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Visit Land’s End Octagon House

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The one-time watch house for incoming ships at the Golden Gate now stands abandoned and hidden in trees.

The discovery of gold in the Sacramento hills brought an onslaught of ships of all kinds into the previously sleepy San Francisco Bay. At first, runners positioned on the remote dunes at the city’s northwestern corner would spot ships and head for the center of town to notify officials and merchants of incoming traffic. It became clear very early on that a more effective method of notification was needed.