Lonely Planet Writer

Last remaining SF earthquake survivor dies at 109

The 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed San Francisco is something most people read about in history books, a gone if not-forgotten piece of the city’s past.

Bill del Monte's family's restaurant, rebuilt after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.
Bill del Monte’s family’s restaurant, rebuilt after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. Image by Allan Ferguson / CC BY 2.0

But Bill Del Monte wasn’t most people and, for him, those events 110 years ago were more than a story because he lived through them. Bill, the last survivor from the earthquake and fire, was a baby at the time of the disaster and grew up as SF was rebuilt around him, his family opening an Italian restaurant that is still popular today. He has just passed away, a few days shy of his own 110th birthday, and has been mourned by many across San Francisco including the mayor who described him as ‘a true friend of the City’.

Read more: sfist.com