The 1906 Earthquake, as Experienced from Bernal Heights

Today is the 105th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. So what was the big event like here in Bernal Heights?

Rather uneventful, actually. Bernal itself suffered relatively little damage — thank you, chert! — and the fires that ravaged much of the rest of the City never made it this far south. (As you can see above, Bernal Hill proved an excellent vantage point for gawking the disaster as it unfolded.) Later, parts of the neighborhood — most famously Precita Park — were used as encampments to shelter displaced City residents, which in part explains why the quake ultimately turned out to be a boon to Bernal Heights development.

To put all this in perspective, enjoy this video produced by Vicky Walker of the Bernal History Project. It tells the tale of what the Great Quake was like here in Bernal Heights:

PHOTO: via Bernal History Project

2 thoughts on “The 1906 Earthquake, as Experienced from Bernal Heights

  1. Thanks for posting Vickie’s video – nice! My grandmother lived at Clay near Grant in Chinatown and never told me about it. Her younger brother was on the only first hand account I ever got, seeing as we went into a quiet spell for bay area earthquakes between 1906 til 1989. There in Chinatown on the side of Nob Hill, my uncle awoke as a 6 year old to find his top floor bedroom that he shared with a number of brothers and sisters was missing a wall at 5:15am. The brick wall onto Clay street had fallen 5 floors to the street. The day was spent dragging things to the Ferry Building to go to Oakland.

  2. Pingback: Our Seismologist Explains Why the 1906 Earthquake Did Little Damage to Bernalwood | Bernalwood

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