed beyond its value, and could not be sold for two millions of dollar!

July 29th, 1876: Smith American Organs advertises its wares in the paper. 621 Market St, under the Palace Hotel. 

August 11th, 1876: The request of Warren Leland for the appointment of Michael Fogarty as a special policeman for the Palace Hotel was granted.

August 12th, 1876: There is a whisper, a mere vague and shadowy rumor in the air. that two important events are on the tapis, to wit: The closing of the Palace Hotel, and the acknowledged financial embarrassment of Senator J. P. Jones, of Nevada.

August 17th, 1876: Charles Unga and Ah Wi, and old and a young Chinaman, were acquitted of a charge of grand larceny of a watch and chain from the rooms of Herman Levison, at the Palace Hotel.

September 16th, 1876: An Elegant Wedding in San Francisco. Miss Carrie Goldwater was married to a prominent merchant and contractor from Arizona, P.N. Aronson. ....In the evening, a costly and elegant supper was given to about 200 invited guests at the Palace Hotel. The menu embraced every delicacy tempting to the eye and taste, and was gotten up in Mr. Leland's finest style. At half-past nine, the guests retired to the main parlors of the hotel, where a band of music was stationed and dancing was indulged until the early hours of the morning. 

September 21st, 1876: General Sherman and Secretary Cameron last night received the officers of the National Guard in the reading room of the Palace Hotel and after the introductions were over, General Sherman addressed them briefly on the subject of militia organization and discipline. The Secretary declined to make any speech. The party then proceeded to the balcony surrounding the court of the hotel, where 2,000 or 3,000 people were assembled, and General Sherman entertained them for some time with a speech devoted mainly to reminiscences of the times and men of early days in California.

October 14th, 1886: The great Palace Hotel at San Francisco is not paying, and its owner, Senator Sharon, has not yet received a dollar from his investment. The hotel cost $5,000,000, and could now, owing to the fall in material, be erected for $3,000,000. It was assessed for $2,000,000, its owner paying in addition taxes on $4,000,000 of other property in San Francisco.

October 20th, 1876: Ten Thousand People in the Palace Hotel. Long before the procession, on its return from the wharf, reached Market street, the vicinity of the Palace Hotel was packed with people to listen to Senator Booth's speech. Notwithstanding precautions were taken to keep the dense crowd from entering the corridors of the hotel, the crowd pressed by the guards and thronged the corridors and balconies. It was estimated that not less than ten thousand people were packed iv the corridors, Senator Booth's appearance on the platform on the third balcony was the signal for prolonged cheering and applause by the multitude. Senator Booth next held an informal reception in his parlors, where he was greeted by a large number of life friends and admirers. The Senator looks exceedingly well, although suffering somewhat from the effects of a cold.

October 21st, 1876: Hotel Thief Captured. Yesterday noon, a thief entered the office of the Palace Hotel and stole some goods and then tried to escape. The clerks gave chase and caught him at the corner of New Montgomery and Minna streets, and held him until an officer arrived, who put him under arrest.

November 4th, 1876: Mr. Warren Leland, Jr., of Ocean Hotel, Long Branch, will, before winter sets in, join his father in San Francisco, and assist in managing the Palace Hotel.

December 21st, 1876: A bas relief of the lato William Ralston has been taken to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, made by one Mr. Combs. 

December 27th, 1876: Mining Stocks & Mining Article. Send statements to Alexander Delmar, Room 76, Palace Hotel. *I want to document as many room numbers as I can for a variety of research reasons.