Cliff House Project
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- My Wish List -

In all of my Cliff House research there are a few items that have always stood out for me, things I'd really like to solve, some for historic reasons, others just for fun.  Without further ado, here's my top 10 list...



1)  Why so few interior photos of the 1896 Cliff House?  I understand that it was early days for photography, but lots were taken inside other buildings of the time, so clearly not that difficult.  And this was a famous landmark!  This item is not just a search for more interior photos, but also for a definitive explanation of WHY there were so few.  Presumably a house policy, but I've failed completely to verify that.  I even found a newspaper story of a photography club meeting at the Cliff House.  And they didn't take photos?


2)  I'm aware of only two almost identical photos showing damage from the Parallel disaster. Why so few of an event this dramatic?


3)  I would love to ID this amazing balloon photo per our numerous discussions.  Having searched the newspaper archives I now realize there were actually many balloon launches, so we may never know.


4)  More movies of the gingerbread palace! I guess we're lucky have the Edison one, but sure would love to find another. Highly unlikely I'd suppose.


5)  Not a single photo of the 1894 xmas fire?  Not even the ruins?


6)  Did 06' earthquake survivors really descend on the Cliff House as this postcard claims?  Our consensus was that it probably wasn't realistic given the distance, but why the postcard?


7)  We have not solved this mystery...what is this object?

Part of ship?  Whale bone?  Driftwood sculpture?  Inconclusive so far.

It also appears in this photograph, closeup below


8)  What became of poor Billy Bane?  Just a story or a real person?


9)  Was there really a Camera Obscura in the Cliff House?  I realize that some think the evidence is compelling, but I still feel like more proof is needed.  Not a single mention in the period newspapers.


10)  This postcard is one of my favorites, despite the poor quality.  I just love the composition.  I always hoped I would find a non-colorized version, but still looking.