If my math is correct, the Golden Gate Bridge will have its 77th birthday this month. It opened in 1937 with a week-long celebration. Since then, there have been huge festivities held in conjunction with its 25th, 50th, and 75th birthdays.
No doubt about it, this monument that connects San Francisco with Marin County is one of America’s major attractions. However, the Golden Gate was well known long before there was a bridge. In fact, one of Madera County’s own pioneers took note of the famous strait when he first came to California in 1868, because it took him into a world, the likes of which he had never imagined.
George Washington Mordecai and his cousin Tom Devereaux were aboard the “Golden City” when it entered San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate. A few days later, he wrote to relatives who lived in North Carolina, of what he encountered.
As his ship steamed through the Golden Gate, it passed Fort Point on the south and the rocky coast of Marin County to the north. What he saw on that July day in 1868, and in the couple of days that followed, he never forgot...