This marker consists of six plaques arranged in a 2 X 3 pattern. The top left plaque is the title plaque and may contain some text. The top right plaque displayed an arrow which points in the direction of the named street. Other plaques contain biographical information on the person for whom the street is named, appropriate quotation(s) and relevant illustrations, cast in bronze.Cholera is to be Expected Here
Pioneer physician in California, Dr. John Townsend and his wife came overland from Missouri in 1844, as a part of the first immigrant party to cross the Sierra by way of Truckee. A founding member of the school board in San Francisco in 1847, he was elected town Alcalde in 1848. He abandoned his office at the first news of the discovery of gold, but later returned to practice medicine at a time when the new city was being swept by epidemics of dysentery and cholera. Moving to a farm near San Jose, Townsend and his wife died of cholera there at the end of 1851.
"A good feeling man, Townsend is much attached to his own opinions, as likewise to the climate and country of California. His wife, a pleasant lady, does not enter into all her husband's chimerical speculations." - James Clyman, 1845
The wording of an actual hand lettered sign found near this spot, circa 1850.