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Archive for the ‘History’ Category


Local Links: Sand art Sunday, CSA boxes, restaurant shuffles & more

Here are some local links to get you through your Wednesday…

  • Want to catch sand art in action? Head out to Ocean Beach on Sunday at 12noon to see Andres Amador at work. He usually wraps up the piece in about 2 hours.
  • Foggy Notion is now a pickup spot for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes from Say Hay Farms’, a 20-acre farm in Yolo County, California that raises certified-organic vegetables, melons, and eggs. Subscriptions start at just 4-weeks and as little as $16/week and can be picked up on Wednesdays from Foggy Notion (256 6th Avenue) between 3 – 6pm. More info
  • Parking alert: The metered lot on 8th Avenue between Clement and Geary will be closed for repaving from February 16 until March 14th.
  • The Chronicle recently highlighted some historic, long-running brands from San Francisco and we had a couple on the list. Its-It ice cream sandwiches started at Playland in 1928, and Boudin Bakery is still using the mother yeast from created by Isadore Boudin in 1849. The yeast was saved in the 1906 quake and the bakery moved from downtown to its current 10th Avenue location.
  • The start of the year restaurant shuffles continue… Reader Sarah tells us that Japanese restaurant Kaminari at 7th and Balboa is closing. And Francisco reports that the former Ju-Ku location at 19th Avenue and Clement is being taken over by a restaurant called The Flame (Hot Pot), with an opening date of March 1.
9:10 am | Posted under Art, Business, Events, Food, History, Ocean Beach | 8 comments

New book celebrates “Legendary Locals” of west side; author event Sunday

The Richmond District is full of great history – just take a look at the 1000+ historic photos that recently came to light thanks to the Western Neighborhoods Project.

But local history is about more than just places, events, and artifacts. It’s also about the people. Which is what makes a new book called “Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park” so interesting.

Authored by local historian and author Lorri Ungaretti, the book shines a light on the people that have helped make the western neighborhoods of San Francisco what they are today – varied, vibrant, colorful, full of beauty, rich with history, and still thriving.

Ungaretti, who has also authored books “San Francisco’s Richmond District” and “Stories in the Sand: San Francisco’s Sunset District”, focuses not only on the famous, former residents of the west side like Johnny Mathis, Ansel Adams and Barbara Eden, but also on the infamous – like Anton LaVey of 6666 California Street.

But you don’t have to be a famous or infamous figure to make it into Ungaretti’s book. True to the west side, it’s the people and businesses that are part of everyday life that have helped shape the neighborhood.

People like Angie Rando, owner of Angelina’s Cafe at 22nd & California, whose 30 plus years in business has made her business a neighborhood hub.

“I feel as if I’m just the ‘keeper’ of this place,” Rando says in the book. “It really belongs to the neighborhood.”

Or Paul Kozakiewicz, who started and continues to publish the free Richmond Review newspaper every month. And Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher of the Western Neighborhoods Project who help preserve our neighborhood’s history.

The book groups legendary local into six chapters: Golden Gate Park, History Lovers, The Builders, Making a Difference, The Arts, and Businesses.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the legendary locals of the past, or those that still work day in and day out to make our community great, “Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park” is a fun and interesting read.

“Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park” by Lorri Ungaretti is available in paperback at local bookstores like Green Apple Books, and online at Amazon or the Western Neighborhoods Project website.

And while Ungaretti is too modest, it’s safe to say that her contributions to documenting our neighborhood’s history would easily earn her a page in her latest book. But you can thank her and show your appreciation at a special book signing on Sunday at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (741 30th Avenue) from 10:30am until 2:30pm.

Stop by to pick up a signed copy of “Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park”. Who knows, you might even rub elbows with a legendary local or two while you’re there. 😉

Sarah B.

9:23 pm | Posted under Events, History | 2 comments

Local history group releases 1,000+ photos from Richmond District’s past

Ocean Beach. View looking southeast from the Cliff House circa 1905.
(Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

In early 2013, the volunteers at the Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP), a historical group dedicated to preserving the history of San Francisco’s western neighborhoods, were offered the chance to take stewardship of a massive photo collection containing thousands of images of San Francisco’s past.

The goal: to digitize and archive the photos, and make them available to the public. The collection, spread across more than 25 filing cabinets, contained 8×10 inch prints; acetate, glass, and nitrate negatives; cabinet cards; panoramas; postcards; scrapbooks; yearbooks and other items.

The WNP is a small organization but they took on the task, deciding to initially pilot the project with the historical images from the Cliff House, Sutro Baths, Sutro Heights, and Ocean Beach areas.

“We would sort, rehouse, catalog, digitize, and put online this first installment, then step back to assess the effort, costs, and rewards,” they wrote on their website.

Efforts began in summer 2014 and after 6 months of hard work, the WNP shared the first 1,182 images from the pilot last week.

We interviewed WNP members Woody LaBounty, David Gallagher and Nicole Meldahl about the project to find out more about the massive undertaking and why this collection is so significant to their mission, and the city’s history.

On your site, you refer to this as “perhaps the greatest collection of historical San Francisco photographs in private hands”. What makes it so valuable and great?

Woody: Sheer size to start. We’re talking tens of thousands of images. The collector’s house is jammed from basement to rafters with filing cabinets of negatives, prints, slides, and ephemera. The quality and clarity of many images is stunning and some items are incredibly important to San Francisco history. We may have discovered the very first photographic view of Alcatraz, for example.

We know these are a from a private collector who wishes to remain unnamed, but do you know how he or she came into possession of these images? You mention that much came from other local collections but do you know any more than that?

Woody: The collector is an accomplished photographer and knows his way around a darkroom. Over the past thirty years, he’s made copy negatives and prints from local collectors, institutions, businesses, and libraries, and, like all collectors, he traded and bartered and bought, from flea markets to eBay. The whole collection contains prints of well-known shots many of us have seen (say, much-reproduced views of Market Street or the 1906 earthquake), to one-of-kind negatives that exist nowhere else.

David: What Woody said is correct, I would add that the collector was tenacious in their pursuit of images and finding sources for them.

Second Cliff. View looking west from offshore circa 1890 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Are there more in the collection from the west side? Or just these ones from Cliff House, Sutro Baths, Sutro Heights, and Ocean Beach? If more west side, how much do you estimate?

Woody: Every corner of San Francisco, west side and east, is covered. We came to an agreement with the collector that we would do a pilot project, starting with Ocean Beach views, to see if both sides felt comfortable with the arrangement. This is a huge responsibility, caring for these objects correctly, saving them for future generations, and we didn’t want to jump in without being certain we’d have the resources to do it right. This is an ongoing discussion internally, and we are carefully moving forward about taking more.

David: I would estimate that there are hundreds of images for every neighborhood.

Describe the process you went through to digitize a single 8×10 image including a time estimate per image.

David: The over 1600 8×10 prints (made by the PC in his darkroom in the 80s) came to us roughly sorted in 6 boxes arranged by location: Playland, Cliff House, Ocean Beach, Sutro Baths, Sutro Heights, etc. These areas were what we agreed to take in the pilot project, primarily because we all believed that they would be the most popular. These were sorted into a single set, duplicates weeded out ( although we kept at least 2 of each image if we had them), the prints were numbered and rehoused in archival folders and boxes, catalogued in a spreadsheet, the best prints were scanned at 600dpi 13” at the long side (about 7000 pixels) each one took about 2 minutes. The spreadsheet, which documents any notations or words on the prints and the physical folder was used as the basis for adding descriptive information about the image to a database. We put versions of the images on a hidden site online and invited local experts to help with the metadata for each image; adding dates, titles, descriptions, locations, photographer, even other copies on the web. We are also producing an academic finding aid for the collection which will be available on the site at some point. It’s hard to estimate the time for an individual image, but suffice to say that it is multiple hours from removing it from the original storage, cataloguing, rehousing, digitizing, documenting, identifying, and posting it to the web. All that is without even interpreting it for the public, which is what we are more known for in the first place.

Nicole: What David said is spot-on. This is been a time intensive labor of love.

At Playland: Shoot the Chutes circa 1925. (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Who worked on digitizing the collection? Feel free to name volunteers etc – we want to acknowledge them!

David: The collection has had many volunteers and still needs more. Nicole deserves the greatest praise in this, without her archival and cataloguing skills from her 8 tears at the GGNRA, we wouldn’t be in a position to accept this at all. I did the heavy lifting of scanning the images and building the interface online to display them. We had documentation help from Dustin Magidson, Julie O’Keefe, Beth McLaughlin, and Brandi Chalker. (all west side residents I might add.) We had expert identifications help from James R. Smith, John Freeman, and especially John Martini who has spent many hours online and in our office. I use the past tense here, but all these efforts are ongoing.

I’m sure you have many, but what are your 3 favorite images from the collection?

Nicole: It’s so hard to pick just three! However, a favorite series of mine shows a group of young boys adventuring around Ocean Beach and Lands End. A truly charming slice of life from the early 1920s bit still completely relatable to modern life.

Was there a particular image that made your heart beat faster when you first came across it? Why?

David: I put together the 25 featured images, the ones I thought were the best and most interesting, but my absolute favorite of those is the glass negative showing the view from Sutro Heights in 1895:

View south. Seal Rock House, Ocean Beach Pavilion, and Lurline Pump Station at left.
(Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Nicole: Again, it’s too hard to pick just one! We’ve just received a large series glass negatives that depict the 1894 Mid-Winter Fair in Golden Gate Park. We usually see officially sanctioned images that were mass produced in souvenir publications, but these are more informal and while you lead through them in succession you almost feel as if you’re touring the fair in person. In particular, they document the people who worked the fair–not the high profile officials or visitors, but the ladies and gentlemen who worked the exhibits. That was pretty exciting to see.

Point Lobos Ave. Paving street near Cliff House 1922. (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Was there an image that you remember that made you say “well that hasn’t changed at all!” or “that is completely unrecognizable compared to today”?

Nicole: Visitors to Ocean Beach all take the same photo of friends and family looking up the beach towards the Cliff House, no matter the era. And the versions of the Cliff House may change through the years but that visitor vantage point remains the same. As for unrecognizable, the obvious call would be Sutro Heights and the Sutro family residence that is a shadow of its former glory.

Sutro Heights Conservatory 1909 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Adolph Sutro’s Stable 1910 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Sutro Heights. View of Adolph Sutro’s residence and observatory tower circa 1895 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

What surprised you about these images? Were there any social or cultural findings that surprised you?

David: One detail I love in seeing the large scans of these is the bicycles. We talk on our site about the bicycle culture that existed in the 1890s, the Lady Falcons of Carville for example, but it’s another thing to see bicycles sitting around in so many of the pictures. I know it’s a long hard ride to get all the way out to the beach, ok it’s harder getting back, but folks have been doing it for more than 100 years!

Leonard Mendoza in front of the Skeeball parlor at Playland. circa 1935. (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Snow on Ocean Beach Dec 11, 1932. (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Nicole: Even after eight years of processing and researching historical images of San Francisco, I am always struck by how the City is continually evolving yet the people–be they plumbers, politicians, or someone in between–are the same. They visit the Conservatory of Flowers, they picnic in the sand at Ocean Beach, they come out in droves to see a shipwreck at Lands End. San Francisco’s changing landscape and the sociability of San Franciscans are the same now as they were in 1890, the only difference being technology and fashion! (And probably a few other differences too)

Wreck of the freighter Ohioan at Point Lobos 1936 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

What was the total spend for this pilot, be it $ and / or volunteer hours?

David: Specifically for the pilot project we received donations of over $12,000. All of it was used for archival supplies, equipment and software. Volunteer hours amounted to at least 2500.

Do you plan to make these available to other digital archives? And if so, which one(s)?

Woody: We’re exploring best practices in the display, organization, and contextualization of historical images online. We’re contacted frequently to add Western Neighborhoods Project content (mostly images) to mobile platforms, aggregation sites/projects, social media groups, and slideshow presentations for use on other sites. Our mission is to share history with the public, so we’re not opposed to a lot of this, but we want to make sure that the information that travels with an image is accurate and that people have an easy way to find out more (usually linking to our site). So we are open to such an idea if it makes sense.

Ocean Beach. Olympic Club run and swim 1912. (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Picnickers at Ocean Beach circa 1910 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

If there was one place or event you could travel back in time to in the neighborhood, what would it be and why?

Woody: In the Richmond? Well, my family is from here, so I selfishly would like to go back to my great-grandparents house on 16th Avenue a century ago to chat up my relatives. Other than that, I think an 1897 stroll around the Victorian Cliff House (what’s going on in those towers?), a brand-new Sutro Baths, and some tea with Adolph Sutro in his library above it all sounds great.

David: It’s hard to argue with Woody’s idea, but I wouldn’t mind taking the Park and Ocean Railroad out from Haight and Stanyan all the way to end of the line at 49th and B then setting up a barstool at the Seal Rock House or Ocean Beach Pavilion. (maybe climbing some shipwreck junk while I’m out there.)

Nicole: This might seem a little too recent, but I wish I could have seen Robin Williams perform at Holy City Zoo on Clement. His high energy comedy in a space that intimate would have been unforgettable.

Sutro Baths. Bathers in pools with bleachers in background circa 1910 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Sutro Baths. Life Saver and swimmers circa 1910 (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

Sutro Baths. Woman and man in boxing match circa 1910. (Courtesy of a Private Collector & outsidelands.org)

4:15 am | Posted under History, Ocean Beach, Photos | 24 comments

48 years ago: Human Be-In at the Polo Fields

48 years ago yesterday, on January 14, 1967, the historic Human Be-In took place at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park.

The event, officially titled the “A Gathering of Tribes”, was organized to protest the bourgeois mentality of the older generations and, specifically, a California law passed the year before making LSD illegal.

At the time, San Francisco’s hippie counter-culture was fast growing and the event was a precursor to the city’s “Summer of Love”, epicentered in the nearby Haight Ashbury.

The one-day event drew an estimated 30,000 people to the Polo Fields, and featured appearances by the Grateful Dead, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Dick Gregory and Owsley “Bear” Stanley handing out acid to the crowd (who was also the sound engineer for The Grateful Dead).

The Human Be-In garnered national media attention, and firmly planted the hippie movement into America’s consciousness (and San Francisco as its home base). The gathering served as a prototype for many 1960s counter culture celebrations.

In 2004, Dino posted his memories of the event to outsidelands.org.

“Yes, I attended the first Human Be In at the Polo Fields in 1967. I was 15 and it was more of a hugh consciousness raising event which announced to the world that the hip/peace movement was here and growing while the times were about to be a changin’. I saw Allen Ginsburg and Timothy Leary and some barely dressed ladies while folk rock and poetry went Psychedelic. I was amazed and it changed my life. I would not be the same person today without that experience.”

Were you at the Human Be-In in 1967? Leave a comment to let us know.

Peace and love,

Sarah B.

Photo courtesy of The Allen Ginsberg Project

11:50 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, History, Video | 11 comments

Fine craftsmanship in the printing of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” at Arion Press

Local filmmaker and Richmond District resident James Kennard sent us this film he shot at Arion Press, the small printing company just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate that employs about ten people as printers, bookbinders, editors, and in other publishing roles.

For its 100th publication, Arion chose to create a handset deluxe limited edition of the text in the famed 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Kennard’s film documents the making of the book which is nothing short of fascinating. The amount of craftsmanship, labor, detail and patience that went into the process is astounding. Publisher Andrew Hoyem narrates the film, showing you the most intimate moments of the book manufacturing process, which even includes Hoyem reading every page aloud to a proofreader that sits across from him.

Hoyem chose Leaves of Grass as Arion’s 100th publication as a tribute to his Arion Press predecessors Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, whose masterpiece was their 1930 edition of the Whitman poem.

“A holy book of the nation, along with the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence,” is how poet laureate Robert Hass describes Leaves of Grass. The appearance of this book of poems in the middle of the nineteenth century was revolutionary. No one had ever read poetry like this before. Ralph Waldo Emerson was so astonished and impressed that he wrote the thirty-five-year-old Whitman what must be the mash note of all time: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere, for such a start. I rubbed my eyes a little, to see if this sunbeam were no illusion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty.” [Arion Press]

Kennard does a wonderful job of showing the minutia of the making of the book but also keeping you engrossed as the book comes to life, piece by piece, beginning with custom type being made in the press’ foundry.

The Arion Press edition of Leaves of Grass is limited to 275 copies with Arabic numerals for sale. The price is $1,250; contact Arion for more information (see the “Please Enquire” button at the bottom of this page).

Sarah B.

4:30 am | Posted under Art, History, Video | 3 comments

“Spooky San Francisco” event at the Balboa Theater, Halloween night

If trick or treating ain’t your thing on Halloween and you can’t find a costume party to attend, head over to the Balboa Theater for “Spooky San Francisco”, featuring a documentary about the city’s cemetery history plus short films and other surprises.

The event, hosted by the Western Neighborhoods Project, will screen “A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries” from filmmaker Trina Lopez. The film looks at the early cemeteries that were spread throughout western San Francisco in what is now Laurel Heights, Rossi Park, Lincoln Park Golf Course, and the Legion of Honor. View photos of the old cemeteries

A Second Final Rest is a story of spooks, a truth stranger than that which many can imagine. It hearkens back to the film Poltergeist with its famous line that goes something like “They moved the tombstones, but they forgot to move the bodies!” But it also speaks to the dreams of a restless world and the desire to leave a mark in it before we depart. Whether there is room for the living and the dead to coexist as the years pass remains to be seen. I hope A Second Final Rest generates more questions than it answers, and reminds viewers to ponder humankind’s effects upon the earth now and after death, and to appreciate life while there’s still time. [trinalopez.com]

The evening begins at 7pm on October 31, and tickets are $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and children. You can purchase tickets online at the WNP website (which we recommend because the event will most likely sell out in advance).

Sarah B.

5:02 am | Posted under Events, History | Comments Off on “Spooky San Francisco” event at the Balboa Theater, Halloween night

Local links: U-Lee coming, shipwrecks, music @ the Neck, Parking Day & more

The Frank H. Buck tanker ship that wrecked near Lands End in 1937. Courtesy of NOAA

Here are some local links to get you through hump day…

  • Maritime researchers are using underwater vehicles, cameras and sonar to identify shipwrecks off the west coast of San Francisco and around the Farallones. They’ve already found remains from an 1863 and a 1910 shipwreck. “These and other shipwreck investigations mark the first mission of a two-year project to locate, identify and better understand some of the estimated 300 wrecks in Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and the adjacent Golden Gate National Recreation Area.” Their photo archives have some great shots of wrecks off just off of Lands End.
  • Scootch over, Shanghai Dumpling King… U-Lee Chinese restaurant is departing Nob Hill after decades of serving its infamous, giant potstickers no thanks to a rent hike. But we get to benefit – owner Kenneth Lee is at work on a new location at 36th and Balboa, which he plans to open in early 2015.
  • Like live music? Then you might want to keep an eye on the schedule at Clement Street’s Neck of the Woods (formerly Rockit Room). The Bay Bridged did a nice writeup on the new owner and his passion for booking bands. “At Neck of the Woods, there really is something for everyone: Monday night salsa lessons, Tuesday night open mic comedy, Wednesday open mic nights, Thursday night shows upstairs, Friday and Saturday nights there are shows upstairs and downstairs.” Not to mention that the club has been safer and a better neighbor since the ownership change.
  • Up the street at 540 Club (540 Clement) you’ll find a new photography exhibition from John Agoncillo featuring some photos from the Richmond District (like this gem of someone sleeping it off on an abandoned sofa…). Photos will be up until the end of September.
  • Been wondering why that Highway 1 NB exit to Doyle Drive isn’t open yet, even though it appears completely done and is one of the quickest ways to get to the Marina / 101 South on Lombard from the Richmond District? Mercury News asked and was told “the ramp will open when major construction is completed late next year. This ramp must remain closed until then for safety purposes. Currently, both directions of traffic are temporarily on the future southbound roadway, and there is not enough space for traffic to merge safely from the Highway 1/Park Presidio ramp onto south 101/Doyle Drive… The connection between the Marina and Richmond district will open when the hook ramp connecting north 101 to south Highway 1 is done. This depends on the completion of the new northbound High Viaduct by early 2016.” So now you know. We didn’t say it would be a pleasant answer 😉
  • The National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park has been the target of a persistent vandal recently. SFWeekly interviewed John D. Cunningham, Executive Director of the grove to get more details. When asked what it would cost to repair the damage, Cunningham said, “At the present time, the low end is $100,000-$125,000, and the high end, which would be having to do a full replacement of the Circle of Friends, would be $1 million.”
  • A new law was passed that prohibits overnight parking for large vehicles along Fulton Street and other corridors in the city. CBS5 found that some of those oversized vehicles found a clear patch in Potrero Hill and the neighbors there are none too pleased.
  • A very detailed, hand-drawn map of San Francisco was just released from artist Jenni Sparks. We can’t see the Richmond District portion is great detail, but she certainly got the important landmarks in there like Green Apple Books. :)
  • Before there were parklets there was Parking Day which takes place this Friday. People take over a parking spot for a day and transform it into a public, outdoor space. The map on the website doesn’t seem to be working, so hard to say if there will be any in the Richmond District. But if you see someone lounging in a meter space on Friday, you now know why. Or, you can always get creative and participate in Parking Day. The website has a license and manual you can download (note you still have to pay your meter during Parking Day).
5:10 am | Posted under Events, Food, Golden Gate Park, History, Lands End | 4 comments

1927 tourist map highlights neighborhood landmarks

Click to enlarge

Bold Italic shared this fun cartoon map of San Francisco from 1927, made by artist Harrison Godwin (aka William Harrison Godwin). The map was originally designed for tourists but it’s also fun for locals to see what was called out in 1927.

In it, a group of men are lined up to play the Lincoln Golf Course, and the shipwrecks off of Land’s End are marked (steamships Lyman Stewart in 1922 and Coos Bay in 1927). The map also shows the Mile Rock lighthouse in its full splendor, complete with the caretaker’s residence on top of it.

The Lurline Pier, which used to carry water from the Pacific all the way to downtown saltwater pools, is pictured on the north end of Ocean Beach with divers jumping off it. And a tourist is perched atop Sutro Heights Park taking pictures over the Cliff House. A man waves his arm atop a rollercoaster at Playland.

There are a couple of head-scratchers that some history buffs may be able to shed light on. Around Anza and 33rd Avenue two figures are playing baseball which may be a reference to the area around what is now George Washington High School (the high school didn’t open until 1936). And around California and 29th Avenue, a man, perhaps a sailor, is on rollerskates.

And not far from what is now the Landmark Apartments just inside the 15th Avenue Presidio gate is a Blimp Hangar. Say what? There’s also a Victorian house plopped down at 9th Avenue and Balboa; we’re not sure what that is.

UPDATE: Historian John Freeman provided some more explanation on the Presidio hangar: “There was a short-lived experiment by the Coast Artillery to send spotters up in tethered balloons to communicate with the shore batteries about how accurate their projectiles landed in the water during target practice. The westerly winds and bobbing gondolas that made the spotters sea sick caused the project to be abandoned. The balloons were stored in a hanger at the open lot off Lincoln Blvd., east of the 25th Ave. entrance, later converted to the army motor pool.”

John also had some insight into the “rag man with his horse and wagon tooling through the Richmond”: “I can even remember seeing and hearing him calling out “rags, bottles, sacks” as he traveled up and down the streets. I don’t think the junk man was limited to just this neighborhood, but as a kid, that was my world. I don’t know if you would have known when he’s come by your block, but I can see housewives running out to his wagon with their “recycling” and I receiving a few coins for their saved discard. The garbagemen did separate recyclables on their truck to make coffee money, but the “rag, bottles. sack” man actually paid a small amount when he came by. The practice was greatly curtailed during WWII when everyone was doing recycling “for the war effort”, with metal being the highest priority. The Boy Scouts were the primary labor force and were organized to help people bring out their recycling, pile it in front of homes, and toss it on the truck when it came down the block.”

Godwin does a nice job of spotlighting Golden Gate Park, picturing the bison, a pole vaulter at the Polo Fields, a man picking fruit on Stow Lake’s Strawberry Hill, and various figures reclining around the park reading or snoozing.

The map is available as a print up to 50″ in size, and can be cropped to feature your favorite part of the city.

In un-internet fashion, we couldn’t find much online about the artist, Harrison Godwin, other than “Born in New Jersey on March 21, 1899. By 1930 Godwin had settled in Carmel. He died there on Jan. 11, 1984″ (askart.com). Godwin also created similar tourist maps for places like Hollywood, CA.

Sarah B.

4:35 am | Posted under History | 13 comments