Sutter Health History
Our Barbary Coast Roots
It was as far west as west would take you. For many, San Francisco was a place to pause before setting out to stake a claim on the dream of a golden future. Others planted their roots here, and the city-by-the-bay thrived.
Although Gold Rush-era San Francisco beckoned with tales of fame and fortune, she was anything but a healthy host. Malnutrition, plague, scarlet fever, meningitis, typhoid, and tuberculosis were among the scourges that ravaged the rough and tumble Barbary Coast.
Responding to the swelling population, a group of local leaders in the mid-1850s opened a makeshift hospital. Over the next century, that small facility grew to become an integral part of what today is California Pacific Medical Center, one of state's preeminent medical facilities.