Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Electric Streetcar Line

A Breathtaking Ride

 
 
Electric Streetcar Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 16, 2017
1. Electric Streetcar Line Marker
Inscription. An electric streetcar line once wound along the cliffs past this very spot. From 1905 to 1925, the line extended nearly 8 miles, carrying passengers from the neighborhoods of San Francisco, through sand dunes and coastal scrub, to Lands End.

The No. 1 Sutter and California streetcar line, known to locals as "the cliff line," followed the same route as the famed Ferries & Cliff House Railway built earlier by Adolph Sutro. Like Sutro's steam train, the electric trolley, was known for its spectacular views — and its perilous route. Despite retaining walls along portions of the line, including the cement wall behind you, landslides and washouts were common, requiring constant repairs.

In February 1925, heavy rains caused several landslides, damaging sections of the tracks. Repairs were deemed too costly, and the line was abandoned. A breathtaking ride was over forever.
 
Erected by Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 47.048′ N, 122° 30.55′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Coastal Trail half a mile north of Land's End Parking Lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94121, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
The Cliff House and Seal Rocks, Looking North From Ocean Beach (marker inset photo) image. Click for full size.
circa 1890
2. The Cliff House and Seal Rocks, Looking North From Ocean Beach (marker inset photo)
The Ferries and Cliff House Railway, later the No. 1 Sutter and California Trolley, brought working San Franciscans to the beach to play. The line conveniently terminated just steps from Adolph Sutro's colossal swim palace, Sutro Baths, and the famous Cliff House.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Navigating the Golden Gate - Bonfires, buoys, and foghorns (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sutro’s Steam Train (about 700 feet away); Heavy Cruiser USS San Francisco (CA38) (about 800 feet away); This Memorial to Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan (about 800 feet away); The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (about 800 feet away); FDR's Salute (approx. 0.2 miles away); Peoples of the Coast - Why did they live here? (approx. ¼ mile away); Historic Shipwrecks - Lost at the Golden Gate (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. The marker is accessible only by foot. From the Land's End parking lot, follow the Coastal Trail for 10-15 minutes to the second concrete lookout.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Electric Streetcar Line (marker inset photo) image. Click for full size.
By San Francisco Municipal Railway, 1905
3. Electric Streetcar Line (marker inset photo)
As streetcars became a popular mode of transportation, the old steam train "cliff line"(on the left) was converted to an electric trolley line. In this photo, old tracks are being removed, and the route widened.
<i>Lands End, Overlooking the Golden Gate, San Francisco, California</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard published by Edward H. Mitchell, San Francisco, circa 1908
4. Lands End, Overlooking the Golden Gate, San Francisco, California
Lands End Station, midway along the cliffside route, (located near here in the past) offered passengers a cozy waiting room, food concessions, and souvenirs.

This postcard is the same as displayed on the marker, albeit with differences in the colors (that were hand-applied, i.e. black and white photos that were subsequently colored).
Electric Streetcar Line Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 16, 2017
5. Electric Streetcar Line Marker - Wide View
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 20, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 59 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on August 20, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   2, 3, 4. submitted on August 21, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   5. submitted on August 20, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
Paid Advertisement