Time Travel: The View Northwest from Bernal Hill, circa 1907

BernalNW1906 Well, this is convenient.
Last week, the Bernalwood Office of Signals Intelligence detected a
tweet
from @sfhistorian
which contained a rather awesome
photograph taken from Bernal Hill in the early 1900s, circa 1907.
The photo shows the view looking over today’s La
Lengua Autonomous Zone
, toward Noe Valley and Twin Peaks.
It has great resolution. It reveals tons of interesting historical
detail. It made Bernalwood’s imaging analysts smile. Unfortunately,
writing up a post about a photo like this takes a great deal of
time. Fortunately, La Lengua propagandist Burrito Justice also
found @sfhistorian’s tweet, and it compelled him to do a very
thorough geek-out on the image
… so I don’t have to.
Yesssssssss. Thus, under the terms of the
Bernal-La Lengua Treaty of Common Historical Reciprocity, we are
pleased to recommend a few highlights from the Burrito
Justice study of the c. 1907 photograph
. We begin with
this annotated version of the original image, created by
Bernalwood’s Tactical Graphics Unit: BernalViewNW1906-6 Burrito Justice provides
this detail of the railroad trestles for the Southern Pacific
Railway running south along Dolores toward the Bernal
Cut
: sprr-rail-trestles Some zooming and
enhancing
reveals the future Rock Bar, looking more or
less the same, but less rocky than today. 1907-rock-bar The former Lyceum Theater
stands next to today’s La Alteña Taqueria: 1907-la-altena Burrito Justice uncovered
a jaw-dropping quantity of sordid tales about the tenants of the
former Railroad Hotel that stood at 24 Tiffany Street: 1907-railroad-hotel The building was later
called the Cable House, and the character of its residents was
typified by this incident from 1906: 1906-24-tiffany-rose-carey A great deal more
unseemliness took place at the Cable House, and Burrito Justice has
lots more to enjoy. Finally, there are telling details about
parking conditions in early twentieth century Bernal Heights, where
residents clearly didn’t worry about hitching their horses in
curbside red zones on Prospect Street (perhaps because there were
no curbs). Unfortunately, we can’t tell from the photograph if
passive
aggressive parking notes
had been slipped into the
horses’ bridles: 1907-bernal-horses Seriously though, Burrito
Justice did some amazing sleuthing to reveal the many stories
this one photograph has to tell, so don’t confine yourself to this
Bernalwood greatest hits summary. Go
read the whole original thing!
PHOTOS: Original
image, via Calisphere.
Inset detail photos and maps, by Burrito Justice. Annotated photo
by Bernalwood, with hints from Burrito Justice.

8 thoughts on “Time Travel: The View Northwest from Bernal Hill, circa 1907

  1. Our house on Winfield looks identical in this photo. We found horseshoes when we dug out the basement. Wish the “corral” across the street was still there. Now that I think of it we had a neighbor move across the street, she never liked horses but within a few years had become an avid horse lover and moved to half moon bay to be closer to her horse. Are there ghosts of horses past haunting Winfield and influencing neighbors in the area?

  2. i appreciate the bernal history! I was born and raised in bernal heights and my parents still live in the home i was raised in. I was born in 1979 and at that time bernal heights was not what it is today. It was considered a rough area and was lower class and lower middle class families. However there was a sense of community amongst the neighborhood. Chucks was there throughout my childhood on cortland and bocanna, 4 star video with mario and his wife Karen (I think her name was karen), there was also wool street grocery and the corner store on Virginia and winfield. I attended st. Kevins pre school with Sister Janet at the time and Father O’mally. The neighborhood wasnt the safest if you were an outsider but there was a sense of community. Today there are very few people left who are originally from here. Its Transplants and the wealthy for the most part. I work my ass off to rent a home in the sunset today and send my two kids to good schools. I know i’m whining and sound like one those asshole natives but where else in the u.s can someone and their partner both work good jobs and not be able to afford to buy a house in the neighborhood they grew up in. 90% of the people who grew up on my street are gone. Pushed out! I’ll always love bernal heights but I wish it was how it used to be.

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