Cliff House Project
A Program of Western Neighborhoods Project


Seal Rocks?

In researching Lands End I just assumed that the below photo (and the numerous postcard iterations of the 19th century) actually showed Seal Rocks, but John Martini offers a startling alternative perspective.  Based on the topography it's quite possible that this photo does NOT show Seal Rocks.  For starters this perspective would require a telephoto lens, which didn't exist at the time.  Taber purchased numerous Watkins' views and re-released them under his own name.  It's quite possible that Taber re-titled one of Watkins photos of the Farallon Islands as "Seal Rocks" so he could sell them at the Cliff House.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Steve Ness this mystery is solved.  As suspected the below photo depicts the Farallon Islands, not Seal Rocks.  See the image further down the page, showing the original (correct) caption.


"B2191 The Seal Rocks near Cliff House, San Francisco  Taber"


"2048.  Sea Lions, West End, Farallon Islands. P. O."
"Watkins Pacific Coast"
Image source:  (


"Taber      Sea Lions, West End, Farallon Islands, P. O."
ebay image