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Strangers On Familiar SoilRediscovering the Chile-California Connection$
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Edward Dallam Melillo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300206623

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300206623.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

A Venice of Pine

A Venice of Pine

(p.33) 2 A Venice of Pine
Strangers On Familiar Soil

Edward Dallam Melillo

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses how Chilean ships and wheat provided the literal foundations for San Francisco's territorial and demographic expansions during the mid-1800s. Beginning in 1848, the city's developers converted nearly all of Chile's merchant fleet into waterfront structures, initiating a process known as landmaking. These ships ended up as anchor points in an intricate network of wharves, earthen fill, foundation piles, and gangplanks. Wheat from Chile also fed the city's burgeoning population. During the mid-1800s, merchants sold 72,575 metric tons of Chilean wheat flour to the city's newcomers. This boom in wheat exports triggered profound agrarian changes in Chile, including the clearing of hundreds of thousands of acres of native forest in Chile's south-central provinces to open land for wheat cultivation. This change in traditional land-use patterns exposed these regions to swift colonization by Monterey pines during the twentieth century.

Keywords:   Chile, California, economic growth, San Francisco, Chilean ships, wheat, landmaking, Monterey pines

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