Sometimes, I’ll find myself feeling smug about a little piece of San Francisco history that I’ve found all by my lonesome only to discover that FoundSF.org covered a story about it long before I did. Their website includes not only some terrific vintage photos from San Francisco’s past, but also fascinating histories that accompany the pictures. These are some then and nows that I did today on some of the interesting pictures from their site.
We’ll start at the southwest corner of Golden Gate Park and the old stone streetcar bridge that used to span what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, circa 1910. Behind the bridge is the Murphy Windmill. The bridge was anchored into the hill on the left in my photo. Charlie Chaplin filmed a scene driving under this bridge in his 1915 comedy ‘Jitney Elopement’. (Vintage photo, C. R. Collection)
The streetcar line ran along the western side of Golden Gate Park and passed through a tunnel under what is now John F. Kennedy Drive. The vintage photo is looking north toward the tunnel from the tracks in 1903. To the left can be seen the Dutch Windmill at the northwest side of the park. The buildings on the right side of the tracks are gone now. You have to get closer to see the tunnel from where the tracks ran today, as in my middle picture. The third picture at the bottom is looking back along where the streetcar line ran. (Vintage photo, C. R. Collection)
Hey, those are two-built-for-bicycles! They were riding along the sand barrier between Ocean Beach and the Great Highway in 1955 just down from the Cliff House.
This picture is looking north down Fillmore Street from Broadway in 1903. It’s still a breathtaking view today. (Vintage photo, C. R. Collection)
One of the historical essays on FoundSF.org is about a sit-down demonstration by military prisoners in the Presidio stockade during October of 1968 that became known as the “Presidio Mutiny”. After a suicide-by-armed-guard by one of the prisoners that was classified as being justified, twenty seven of the stockade prisoners participated in a peaceful demonstration outside of the stockade. FoundSF points out that many of the prisoners were misfits who should never have been in the army, but their treatment by the guards was undoubtedly brutal. Here, one of the prisoners reads a list of their demands. Behind him is the old Fort Winfield Scott, seen from the stockade today in my picture. (Vintage photos, Steve Rees)
The vintage photo here is of the prisoners being given orders to end their demonstration. This is the spot where the “Presidio Mutiny” took place. Three things can be seen in both pictures; the stairs, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the stockade building on the right.
In the end the prisoners were dragged back to the cells by other army soldiers. Some were given additional prison sentences ranging from six months to sixteen years. Over a year later their convictions were overturned and their sentences reduced to time served.
The Presidio stockade today, building 1213, empty and spooky to walk around: