NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- San Francisco's financial district has long been a mainstay of West Coast business and investor relations, but not every resident remembers that not too long ago the city had a stock exchange of its own.
The Pacific Exchange was a regional stock exchange with equity trading floors in San Francisco and Los Angeles. By the 1980s, it was the country's third-largest options market. It boasted a 124-year run -- if its predecessors are included in the count -- during which it saw the West Coast through the Gold Rush, the stock market crash of the roaring 20's, the first uses of computers on the trading floor and the end of this regional exchange when it was absorbed into the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.
The exchange started in 1882 as the San Francisco Stock Exchange and began as a way to sell stock associated with massive amounts of silver found in Nevada, named the Comstock Lode, which sparked a silver rush.
Men who would become millionaires off the Comstock Lode discovery, including the four so-called "Bonanza Kings" particularly profited from the find and the exchange's involvement: John William Mackay, James Graham Fair, William S. O'Brien and James Claire Flood, for whom San Francisco's Flood Building on Market Street is named.