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Portola 1909 Pt. 3


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Portola Festival 1909

San Francisco Portolá [Portola] Festival 1909


Home Page Slide Show Highlights

Portola - Part 3 of 5


Queen Virgilia of the 1909
Portolá [Portola] Festival


Kathryn Ayres presentation, excerpts from SFBAPCC October 2005 Newsletter, notes by Lew Baer.

October is Portolá [Portola] Festival month, and be sure to pronounce the explorer’s name as the festival committee and newspapers at the time had instructed — “Port-o-LAH.”  The first festival was held in 1909 commemorating the discovery of San Francisco Bay 140 years earlier and recovery from the earthquake and fire of three years before. The resident population of the city was 565,000 at that time, and the festival attracted more than two million visitors.


San Francisco Portolá [Portola] Festival 1909























Official Postcard and Poster

President Taft's Portolá [Portola] Toast

Portolá [Portola] Festival 1909

San Francisco

October 19-23



Every festival needs a queen, and as she spoke Kathryn held up enlargements of postcards showing Virgilia Bogue, the woman chosen to be consort to Don Gaspar de Portola [Portolá], played by Nicholas Covarrubias. We saw Virgilia on a Britton & Rey card and on a series of “official” view cards overlaid with her face in a cartouche. During the time of the festival the auto show was displaying 1910 models, and Kathryn showed an oversize card of Virgilia at the wheel of a White steam car, the same model car that President Taft had. Next, a real photo of Portolá [Portola] with his queen by his side receiving the key to the city.



San Francisco Portolá [Portola] Festival 1909























Portolá [Portola]

October 19-23rd 1909

A.D. 1769


When she was considered for filling the role of festival queen, Virgilia was examined by a team of competent judges. In publicity releases her name was misspelled as Vergilia Bogue, but not on postcards, and she was credited with many accomplishments, most of them questionable. The real trouble began when a novel Virgilia had written was published after she became queen. The story was about a thinly disguised alter ego who loved a man other than her husband, a character named Paolo Cenari.


San Francisco Portolá [Portola] Festival 1909
























Portolá [Portola] Festival

San Francisco

October 19 to 23 1909




Portola - Part 4 (Portolá [Portola] Festival of 1909) Continued...




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