Financial District, San Francisco, California, United States

Mark Twain and the Occidental Hotel

28-year-old Mark Twain arrived in San Francisco in May of 1864. He spent his first few months living at the Occidental Hotel (where the Rush Building now stands).

The Occidental Hotel was a four story Italian style building which was one of the grandest places in town.

Twain made $35 dollar a week as a reporter back then. Much of his wages went on his room and on the hotel's decadent buffets. Needless to say dwindling funds ment Twain relocate within months of his arrival.

Incidentally, it is believed that the Martini was first invented at the Occidental Hotel. It evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez which was served to partrons who frequented the hotel before taking an evening ferry to the nearby town of Martinez.

Photograph from Bay Citizen

Mark Twain and the Occidental Hotel