San Francisco’s tech boom may be the cause of rising rents in the city, but, apparently, it’s nothing compared to the cost of living in California during the Gold Rush.
In 1849, as men flocked to the San Francisco area in hopes of hitting gold, local retailers took advantage of the situation by charging exorbitant prices for commodities, The Smithsonian reports. Back then, a dozen eggs could cost the equivalent of $90 today.
The Smithsonian cites the writings of Bayard Taylor, a reporter who wrote about the Gold Rush for the now-defunct New York Tribune. According to Taylor’s articles, some individual hotel rooms cost upwards of $10,000 a month – the equivalent of about $300,000 today.
But that’s not all.
Coffee could cost the equivalent of $1,200 per pound while a pair of shoes would run about $3,000.
While researchers have made various estimates for commodity pricing during the Gold Rush – some have priced coffee at around $100 per pound -- most of them agree: it was a very expensive, if not the most expensive time to live in the city.