Mint Hill 1906

My collection of vintage San Francisco postcards includes nine cards with images looking east from Mint Hill (then called Clinton Mound or Rock Hill) toward Hermann/Laguna/Market, taken before, during, and after the 1906 earthquake/fire. This page displays the postcards, the original photos used for the cards, and other photos taken nearby at the same time. As is often the case in San Francisco, the present contains vivid echoes of the past: nnthe apartment building prominently placed in these images still stands at 2 Laguna as of November 2019.

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Carlton Watkins stereoview 3614 looks east on Market from Clinton Mound (click here for crosseyed viewing); most images on this page are taken from roughly the same spot. The card is undated, but it must be from the late 1870s. Market Street runs diagonally from middle right to upper left. Trolley lines from downtown split off at Valencia, but the Valencia Powerhouse seen in photos below has not been built yet. In the 1883 photo at right, Hermann runs horizontally in the foreground, with Hermann/Laguna/Market at the right edge. The twin towers at upper left are St. Ignatius Church, and just beyond City Hall is under construction (no dome yet).



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This photo must date from shortly before the earthquake (online sources say 1904, but I think 1905 or even early 1906); the color postcard was printed years later. Market Street runs diagonally from lower right to upper left. Hermann is at lower left, Laguna just above it, and the large white apartment building at left center is 2 Laguna. (An earlier photo predating 2 Laguna is also dated online as 1904, so 2 Laguna must have been built ca. 1905.) The distinctive building across Market is at the southeast corner of Guerrero/Market. A block further east on Market, the tall chimney and large brick building (mostly hidden) is the Valencia Powerhouse at Market/Valencia. On the horizon at top left is the Call Building at Market/3rd (completed 1898), then the tallest building in the western U.S. The street has a few horsecarts and a streetcar, no autos. The rightmost horse and cart on Market in the photo is slightly blurry, that could be why it was removed for the postcard. The Protestant Orphan Asylum and its school are just beyond the left edge of the frame. The open space behind the fence at left is the orphanage schoolyard, and the open space at bottom is the undeveloped hilly triangular parcel Market/Buchanan/Hermann.



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