Victorian San Francisco

The World of the Annie Fuller/Nate Dawson Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series

Once upon a time I wrote a dissertation entitled “Like a Machine or an Animal: Working Women of the Far West in the Late Nineteenth Century.” For that monograph, I read books, articles, newspapers, diaries, memoirs, novels, and I did a thorough data analysis of the 1880 manuscript census for San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles, looking specifically at women who worked. The origins of my Victorian San Francisco mystery series can be found in that academic work, and my desire to illustrate to the contemporary reader what life was like for women who worked in the late 19th century through fiction.

As a result, my novels and short stories draw heavily on my academic expertise. However, there is, of course, much of the historical background that I had to leave out when writing my novels and short stories, so I am using this website and my blog to do some filling in the blanks; providing links, photographs, and additional information on Victorian San Francisco.

What follows is a table of contents of topics connected to my novels, Maids of MisfortuneUneasy Spirits, and Bloody Lessons, and my two short stories, Dandy Detects and The Misses Moffets Mend a Marriage. Those topics in dark blue are the topics I have already written about and if you click on them you will be taken to the blog pieces on each topic. The rest of the table of contents in black are topics I will be writing about and if you want to be alerted when I have written a new piece, please take the time to go to the bottom left of this page where there is a place to subscribe by email.


M. Louisa Locke

Table of Contents:

What was San Francisco like in 1880?
Economic Structure
Social structure

Places of Interest

Golden Gate Park
Woodward’s Gardens
The Palace Hotel
Cliff House Inn
Rincon Hill District

Women’s Occupations

Domestic Service
Boarding House Keepin

San Francisco Teachers: Part One
San Francisco Teachers: Part Two
San Francisco Teachers: Part Three

19th century spiritualism


The Irish and Halloween
Boston Terriers