In an East-meets-West story, some descendants of the Pilgrims saved a San Francisco landmark. My high school friend, Gail, is a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames. Membership in the Dames requires that “each member coming into The Society have an ancestor from one of the original thirteen colonies.” The Dames in California are the custodians of the Octagon House, built in 1861 as an eight-sided home, and now open as a museum at the corner of Gough and Union Streets in San Francisco.
Octagon houses were popular in the 1850s and thought to be healthier. With more sides and more windows, occupants could have more sunshine and more fresh air. The house was sold and resold until 1952 when the Dames convinced the then-owner, PG&E, to sell it to them for $1, and move the house across the street so that they could restore and preserve it. The Dames are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the house this year. Check out the tour schedule: