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Year of the Bay, California Historical Society

April 26, 2013

There are many reasons to like the California Historical Society on Mission between Third & Annie. They have an awesome building that is painted International Orange.


Also, part of it once housed a saloon in 1887:

chs 1887

As for now, it’s full of historical records. It’s currently focused on the Year of the Bay, a project that aims to collect photos, videos, and stories from everyone to tell a better story of the history of the Bay Area.

The exhibit is perfect for your lunch hour or a weekend stop.


Lots of maps, naturally:

Some detail from the 1927 Coast Survey map (no bridges):

IMG_7542 IMG_7541

The absolutely insane Reber Plan to dam the Golden Gate:


Lots of historical photos of, including Hunters Point and Islais Creek in the mid to late 1800s:

IMG_7534 IMG_7533

I was most surprised by the sketches and paintings. The crosshatching in this aerial view of SF is amazing:

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Incredible detail in this drawing of the Lombard, North Point and Greenwich docks:


Ladies shopping.


Not entirely sure what this guy is doing. Probably a grow-op.


California Ale!

You can see the Greenwich and Lombard docks at the foot of Telegraph Hill in the 1859 Coast Survey map:

1859 dock map

Then come things that take you to another time and place. This painting of Hunters Point in 1859 is a little surreal, showing a very different world:

IMG_7527 IMG_7528 IMG_7529 IMG_7530

Anyway, the California Historical Society exhibit is well worth your time, as is the Year of the Bay / HistoryPin website.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable permalink
    April 26, 2013 8:07 am

    Very cool. I love that place.

  2. April 26, 2013 8:44 am

    Awesome! Thank you! I’m totally going to go there today!

    • April 26, 2013 9:41 am

      GG: I’d totally glom on to your plan today if I didn’t have a lunch date already. Boo! Last time I was there was for the Drake’s Bay oyster exhibit…

      Also, 1927 Coast Survey maps: Blossom Rock? OK. Yerba Buena = GOAT? This I like…

  3. April 26, 2013 8:59 am

    Help me tell the story of the explosives industry from Glen Park to the Panhandle to Santa Cruz to Hercules, Berkeley and Pinole.

  4. May 18, 2013 10:47 pm

    I just went and read the Wikipedia on the Reber Plan and, of course, the SF Chronicle endorsed it at the time. Good lord. That is truly a frightening institution.


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