At the Bernal Library on Wednesday evening, Nov. 15, starting at 7 pm, The Bernal Heights History Project will host John Blackburn and Bill Cassidy as they present a slideshow about the history of the Bernal Cut.
The origins of the Bernal Cut lie in the early San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, which later became the Southern Pacific Railroad. Dug out of the hills between Mission and Randall streets and San Jose and St. Mary’s avenues, the “cut” established a shorter rail travel route into and out of the City.
This single-track route remained a passenger route until 1932, continued to operate for freight trains through the 1940s. It was essential to transporting coffins and visitors to the cemeteries in Colma.
These days, The Cut is known as San Jose Avenue, and it carries the J-Church streetcar and I-280 automotive traffic.
John and Virginia Kibre will bring their fully working scale model of the train and the Cut, which they built for the Bernal History Project for San Francisco History Days 2017.
This is the last meeting of the year and will be a pot-luck event. Bring goodies of any kind: chips and dips, sodas and water, noshes, sushi, sweets, or anything to share. BHP will provide home-baked cookies and coffee.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. sharp in the downstairs meeting room at the Bernal branch library (500 Cortland at Anderson); turn left at the bottom of the stairs. As always, it is free, kid-friendly, and open to all. Street parking: can be tricky because this is St. Kevin’s bingo night.