Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem / by Lee Bruno


The waterfront is where it all began for San Francisco. It’s where untold numbers of adventurers and fortune-hunters first stepped foot upon the land that embodied possibility. It’s where ships from around the world, carrying sea-faring gold seekers, maritime traders, free-spirited mavericks, and hopeful immigrants, came to anchor. And it’s where the unconventional, opportunistic, and indefatigable embarked. Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem: Tales from San Francisco’s Historic Waterfront, 1849–1934shares the stories of exceptional newcomers and outliers, whose intrepid spirits helped to transform a small port into one of the most beautiful, unpredictable, and beloved cities in the world. 

Lee Bruno explores nearly a century of waterfront history, ranging from the Gold Rush to the Jazz Age, telling the tales of the enterprising entrepreneurs, reckless financiers, tireless reformers, visionary architects and city planners, and bohemian artists, musicians, and poets who all heeded the call of promise. With more than 100 historical images, Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem celebrates the famous (and infamous) characters whose charismatic personalities and perseverance created the institutions, businesses, and cultural fabric of San Francisco.



Mechanics' Institute Library, 57 Post Street, SF CA: Wednesday, February 21 @ 6-7:30 p.m.

Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., SF CA.: Thursday, February 22 @ 7pm

Booksmith, 1727 Haight Street, SF CA (The Bindery): Thursday, March 8 @ 7:30 pm

Book Passages Ferry Building, SF CA Thursday, March 29 @ 7 pm 

South San Francisco Library, 306 Walnut Ave. SSF, April 11 @ 6 -7 pm

SPUR Building, 654 Mission Street, SF CA.  Thursday, April 26 @ 7 pm

(San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association)