San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
High Noon on April 18th, San Franciscans Hurry Down Market Street, Pell-Mell Towards the Ferry Building... Caught in the never-ending stream of buggies and wagons, refugees on foot carry birdcages and bag of valuables. Hand-in-hand, they step over cracks, dodge electric wires, and hurry past burnt-out walls - each home left behind in an agonizing decision. If the Ferry Tower stood, then ferries could carry them away from the city in flames.
In the Distant Haze the Reassuring Ferry Tower Became the Sole Symbol of Safe Escape... Only ferries could carry
Last View of San Francisco's Firestorm from the Ferry, April 18... Broken gas lines ignited fires at scattered points all over the city. By noon, acting Fire Chief Doherty reported fifty-odd fires put out by his men. Water mains were broken. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water stored in storm sewers and cisterns were drained during the first day of the fires that burned for four days. Finally, firemen could only help the military dynamite homes along Van Ness to stop the fire. From this time on, San Franciscans would bracket events in their lives with "Before the fire..." or "After the fire."
Sight-seers Took the Ferry Over to See What Was Left of San Francisco, May 1906... Tourists had to be quick to dodge lorries with lumber or debris, and wagons of bricks or beer. In this view from the tower, two tracks carry streetcars down Market Street - starting only only days after the great shake. By May,
The Corps of Engineers Edict: "Tear Down the Ferry Building..." Cooler heads prevailed. Port engineers wrapped 5000 feet of heavy steel cable around the loose stone facing on the tower until it could be replaced with cement. The clock stopped at 5:15 - two minutes fast - a dramatic symbol to everyone who had lived through that dawn, and a reminder to San Franciscans to pause and think of those who did not.
Erected by San Francisco Art Commission for the Waterfront Transportation Projects.
Location. 37° 47.662′ N, 122° 23.567′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on The Embarcadero near Mission Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 141 The Embarcadero, San Francisco CA 94105, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Getting Around (within shouting distance of this marker); Audiffred Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Memory of Howard Sperry and Nick Bordoise Splendid Survivor (about 400 feet away); Signs of History (about 400 feet away); Freeway Supports (about 500 feet away); Klebingat Recalls The City Front (about 500 feet away); Bustle of the City (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. This marker is on the San Francisco Bay Trail.
Categories. • Disasters •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 253 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.