Bohemian Club

sights / Architecture

Bohemian Club information

San Francisco , USA
624 Taylor St
Getting there
Bus: 2, 3, 38
Tram: Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde
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San Francisco's most infamous, secretive men's club was originally founded by bonafide bohemians – but they couldn't afford the upkeep, so they allowed the ultra-rich to join. Today's member roster lists an odd mix of power elite and artists: apparently both George W Bush and Greatful Dead frontman Bob Weir are current members. 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, but a reference to the eponymous 1870 satirical poem Harte wrote mocking anti-Chinese sentiment in Northern California. Ironically, the poem had the opposite effect, and became a rallying cry against Chinese immigration.