Tanforan cottages, you have met your match. Mission Loc@l reports on the discovery what is perhaps the oldest house in San Francisco at 1266 Hampshire (between 24th and 25th), dating to 1849. It has been traced to the brothers John and George Treat, whence the street name came.
“The house on Hampshire, historians said, was likely built in 1849 — the year a pair of influential pioneer brothers arrived in San Francisco — or 1850.” It was identified during the city’s South Mission Historic Resources survey.
Gregory Thomas of Mission Loc@l does a fine job referencing maps, but he makes the rookie mistake of stopping with the 1861 Langley map in the search for Treat. But going back to the 1859 US Coast Survey map, we can see the Treat compound at its original wonky angle, next to their Pioneer Race Course.
“Historians believe the house was lifted and moved about 100 feet east of its original location as streetcar lines were extended into the Mission –- reoriented to comply with a grid-style layout as the neighborhood took shape.” The concept of lifting up and moving a house simply blows my mind.
It seems like that block of three houses (marked in green) are the Treat compound. Red is the “new” position at 1266 Hampshire. The red arc is the edge of the Treat’s Pioneer race course, about 300 yards away.
(Google Earth rant — make sure you frequent save your Places. Apparently Google doesn’t believe in autosave. GE crashed and I lost about 15 hours of work on maps. Ripshit doesn’t begin to cover how I feel right now. Someone please make me an HTML5 based map/image overlay tool, OK? (Hint hint ,Stamen.))
Anyway, rant off. The San Francisco County Recorder’s office has ridiculously detailed maps of the land tracts and subdivisions through the history of the city. (Warning, not friendly to browse. A/B/1/2/3 are the oldest sets.) Here we see the 1864 submission for the “Pioneer Race Course Tract” (click to zoom):
Some fascinating details in the text, describing the lands belonging to George Treat and his neighbors in the 1850s:
And of course, the requisite Google Earth transparospinoverlay (click to zoom):
Zooming in on the Treats – the three green squares indicated in the 1859 Coast Survey map are probably their original buildings. The smaller red square is 1266 Hampshire — it looks like a second larger building also seems to have been moved once the street plan became apparent. I’m guessing they moved the houses sometime between 1857 and 1862 (when the Coast Survey Map and Pioneer Tract map were surveyed).
Other interesting details:
- the red oval is the Pioneer Race Track and the upper orange line is their path to the track — it went all the way past the grandstands (to the south of 24th, between Folsom and S Van Ness) to Mission
- the lower orange line is the boundary between the Bernal Rancho and Potrero Viejo (aka Mission Dolores)
- the yellow lines are stone walls marking the boundary to Portrero Nuevo (aka Potrero) — from the surveyor’s text, it seems that the green buildings at Potrero & 24th once belonged to “R.J. Perkins”
Looking to the west towards the road to San Jose, we see more interesting things:
- Bernal’s stone wall (more on that in another article)
- Serpentine Road, i.e. the northern border of the Bernal Racho above Precita Creek
- Capp next to the now historic Palace Steak House is one of the last remnants of Serpentine — hey, how about making that whacked corner and parking lot an history park?
- the Pioneer grandstands, theoretically pictured here:
In 1924, Anita Day wrote a history of the city in the San Francisco Bulletin that I touched on this in my Mission Baseball post. The amount of detail of the Mission is stupifying — she makes mention of the Treats:
(More on the Nightingale and bars of the 1850s in another article.)
A few pages later, she interviewed the son of Will Shear, the founder of the “pear shaped” Union Race Course:
Looking at the map, you can see a place on the NW corner of 24th and Mission called the “Red House”. But then we come across this ominous reference:
This of course explains all the ghosts floating around Payless Shoe Source. ¡Fantasma de los Zapatos Baratos!
(Note I entirely avoided any Treat related Halloween puns throughout this entire article. You are welcome.)
While we’re looking into the neighborhood, anyone know the story behind the wood shingled apartments on the NE corner of S Van Ness and 26th?
They kind of look like stables, and straddle the end of the 2nd (SE) turn of the Pioneer race course, just above Serpentine’s ghost.
First reference I see of them is the 1914 Sanborn maps.
Wondering if the architect had a sense of history.
UPDATE: Jonathan Lammers, architechælogist, lets us know in the comments that “The Arts & Crafts cottages at 26th and South Van Ness were developed by the T. B. Potter Realty Company in 1905. They are now San Francisco Landmark No. 206.”