The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

to honor the life + advance the legacy of Emperor Norton

PROJECTS :: An Historical Map of the Emperor's World

Contact: Campaign president John Lumea

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign plans to create an historically detailed and nuanced portrait of the buildings, streets, spaces and places that Emperor Norton occupied and visited, both before and during his reign. This portrait could go in any number of different directions: A comprehensive interactive online map of Emperor-related sites, layered with information and archival photographs. A mobile app. Exciting to imagine!

We already have made a great start. With the assistance of San Francisco directories from the period and photographs from a variety of sources, we've used good old-fashioned detective work to "reconstruct" an historically accurate picture of a group of sites in the 600 block of Commercial Street where Emperor Norton lived from 1863 until his death in 1880 (including the site of the residence itself) — as well as the site where Joshua Norton, businessman, lived at the peak of his prosperity and influence in San Francisco. 

We'd like to build out this picture to include the entire 600 block of Commercial. Then on to Portsmouth Square, the Mechanics' Institute, Montgomery Street and other places in San Francisco. To Oakland, Berkeley and other places in the East Bay. To Sacramento and other California places further afield from the Bay Area. And, of course, to sites in South Africa and modern-day London — before Joshua Norton reached San Francisco is 1849.

To learn more, and to participate in this project, please contact Campaign president John Lumea.


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© 2017 The Emperor's Bridge Campaign  |  Site design by Polished  |  Background: Detail from image courtesy of Eric Fischer