Cliff House Project
A Program of Western Neighborhoods Project

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Ocean Beach

General Pavilion Seal Rock House Windmills Club Swim

 

 


Seal Rock House (left structure) and Ocean Beach Pavilion (large central structure)

 


"CLIFF HOUSE BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO CAL.  WEIDNER PHOTO"
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


"Esplanade and Beach"
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke
 

 


"The Cliff Road and Ocean Beach."
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


"No. 261.  CLIFF HOUSE BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF."

 


"WE HAVE LOTS OF FUNN AT THE CLIFF HOUSE SF CAL 236"

 


"Cliff Road and Bathing Beach from Cliff House, W.C.Billington, Photographer"

 


"Long Branch House -- from the Cliff House, San Francisco, Cal."

 


Watkins' New Series #3619
Courtesy of Bob Schlesinger



"L. DOWE, Photo"

 


"Seal Rock House. - Ocean Beach."
(reverse)

 

"My great grandfather (Prof. W. E. James) worked for I. W. Taber as a photographer from about 1881 to 1886 .. passed down through the family were views that matched some found onthe website. However I’ve never seen a published view as the one that I have attached (i.e., Ocean Beach FROM the cliff house (Taber wagon in foreground - Taber logo just below the word Property).

My ggf Prof. W. E. James (as most commonly listed .. the professor probably self-imposed but an apt description) (William E. James) worked for Taber between 1881 and early 1886. He brought with him quite a bit of experience in stereo photography. I think (but can’t quite confirm just yet) that he took many views for Taber including San Francisco harbor (& boats) and some places in Santa Barbara and Southern California (San Diego). Rarely did the big firms (Houseworth, Taber, Anthony of New York) actually give credit to the photographer so it is difficult to prove."

Click here for more information on Prof W. E. James.

Randolph James, 2/27/2015
Courtesy of the Randolph James Collection


 


 

 


"19 Ocean Surf near Cliff House"
Lurline Pier
Reverse:  "SUTRO HEIGHTS GALLERY, W. C. BILLINGTON, Photographer" (rev)

 


"CH-12  S.E. FROM CLIFF HOUSE 1880"
From source: "Original Negative From Glass Plate 8x10, Circa 1880, From the Behrman Collection"
"M.B." are the initials for Martin Behrman


 


"SUTRO HEIGHTS, CLIFF ROAD AND BATHING BEACH."
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke


 


Ocean Beach, c 1911
Photographer: H. C. Tibbitts
John Hall Collection

 


Ocean Beach, lifeboat, c 1911
Photographer: H. C. Tibbitts
John Hall Collection


 

 

 


Contributed by Peter Evans

 


Courtesy of Frank Mitchell

 



Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


"229. The Coast, South from Cliff House"

 


"PLAYLAND AT THE BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO" , 1938
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke



Ocean Beach, Jul 1 to Aug 20, 1913    (WNPCHP WNP136.04)

The photo date is derived from the following observations:

John Martini (12/29/2014):  Summer 1913. There are a pair of “B” line streetcars visible on Cabrillo Street. The line was extended to Ocean Beach on June 25, 1913. Also, there’s no sign yet of the infamous Ostrich Farm that opened at Cabrillo and Great Highway in August 1913.

Frank Sternad (12/29/2014):  No Looff Carousel, so pre-1914.

John Freeman (12/29/2014): The Golden Gate Ostrich Farm wouldn’t secure permission from the health department to make the move down from 47th & Balboa to open at Great Highway and Cabrillo until August 18, 1913, but the fences were in place. GGOF would only paint them and put up signs, adding pens for the ostriches and a small sales office. So we can speculate that the probable time window of this photo is July 1 to August 20, 1913.


 


 



Sign: "LOWER PORCH  CLIFF HOUSE TO VIEW THE SEALS, PABST BEER ON DRAUGHT  ADMISSION FREE."
Scan from 4"x5" glass negative (here)

On July 4th, 1905 the road was being widened with the use of dynamite. Based on various clues (such as only the Dutch Windmill in background
and the soldiers' uniforms) this photo likely captured that event.  Here is the SF Examiner article describing the prior day's activity...


San Francisco Examiner - 5 July 1905
 

 

 


Cliff House & City Hall Coffee Advertisement Card
(reverse)

 


Image courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke


 


"Beach at San Francisco, Sheehan's Cafe in foreground, Cliff House & Seal Rocks in distance"
(
WNPCHP WNP136.05)

 


Image courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


1915

 



"Near Golden Gate Park   Aug 1915"


"Frisco Cal - Near Golden Gate Park- Aug 1915"
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke


 


Glass Negative of Ocean Beach, March 1917


Photographed by H. C. Tibbitts
This negative was listed on ebay in January, 2013.  I did not purchase it, nor do I have permission.  Ebay doesn't allow contact.
If the owner comes forth and asks me either to remove it or for credit, I'll do so.

The below close-ups were also posted on ebay


Ocean Beach Pavilion


Lurline Salt Water Baths (building with smokestack)


The two towers in the right side of this mage belong to the Ocean Beach Wireless Transmitting Station.

More info:
 http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist/poulsen.html
http://outsidelands.org/cgi-bin/mboard/stories2/thread.cgi?45,0
 



 



Taken by John Courtwright in 1920
Courtesy of daughter, Mary Courtwright Collins

John Freeman notes:  The crowd sitting on those curved things with the great billboards in the background, is
one of a kind. The curved piece are the concrete forms, used when the sea-wall was poured. They are
made of wood, covered with 1X8 boards. That was the time period they were building of the sea-wall.


 


Weidner Photo, postmarked July 1921 (rev)
(WNPCHP WNP136.06)

 


Postcard showing beach wall construction, postmarked 1923
Courtesy of Frank Mitchell

 


(WNPCHP WNP136.07)
The photo is from May 1922. The Figure-8 Coaster was demolished at the end of April 1922. The Big Dipper [being built] was complete by July 1922. I have a photo that shows the first section complete & it matches the elevated arch of the Big Dipper in this photo without the rest of the coaster evident.  - James Smith, http://www.historysmith.com

The construction work is the resumption of construction of the seawall and esplanade, which was built in two stages. The first stage was completed in November 1916 when the wall extended up to a point between Balboa and Cabrillo. Work ceased for several years, then resumed in 1921 on the second stretch, which extended all the way to the foot of Lincoln Ave.  - John Martini


 


From Cliff House, 6-21-23
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


Ocean Beach  5/31/1925
(WNPCHP WNP136.08)
 


Ocean Beach, sand sculptures "Unknown heroes"  6/5/1925
(WNPCHP WNP136.09)

 


Summer 1932
Courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


Courtesy of Glenn D Koch Collection

 


"THE WHITE CAP", OLIVERS ROOT BEER, ICE CREAM & SOFT DRINKS"
Courtesy of Frank Mitchell

 


Courtesy of Frank Mitchell

 

Courtesy of Frank Mitchell
 
Courtesy of Frank Mitchell


 


Image courtesy of Judy Cash Collection

John Freeman notes (4-25-2009):  This is most likely one of the "for hire" touring cars, not a private vehicle. The driver is not involved in the picture taking and stares ahead,  not at the camera. The 3 slats running from the fenders,  above the running board on the drivers side is the strongest indication of a "for hire" car, since passengers would enter or exit at the curb and the left side of the car could be used for luggage or storing blankets/lap robes (since there was no trunk on these old  open touring cars. The location is obvious.




Image courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke



 


1914 F Head Harley-Davidson model 10F, Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Billboard: "BENSON'S POOL ROOM and ART GALLERY"
(reverse)
Image courtesy of Chuck Banneck
Motorcycle identification courtesy of the forum members, harley-davidsonforums.com

 


Billboard: "BENSON'S POOL ROOM and ART GALLERY"
Courtesy of Frank Mitchell




Image courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


Image courtesy of Dennis O'Rorke

 


 

 


The San Francisco Examiner - Feb 9 1891
Treasure hunt

 


The San Francisco Call - Aug 2 1896
 

 


ANY NICE DAY AT THE BEACH
San Francisco Chronicle, September 3 1911

 

 


Reverse: "Coast boulevard from Cliff House San Francisco, July 1941"

 


Ocean Beach, April 1975

 


Panorama, taken Oct 2007
Courtesy of Wikipedia Ocean Beach page