At Anchor in San Francisco
For a sailor arriving in San Francisco during the 1800s there was a limitless selection of saloons along the waterfront in which to spend their sea pay. East Street featured the Balboa, the Foam, the Bowhead, and the Grizzly Bear, which had an actual grizzly bear tethered to the front door. On Pacific Street near Kearney was the Cowboy's Rest, run by Maggie Kelly, who was famous for acting as the saloon's bouncer. She was also known for spirited romantic life. She found it necessary to shoot one husband and one boyfriend, as well as clubbing an number of others. None of which ever pressed charges.

Probably the most notorious wharf-side saloon was The Whale, also on Pacific Street. The Whale was run by Johnny McNear who turned it into a hangout for all manner of criminals. His regulars included the pirate, Cod Wilcox who ended his life in San Quentin and Tip Thornton, a man well-known for cutting off at least a dozen ears and noses from those who crossed him.

Those with more money, such as the ship's captains, would patronize higher quality waterfront saloons such as Denny's Bar. There, local politicians would buy the house a round in order to deliver a campaign speech. The Martin and Horton Saloon was where you'd find many of San Francisco's most colorful characters including two street preachers known as Old Orthodox and Hallelujah Cox. Also there was their arch-enemy, Crisis Hopkins, a free-thinker who would follow the preachers all day and heckle them.

The Martin and Horton Saloon was also home to Willie Coombs who dressed in Continental uniform and thought he was George Washington, and a shy man named Charles E. Bolton who was later found out to be the highwayman, Black Bart. The saloon was also a hangout of a healer dressed in a robe and ostrich feathers known as the King of Pain. The King of Pain made a fortune selling aconite liniment to cure all ailments, then lost his fortune gambling. The great earthquake and fire of 1906 burned down the waterfront saloons of San Francisco and closed that colorful chapter of the city's history.
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