Venue Details

47 Star Starred
Union Square
Geary and Powell San Francisco, CA 94102
415-644-8513
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Member Tips

dress

Casual
1 said this
Goldstar Member
Casual with good walking shoes
info Apr 13 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
Sunscreen
info Apr 13 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
Bart.
info Apr 13 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
A bottle of water would have been good
info Apr 13 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
Sunglasses
info Apr 13 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
A snack would have been good; the tour is over 2 hour long
info Feb 23 2013 star this tip starred
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Reviews & Ratings

55 ratings
4.8 average rating
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    5
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    4
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29 events
20 reviews
34 stars
attended Mar 29 2012

Norton is a good example of what the city has to offer: it's full of generous and eccentric people! Let Norton lead you in SF with lots of historical facts and tales. You... continued

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20 events
10 reviews
4 stars
attended Apr 19 2012

I’m a San Francisco history buff, and this by far was the most detailed, documented, and informative tour I’ve been on (and I’ve attended most of the city’s walking... continued

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41 events
31 reviews
33 stars
attended Oct 13 2012

it was a great talk and we had a wonderful time listening to all the stories

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Member Photos
More Information

Website

http://www.emperornortontour.com

Description

Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine promises patrons “history around every corner.” It’s a lively, informative, and entertaining walking tour of historic San Francisco, with stops at Union Square, The St. Francis Hotel, Maiden Lane, Lotta’s Fountain, The Palace Hotel, Jackson Square, Portsmouth Square, the Barbary Coast, and much more—led by Emperor Norton. “He was one of the most fascinating figures in the history of San Francisco,” says owner and operator Joseph Amster.

A displaced journalist with an acting background, Amster has created a walking tour with a twist, offering his patrons a unique experience. A businessman originally from England and South Africa, Joshua Abraham Norton arrived in San Francisco in 1849 with $40,000, which after some shrewd investing, increased to $250,000 (which would be $3 million today). After losing his fortune to a bad rice investment, Norton disappeared, returning to San Francisco in 1859, declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. In any other city, he would have been dismissed as a madman, but the people of San Francisco embraced his reign. During his lifetime, Norton printed his own currency (which was accepted by San Francisco merchants), was served gratis in the city’s restaurants and always had the best seats at the theater. He also issued numerous proclamations, including calling for a bridge to be built between San Francisco and Oakland, and the founding of a league of nations. Today the Bay Bridge and United Nations stand as testaments to Emperor Norton’s vision.

The tour lasts approximately two-and-a-half hours and covers two miles.