The Arch-Bishop of California’s Chairs – William Ford Nichols

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One of the more unexpected friendships of Captain Preston L Vapoor, was that which developed between he and the Episcopal Arch-Bishop of California, the Venerable William Ford Nichols – now, on the surface, it would seem strange that a world wandering mystic such as Captain Vapoor would become the boon companion of an Arch-Bishop – or vice-versa, but in truth Arch Bishop Nichols was a bit of a mystic adventurer himself – he even wrote a book titled Some World Circuit Saunterings in which he detailed his adventures in many distant lands and with many different people. Arch Bishop Nichols and Captain Vapoor were kindred spirits and spent many evenings telling stories by the fire while drinking (no doubt sacramental) wine in the Bishops house at 2515 Webster Street in San Francisco. In fact, when the Bishop passed away in 1924 – his memories of Captain Vapoor were so fond that he made sure to bequeath to him the chairs in which they passed so many enjoyable hours.

 

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Introducing Captain Preston L. Vapoor

Bizarrities Founder
Captain Preston L. Vapoor
San Francisco, CA 1872

Captain Preston L. Vapoor was a sea captain, veteran of the Confederacy, and early treasure seeker in the Oregon Territory, California, and the Far East. He had a remarkable knack for collecting items that were imbued with what he termed ‘spiritual power’ and was instrumental in creating the ‘mystical revival’ in San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay Area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. His ‘Bizarrities’ shows were a staple in San Francisco theatres and offered early inspiration to the likes of Jack London, John Steinbeck, and many other influential California writers, artists, and musicians. It is said that his performances, spectacles, and speeches ended with the line “we are happy to have had you here this evening, ladies and gentlemen, to view these wonders in person, with the grateful dead.”