02 March 2017

Cypress Lawn Cemetery, Colma, California: 2 March 2017

None of the attractions available to people visiting the San Francisco Bay Area is more unusual than San Francisco's neighbor to its south, the City of ColmaThe city is located at the base of the western slope of San Bruno Mountain and is situated nine miles south of San Francisco. Colma is a necropolis, a city of the dead. 

Within Colma's two square mile boundary are 16 cemeteries. Colma's dead far outnumber its living. According to the City of Colma, the town's current population is between 1,400 and 1,500 people, while the number of interred or cremated bodies in Colma is more than 1.5 million.

Colma was established as a part of San Francisco's urgent attempt to deal with what had been its most enduring social problem since the earliest days of the gold rush, human burial. 

San Francisco is a compact city sited on forty-seven square miles at the tip of a peninsula. The land was more valuable than gold.

By the 1880s, San Francisco officials were enviously eyeing the land occupied by its many cemeteries. The four largest cemeteries in San Francisco were clustered on 60 square blocks in the Western Addition area at the base of Lone MountainCity planners declared that the cemeteries had been put there in error and the land should be used for housing.

San Francisco's Roman Catholic Archdiocese made the first move. On 2 June 1887, after purchasing a 179-acre land parcel in Colma, the Archbishop of San Francisco went to Colma to dedicate a new Roman Catholic burial ground, Holy Cross Cemetery. The establishment of Holy Cross Cemetery altered Colma's landscape forever. 

In 1889, Congregation Sherith Israel, a Jewish synagogue, purchased a 20-acre plot for the Hills of Eternity CemeteryCypress Lawn Memorial Park, a non-sectarian burial ground, opened in 1892. Others followed rapidly. Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery was established in 1896, The Italian Cemetery in 1899, the Japanese Cemetery in 1901, the Serbian Cemetery in 1901, the Greenlawn Cemetery in 1903, Woodlawn Memorial Park in 1904, the Greek Cemetery in 1935, and most recently, the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Cemetery in 1988. 

This gallery of photographs contains images of some of the eighty-seven private mausoleums that now occupy the original forty-seven-acre Cypress Lawn Cemetery site in Colma. Cypress Lawn Cemetery was one of the last grand garden cemeteries built in the West. Garden cemeteries were burial grounds that used landscaping in a park-like setting rather than merely places for graves. 

The forty-seven-acre site became available for burials beginning in 1892. Many of San Francisco's wealthy entrepreneurs from the late 1800s and early 1900s purchased burial sites at Cypress Lawn Cemetery for themselves and their families.

Click on an image to view the full-size photograph.

The grounds of Cypress Lawn Cemetery are approached through this granite portal located on the east side of El Camino Real. The gateway bears the date 1892
This is the burial site of Charles De Young (1845-1880). He was the founding publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1880 de Young shot mayoral candidate Issac Kalloch, who had defamed de Young's mother, declaring that she ran a house of prostitution. Kalloch's son subsequently stalked de Young and six months later murdered him. A bronze statue marks de Young's internment site, where he is buried with his mother, Amelia de Young (1809-1881). 

This mausoleum is the burial location of Rudolph Spreckels (1872-1958). He was the youngest son of sugar baron Claus Spreckels; he built his sugar, banking, and finance fortune. At the time of his death, he lived in a rented three-room San Mateo apartment. 

This mausoleum contains the bodies of George Hearst (1820-1891), his wife, Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919), and his son William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). George Hearst acquired his riches by owning numerous Nevada Comstock silver mines and real estate investments. Phoebe Apperson Hearst was a philanthropist. She donated millions of dollars to the development of the University of California, Berkeley. William Randolph Hearst was a billionaire and an only child. At the height of his power, he owned eighteen newspapers, nine magazines, several radio stations, and movie studios. 

This is the mausoleum of William G. Irwin (1843-1914). English-born Irwin purchased the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai and developed one of the most extensive sugar plantations in the world. He moved to San Francisco in 1899. His mansion on Washington Street in San Francisco's Pacific Heights housed the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank.

This mausoleum contains the remains of three generations of Floods. James Clair Flood (1826-1889) was the richest "silver king" who made a fortune in Nevada's Comstock Lode. He also established the Bank of Nevada, the forerunner to Wells Fargo Bank. His house was the only private residence on Nob Hill to survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The house is now the location of the Pacific Union Club

This is the burial site for the Bancroft Family. Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918) was a historian. He authored thirty-nine volumes on the history of the West. He amassed sixty-thousand volumes of books which he sold to the University of California, Berkeley. His books are the basis for the Bancroft Library at the University. 

This is the mausoleum for Lillie Hitchcock Coit (1842-1929). She bequeathed one-third of her estate for the beautification of San Francisco, a portion of which was used to build Coit Tower

 This large mausoleum belongs to German-born sugar baron Claus Spreckels (1828-1908). Ten members of his family occupy this mausoleum. His son Adolph Bernard Spreckels (1857-1924) and his son's wife, Alma de Bretteville (1881-1968), are the occupants. His son gifted Golden Gate Park with Spreckels Lake and Spreckels Temple of Music. His wife, Alma, convinced her father-in-law Claus to finance the California Palace of the Legion of Honor as the Spreckels Family rejoinder to the M.H. de Young Museum

This mausoleum belongs to Charles Frederick Crocker (1854-1897). He was the oldest son of the transcontinental railroad builder Charles Crocker and vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The mausoleum, noted for its bronze doors, also contains his wife, his eldest daughter, and his mother-in-law. 

This is the sarcophagus of Louis Philippe Drexler (1836-1899). Sitting on the sarcophagus is the Archangel Michael. He is missing his wings and his greatsword. Both fell and broke as a result of the 1906 earthquake. Born in Virginia, Louis Drexler moved to Nevada, where he made a fortune from mining and real estate investments. Drexler moved to California in 1880, where he subsequently accumulated quite a bit more wealth from his investments in business and mining. He married Elise Alice Kelley Drexler (1866-1951), a woman half his age, late in life. 

These are the twin sarcophagi for William H. Crocker (1861-1937) and his wife, Ethel Crocker. Crocker started the Crocker Bank. He also donated land to the Episcopal Church, where Grace Cathedral now stands. 

This Columbarium was built in 1893. It was one of the first built on the West Coast; there is space in this Columbarium for one-thousand urns. 

Are you interested in learning more about Colma and its cemeteries? If so, I recommend that you consider reading the following:


3. The New York Times published "The Town of Colma, Where San Francisco's Dead Live."


The distance traveled was approximately 5.7 miles (9.1 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. 

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with an Olympus 17mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com


18 February 2017

The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane at Golden Gate Park, Then & Now: 28 Sept 1975 and 18 February 2017

I read an article published by SFGate that contained 65 archival photographs of Golden Gate Park. One photo, in particular, caught my eye. It was a picture of the Grateful Dead at an outdoor concert in 1975. The information about the image stated that the concert took place at Lindley Meadow. I decided to go to Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park and identify the concert stage's location based on the topographical data shown in the photo. It took me a little while to conclusively determine where the concert took place on that cold, blustery Sunday forty-one years ago. Most band members are still alive; however, some musicians have died, and the bands are no longer active.

This was a free concert by the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. An estimated 40-50,000 people gathered at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park on 28 September 1975. This was also the Grateful Dead’s first public performance in nearly a year.

The weather was chilly and overcast, but it did not dampen enthusiasm as
Jefferson Airplane mounted the stage to a standing hometown ovation and played their old favorites for the next two hours. "Don't anyone go away!" Paul Kantner shouted over the applause, "The Grateful Dead is coming on!"

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh was the first to plug in and face the audience. The crowd roared its approval. Elsewhere onstage, pianist Keith Godchaux breathed into his cupped hands to keep them warm while his vocalist wife Donna smiled with the anticipation of singing some of the newer Dead songs. Behind them, drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were warming up, as was Paul Kantner, rhythm guitarist. Then a leather-jacketed Jerry Garcia stepped forward and sent out a trademark guitar riff, marking the start of a great two-hour concert.


The Grateful Dead on stage at Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 28 September 1975; the view is looking west. 

Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District. Circa late 1960s.

Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane at Golden Gate Park, 28 September 1975.
Golden Gate Park.
Latitude and longitude coordinates (37.7692, -122.4862) are shown on this Google Earth map. They show the approximate location of the concert stage sited on Lindley Meadow. 
 THEN  The Grateful Dead on stage in 1975. This is the photo that was published in SFGate. The view is looking north. 
NOW  The approximate location of the concert stage. 

 THEN  Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane on stage in 1975. The view is looking northeast.
 NOW  The approximate location of the concert stage. 
 THEN  The Grateful Dead on stage in 1975. The view is looking east. 
NOW  The approximate location of the concert stage. 



"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

12 February 2017

San Francisco Then & Now – The Old Mint: 12 February 2017 & 4 March 2017

The San Francisco Mint was opened in 1854 to manufacture gold coins from gold bullion produced during the California Gold Rush. The mint soon needed a bigger building to process and store the large quantities of gold bullion it was receiving. In 1869 the mint moved to a larger building located at 88 5th Street at Mission Street. That building is now known as the Old Mint, and it is one of the few buildings that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The damage caused to San Francisco by the 18 April 1906 earthquake pales in comparison to the devastation caused by the fifty-two fires that burned through the city for more than three days. There were 3,000 to 4,000 people killed, and 28,000 buildings were destroyed, most by fire. 

The Old Mint was designed by Alfred B. MullettHe planned a building that was built around an enclosed central courtyard that contained a water well, a feature that helped save the building during the fires of April 1906. The building was constructed on a concrete base, the objective of which was to thwart tunneling into the mint's vaults. At the time of the 1906 fire, the mint held $300 million dollars in gold, a third of the United States’ gold reserves. Heroic efforts by the employees of the mint saved the building and the gold bullion stored in its vaults. The mint resumed operation soon thereafter. The Old Mint continued to function until 1937 when the currently operating mint was opened on Hermann Street in San Francisco. 



    The Old Mint THEN: 1885. Note the horse-drawn streetcar. The view is looking southwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

    The Old Mint NOW: 12 February 2017Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

 The Old Mint THEN: 18 April 1906. The view is looking southeast

 The Old Mint  NOW: 12 February 2017Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

The Old Mint sits forlornly amidst total devastation after it survived both the earthquake and fire. This picture was taken soon after the 18 April 1906 earthquake and fire. The camera was attached to a kite; the view is looking northwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This photo was taken outside the Old Mint on 4 March 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This photo was taken inside the Old Mint on 4 March 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This photo was taken inside the Old Mint on 4 March 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This photo was taken inside the Old Mint on 4 March 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.




This photo was taken inside the Old Mint on 4 March 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



This photo was taken inside the Old Mint on 4 March 2017. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.


"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

11 February 2017

San Francisco Then & Now – The N-Judah light-rail line: 11 February 2017

The N-Judah Muni Metro light-rail line runs along Judah Street in the Sunset District for much of its length; it is named after railroad engineer Theodore Judah. The N-Judah line connects downtown San Francisco to the Cole Valley and Sunset neighborhoods. The line ends at the Pacific Ocean. It is the busiest light-rail line in the Muni Metro system; it served an average of 41,439-weekday passengers in 2013. The N-Judah line is also the only Muni Metro light-rail line that passes through the Sunset Tunnel. The N-Judah line began operation as a streetcar line in 1928 and was converted to a light-rail transportation system with the opening of the Muni Metro system in 1980.

The below photos were taken in the Inner Sunset neighborhood
The N-Judah Line NOW: 11 February 2017. This two car N-Judah light-rail vehicle is about to leave Irving Street and travel south on 9th Avenue for just one block. After which, the N-Judah light-rail turns west, onto Judah Street, and travels to the end of the line at Ocean Beach, and the Pacific Ocean.

The N-Judah Line THEN: 1978. This streetcar is heading west on Irving Street. It is about to turn south onto 9th Avenue. 
The N-Judah Line THEN: 1978. This streetcar is heading south on 9th Avenue. Golden Gate Park is visible in the background. 

The N-Judah Line NOW: 11 February 2017. This two-car light-rail vehicle is heading south on 9th Avenue. 

The N-Judah Line THEN: 1975. This streetcar headed south on 9th Avenue for one block before it is about to turn west onto Judah Street. 

The N-Judah Line NOW: 11 February 2017. This two-car light-rail vehicle is heading south on 9th Avenue just before it is about to turn west onto Judah Street and continue to Ocean Beach, the end of the line. 

The distance traveled was approximately 5.8 miles (9.3 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 374 feet (114 meters), the cumulative elevation descent was 581 feet (177 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size map.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

09 February 2017

Rainy day photos of Berkeley, California: 8 & 9 February 2017


Rain, beautiful rain... A house on Josephine Street, North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
 Monterey Market is located on Hopkins Street, North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The North Berkeley Branch of the Berkeley Public Library is located on The Alameda. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
 Cedar Grocery Market is located on Cedar Street at California Street, North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
 The Berkeley Cheese Board Pizza Collective is located on Shattuck Avenue, North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
 The bread and pastry area of the Berkeley Cheeseboard Collective in North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
 The Hopkins Street shopping area, North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
 The original Peet’s Coffee Shop is located at the corner of Vine Street and Walnut Street, North Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
 Berkeley Natural Grocery is located on Gilman Street in the Westbrae area of Berkeley. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

An Olympus TG-4 camera was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com