If you have ever wondered how California’s modern-day rush for riches in Silicon Valley compares with the Gold Rush of 1849, look no further than the cost of buying a home.
Glenn Kelman, CEO of real estate startup Redfin, recently warned of an exodus of tech-specialists from Silicon Valley as the average price of property there topped $1 million – more than double the averages in Seattle, Boston or Portland.
It would be fair to say that property prices rose during the Gold Rush too, but that is where the comparison would have to end. Because back in 1849, they climbed to levels that would make modern Californians weep.
The writer Bayard Taylor arrived in San Francisco by ship in the summer of 1849 and feared that nobody would believe him when he wrote about the Gold Rush economy in his dispatches for the New York Tribune.
When the average wage for a laborer in New York might be one or two dollars a day, he was astounded to discover that individual hotel rooms were rented to professional gamblers for upwards of $10,000 a month – the equivalent today of about $300,000. (All inflation estimates are courtesy of Westegg.com.)
Taylor wrote —> read more: www.smithsonianmag.com/history/