Bohemian Club

sights / Architecture

Bohemian Club information

Location
San Francisco , USA
Address
624 Taylor St
Getting there
Bus: 2, 3, 38
Tram: Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde
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The most infamous, secretive club in all San Francisco was founded in the 19th century by bona fide bohemians, but they couldn't afford the upkeep so allowed the ultra-rich to join. On the Post St side of the ivy-covered club, look for the plaque honoring Gold Rush–era author Bret Harte, which depicts characters from his works.

On the plaque's extreme right is 'The Heathen Chinee.' It's not a racist attack – au contraire – but a reference to the eponymous 1870 satirical poem Harte wrote mocking anti-Chinese sentiment in Northern California. Ironically, upon publication the poem had the opposite effect and became a rallying cry against Chinese immigration. Things are seldom what they seem at the Bohemian Club. Today's member roster lists an odd mix of power elite and famous artists: apparently both George W Bush and Bob Weir are current members.