Category Archives: History

Now And Then: Picturing The Inner Sunset Of Yesteryear

Hoodline, 4/6/15


photo courtesy SFPL

Today, we turn back the clock to explore the Inner Sunset of years past through photos from the San Francisco Public Library that were plotted on a map by Old SF, a volunteer project created to expose the city’s history to a wider audience. (All of the vintage photos used in this article come courtesy of the San Francisco Library’s San Francisco History Center archive.)

Here’s a glimpse at some of the Inner Sunset scenes of yesterday, plus what each location looks like today:

Firehouse, 1348 10th Ave., as seen in 1915

(via SF History Center)

And in 2015:

Built in 1898, the first firehouse in the Inner Sunset is now the home of Ignatius Press, a Catholic publishing company. It stopped operating as a firehouse in 1962 before becoming a school in 1969; Ignatius Press purchased the building in 2008.

Christ Lutheran Church, 5th & Irving, August 1964


(via SF History Center)

And in 2015:

This sanctuary was built for Christ Lutheran Church, but it’s now home to St. John of God, a Catholic community. After outgrowing the space, Christ Lutheran’s congregation moved west to Quintara & 20th. In recent years, neighborhood groups have spearheaded efforts to underground utility lines to beautify the area.

6 Parnassus Line, 6th Avenue & Judah Street, 1947


(via SF History Centervia SF History Center)

And in 2015:

Many Muni bus routes are named after the streetcar lines they replaced. To extend the original 6 line to Pacheco & 9th Avenue, a neighborhood group called the Upper Sunset Improvement Club worked to raise $20,000. According to a January 1912 article in The San Francisco Call, “the need of a streetcar line into the upper Sunset district is imperative.”

Construction, 6th Avenue & Hugo Street, 1926

(via SF History Center)

And in 2015:

Today, the Kirkham Heights apartment towers and stately trees obscure the view of Mt. Parnassus from quiet Hugo Street.

St. Anne of the Sunset, Judah & Funston, August 1935

(via SF History Center)

And in 2015:

St. Anne was rebuilt after a partial collapse in 1935. The frieze above the front entrance was designed and sculpted by Sister Mary Justina, OP, who was born in Poland in 1879 as Anna Niemiesrski.

Cars parked illegally, Hugo Street at Arguello, December 1959


(via SF History Center)

And in 2015:

According to a 1959 article from the San Francisco Call, this photo depicts cars parked illegally on the sidewalk during a football game at Kezar Stadium, a few blocks away. According to the reporter, game day brought 40,00 vehicles into the neighborhood:

“Now, when you’re a football fan, that’s a convenient spot to live. Apart from the fact that you don’t need a car to take you to the game these days, junior can pick up a fast buck by squeezing a desperate spectator’s machine in your garage at a program parking rate…”


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Crimes Of Yesteryear: Butcher Butchered In Grisly 1913 Inner Sunset Slaying

Hoodline, 3/14/15


Lincoln and 9th Ave. in 1929 (via San Francisco History Center, SFPL)

Even a century ago, the Inner Sunset was regarded as a generally quiet neighborhood where crimes were more likely to committed against property than people. As seen in the 1929 photo of Lincoln Way and 9th Avenue above, the area saw relatively little through traffic, and was a sleepy hamlet compared to the city’s hustle and bustle to the east.

But in 1913, one of the area’s goriest homicides occurred when a butcher was savagely murdered in his shop at 1254 9th Ave.

San Francisco Call, 5/17/13

On the evening of May 14th, the wife of butcher Egbert Annand brought her baby along to visit Clancy & Mueller, the grocery next to her husband’s shop on 9th between H and I Streets (later Lincoln Way and Irving Street). According to the San Francisco Call, Annand had come home for lunch and left “in his usual good spirits,” so when he failed to return for dinner, Mrs. Annand visited Mr. and Mrs. Clancy, “who sought to allay the distracted wife’s fears.”

At 8pm, Eugene Mueller, co-owner of the grocery store, entered the butcher shop after finding the door ajar. At the rear of the store, Mueller and friends came across Annand, whose “head was almost severed from his body,” reported the Call. About $275 in cash was missing, and a bloody knife was discovered under newspapers and bloody rags. Investigators determined that the door that separated the back room from the front of the shop had been “taken from its hinges and washed.”

1913 telephone directory

Suspicion fell immediately on Walter Scott, Annand’s 22-year-old delivery boy.

According to Louis Walters, a 15-year-old who also made butcher deliveries, Annand hadn’t been seen since lunchtime. At 5:30pm, Scott and Walters “took Annand’s machine” to Lincoln and 3rd for a delivery. At that point, Scott left Walters alone; when he returned, he “gave the youngster a dime and disappeared.”

When Scott was arrested and police discovered his bloody clothes in a garbage can, he gave officials “many conflicting stories.” Scott said he witnessed Annand’s suicide but chose not to report it for fear that he would be accused. During his July trial, Scott “was unable to explain … a number of inconsistencies.”

San Francisco Call, 7/17/13

The defense argued that Annand committed suicide because he was despondent over his failing new business. Unfortunately for Scott, the butcher shop had been “prosperous” since it opened, the victim suffered stab wounds to the back and “the palms of his hands were slashed to the bone,” suggesting defensive wounds.

On July 23rd, it took the jury a little more than an hour to return a guilty verdict of murder in the first degree. Scott was sentenced to a life term in San Quentin on July 25th.

The butcher shop appears to have closed, as it doesn’t appear in any phone directories in 1914.

Today, Annand’s butcher shop would occupy a space between a 3-story apartment building at number 1250 and Alaya Boutique at 1256 9th Ave.

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San Francisco’s Earthquake Shacks: Real Estate Deal Of The Century

Hoodline, 3/9/15


Approximately 75,000 people left San Francisco after the April 1906 earthquake and fire, but about 20,000 hardy souls who stayed moved into makeshift housing created across 26 refugee camps—city parks that were transformed into tent cities. As the city rebuilt, these temporary structures were sold to private owners; a well-preserved specimen remains in the Inner Sunset on 10th Ave.

San Francisco Call, 5/24/1906

Rebuilding began as soon as the last fires were extinguished, but early housing demand far exceeded the supply. Although refugee camps started to close by the summer of 1906, thousands were left in canvas tents with winter approaching. To avoid another housing crisis, relief officials designed a more durable shelter that could be made from local materials.

Funded by the San Francisco Relief Corporation and managed by the Parks Commission, earthquake shacks came in three sizes and cost anywhere from $100 to $742 in labor and materials. According to the Western Neighborhoods Project, union carpenters built about 5,600 cottages in three sizes. Decked out in olive drab paint (more Army surplus), earthquake shacks were rented out for $2 to $6 per month.

San Francisco Call, 1/6/1907

At peak occupancy, 16,448 San Franciscans lived in earthquake shacks, which could be purchased for $50. The May 24, 1906 edition of the San Francisco Call declared that “Refugees May Remain as Long as They Are Without Homes,” but a January 6, 1907 headline, “Single Men Must Leave Parks,” suggests that officials were eager to resettle refugees in neighborhoods.

Even for the era, $50 was a sweet deal for a free-standing home, even if it had to moved at the owner’s expense. The structures were built from fir, redwood and cedar and were so durable, they could be hoisted by their roofs and transported by cart.

courtesy Bancroft Library

The earthquake shack at 1842 10th Ave. is one of approximately 100 that remain in the city. Since it was relocated from one of the city’s refugee camps in 1908, it’s been remodeled to include two bathrooms and expanded to 920 square feet with two bedrooms. The front yard has a garden area and is enclosed by bamboo and a privacy fence.

Boasting a living room fireplace and a large unfinished attic, Zillow reports that the property last sold for $509,000 in March 2009. Today’s estimated value is $960,000, giving this dwelling a nearly 20,000-fold increase in value.

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