Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine is a lively, informative, and entertaining 3-hour walking tour of historic San Francisco. This tour, led by Emperor Norton, teaches fascinating stories behind San Francisco's history.
What to Expect
On this 3-hour walking tour of San Francisco with your eccentric guide Emperor Norton, hear the captivating stories behind local San Franciscan landmarks such as Union Square and The Palace Hotel. Of course, you'll also hear the legend behind Emperor Norton himself!
Born in England, Norton emigrated to San Francisco in 1849 after receiving a bequest from his father's estate. Norton initially made a living as a businessman, but he lost his fortune investing in Peruvian rice.
After losing a lawsuit in which he tried to void his rice contract, Norton left San Francisco. He returned a few years later, apparently mentally unbalanced, claiming to be the Emperor of the United States. Although the locals considered him to be an eccentric local character, when he died in 1880, 30,000 people took to the streets to pay homage to their beloved emperor.
Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.
On this 3-hour walking tour, learn the fascinating stories behind:
• Emperor Norton, the man and the myths
• Union Square
• The St. Francis Hotel
• Maiden Lane
• Lotta's Fountain
• The 1906 earthquake and fire
• Bummer and Lazarus
• The Palace Hotel
• Jackson Square
• The Barbary Coast
• Portsmouth Square
- 3-hour walking tour of San Francisco
Union Square, San Francisco, under the statue