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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Alleyways in Chinatown

Ross Alley

 
 
Alleyways in Chinatown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 10, 2014
1. Alleyways in Chinatown Marker
Inscription. Alleyways in Chinatown were created during the early settlement of Chinese in the late 1870ís. During that period, the rapidly-growing community was restricted by anti-Chinese sentiment to a six block area behind the back streets of the Barbary Coast. To maximize space within the confines of its boundary, the community created a maze of secondary streets and pedestrian walkways.

Ross Alley is located in the center of this maze. The alley is a narrow passage running between Washington and Jackson Streets. Ross is actually an extension of Spofford Alley in many ways. In the past, both alleyways were infamous as a place for gambling and prostitution. Ross is known as “Gau Leuie Sung Hong” (Old Spanish Alley) because of the many latins (sic) that patronized the area. Today there are both residences and commercial establishments in the densely built-up alleyway which continues to function as a major artery for pedestrians.
 
Erected by Ross Alley Improvement Associations Chinatown Neighborhood Improvement Resource Center & Chinatown Better Parks and Recreation Committee.
 
Location. 37° 47.742′ N, 122° 24.446′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is
Alleyways in Chinatown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 10, 2014
2. Alleyways in Chinatown Marker
on Ross Alley near Jackson Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 99 Ross Alley, San Francisco CA 94108, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. California Star (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Birthplace of a Great City (about 500 feet away); Raising of the American Flag (about 600 feet away); Site of San Franciscoís First Book Store (about 600 feet away); Portsmouth Plaza (about 700 feet away); Site of the First Public School in California (about 700 feet away); San Francisco Brewing Company (about 700 feet away); Andrew Smith Hallidie (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. Pedestrian traffic only.
 
Also see . . .  When Chinatown Was a World Apart - Thinkwalks. Historians like to quibble about names. Ross Alley is recognized as the first alley in San Francisco—that is, the first Alley. (All the previous alleys were called "Street.") There have been long stretches of time, however, when Ross Alley was called by other names. (Submitted on February 26, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Asian AmericansRoads & Vehicles
 
Plague (map) showing the alleyways in Chinatown image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 10, 2014
3. Plague (map) showing the alleyways in Chinatown
Embedded in the Ross Alley pavement. Click on the image to enlarge it.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 283 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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