San Francisco's Barbary Coast was at its zenith-wide open, bawdy, brawling, brimming with uncivilized humanity. Painted dance hall girls flounced their way to fame and fortune as a rough-and-tumble assortment of miners, sailors and railroaders chugged the rawest whiskey in the West. All that remained of the Gold Rush was the savagery born of disillusionment.
To this primitive, barbaric land in 1861, came a refined young man of gentle breeding, determined to establish his own music business. Only 14 years old when he left his home in Boston, he endured hardships on land and sea with dreams of his quest keeping him going. Undaunted by the limited potential for fine music in the unsettled territory, Leander Sherman took the first job he was able to find-as apprentice in a clock shop. Once a day every day he wound every clock in the shop. Gradually, he was given more responsibilities until finally he became clock repairman. But still he kept his eyes open for that big chance.