San Francisco Pioneer Monument Early Days Statue
The San Francisco Pioneer Monument centers around a tall mable pedestal topped with a bronze statue of Athena, the Greek Goddess of Way, inset with bronze plaques and bas reliefs, and surrounded by three smaller statues depicting eras of California history.
This statue represents the stages of California history and memorializes those who settled the state: the California Indians, the Spanish Missionaries, the Mexicanos, the pioneers, and the miners.
This statue represents the stages of California history and memorializes those who settled the state. The bronze statue on top of the pedestal represents Athena/Minerva, the Greek/Roman goddess of war, representing the state.
The bronze bas relief plaques depict four stages of history: "Crossing the Sierra", "Vaqueros Lassoing a Bull", "Trapper Trading Skins with Indians", and "Progress under American Rule". Portrait bas reliefs represent the white men considered founders of the state: Sir Francis Drake, John Sutter, John Fremont, Father Junipero Serra, as well as James Lick, who commissioned the monument.
Four smaller stone stands support more representatives around the base of the monument. Two statues are women representing "Commerce" and "Prosperity". A third, "'49", has three gold miners.
The fourth, "Early Days" holds three figures: a missionary and a vaquero standing over the prone form of a California Indian. In 2018, this statue was removed and put into storage after a decades long effort by the California Indians.