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Stunning Archival Photos of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire

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A black-and-white photo shows people running away from what looks like a massive fire.
People flee the fire that started after the earthquake on April 18, 1906. (San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library)

View the full episode transcript.

On April 18, 1906, many San Franciscans awoke at 5:13 a.m. to feel the earth shaking. An estimated 7.9 earthquake rocked the San Andreas fault, causing the immediate collapse of many buildings in San Francisco’s downtown. That, in turn, began a fire that quickly spread throughout the city. It was a momentous day in the history of the Bay Area. Crucial records were lost in the blaze, and the event marked a dividing line in the historical record — pre- and post-quake.

Every year, San Franciscans gather early in the morning at the corner of Kearny and Market streets to commemorate the event. People dress up in period costumes, trying to embody the historic moment. City leaders use the anniversary as an opportunity to remind citizens about earthquake preparedness and to celebrate first responders.

Bay Curious listener Allison Pennell grew up in Berkeley and learned all the lore around the 1906 earthquake, so she was surprised to see something new while perusing a catalog from the Legion of Honor Museum. Staring back at her from the page was a photo of a group of African Americans dressed in turn-of-the-century clothing, watching from atop a hill as San Francisco burned.

Black and white photo of early San Francisco. A small group of African Americans turn to the camera as huge smoke plumes rise behind them.
A group of African American San Franciscans watch the fire advance from Clay Street in 1906. (UC Berkeley Bancroft Library/Photographer: Arnold Genthe )

“I just started to think about that photograph and what would have happened after the earthquake,” Allison said. “I know many people came over to the East Bay to set up an emergency situation over here. And so I thought, how did that work? Because you couldn’t probably, as a nonwhite person, go to the Claremont Hotel and say, ‘I’d like a suite,’ at that time. The discrimination was deep.”

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She knew that Black people had been settling in San Francisco since before the Gold Rush but had never before given much thought to how the discrimination common at the time might have affected the community’s ability to recover, access aid and rebuild after the 1906 quake.

“I’m interested to know what Black San Franciscans did to survive after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and how they reestablished themselves either in the East Bay or back in San Francisco,” she said.

Before the Quake

Sepia toned photo of a nearly flattened San Francisco from 1906.
View looking down California Street after the earthquake and fire of 1906. (San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library)

By 1906, many Black San Franciscans had already begun moving to the East Bay in search of more space, fewer restrictions and less expensive housing. Those who stayed in San Francisco lived in neighborhoods all over the city. Like other groups that immigrated to California during the Gold Rush, early Black settlers here were mostly single men who tended to live in hotels downtown.

And while societal norms were a bit looser in the fledgling city, there was still plenty of racism, especially when it came to employment. The best, most skilled jobs were reserved for white people, while Black residents struggled to find the most menial work. Accounts from the time describe jobs like errand runners, elevator operators, valets and hotel workers.

Black and white photo of two grand buildings collapsing.
Grand Hotel (left) and Palace Hotel on fire as carriages go by. Some of the better jobs Black San Franciscans could find at the turn of the 20th century were in hotels like these, where they could earn tips. (San Francisco History Center/The San Francisco Public Library)

When the Trans-Pacific Railroad was built and the Southern Pacific Railroad opened a terminus in Oakland, more jobs for Black people became available working on the trains and in the station. That was another reason many families chose to relocate to Oakland. A community had started to thrive in West Oakland.

Life Immediately After

The 1906 earthquake and fire were catastrophic for all San Franciscans. And, as often happens in a crisis, people pulled together in the aftermath to help one another and to rebuild the city. It’s estimated that 80% of San Francisco was destroyed in the fire, and 200,000 people — rich and poor alike — were made homeless overnight. People of all backgrounds waited in long lines for basic supplies and sustenance, which added to the equalizing effect immediately after the earthquake.

Black and white photo of weary people waiting in line with empty containers.
After the 1906 earthquake, San Franciscans of all types had to wait in lines for basic necessities. (San Francisco HIstory Center/The San Francisco Public LIbrary)

Artist-in-residence at the San Francisco Public Library, tanea lunsford lynx, discovered a trove of oral histories from African Americans at the turn of the 20th century and a few photos depicting Black San Franciscans during the earthquake and fire. tanea is a fourth-generation San Franciscan, so their roots go deep here, but they’d never seen or heard anything like this before.

“So even though my family has a deep history here, and even though we knew we were here, there hadn’t been photo proof that I’d seen,” they said. “And there certainly hadn’t been stories in our own voices about the experience of being here in 1906 and prior to that.”

tanea was inspired to create an exhibit that looks at how the oral history of one man, Aurelious Alberga, speaks to San Francisco’s present moment. Her poetry and interpretation are up on a website she created called “We Were Here.”

Below are excerpts of first-person accounts from Black San Franciscans who lived through the 1906 earthquake and fire. Their oral histories are archived at the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center in a collection entitled “Afro-Americans in San Francisco prior to World War II Oral history project records.” The histories were recorded in 1978 by Dr. Albert Broussard, author of Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900–1954. The work was co-sponsored by the San Francisco African-American Historical and Cultural Society.

Black and white portrait of a young black man.
A young Aurelious Alberga (1884–1988)

Aurelious Alberga was born in San Francisco in 1884. He was a young man when the earthquake hit, renting a room in a hotel at the corner of Commercial and Kearny streets. His father rented a separate room on the floor above him.

“The Quake loosened one side of the building and it collapsed. Outside the building were big windows, which years ago had iron shutters that pulled in and closed over a little balcony. When the bricks fell down, they forced the shutters closed. The doors in those days used to open out, and the door to my room was jammed shut — I couldn’t open it, you see. So I made enough noise and yelled out for my father. And he came down the best way he could and pulled away the rocks from the hallways to make the door wide enough so I could come out.” — Aurelious Alberga

Black and white photo of nearly flattened buildings, with people walking by on the street.
People walk down the street, stopping to look at buildings that have been nearly flattened in the 1906 earthquake. (San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library)

“In the meantime, the city had started on fire. The water mains had broken, and they had no water, and no hoses long enough to draw water from the Bay. There’s nothing that could stop it. It just went ahead.” — Aurelious Alberga

Dramatic black and white photo of a fierce fire burning behind the remains of a building.
Buildings burning on Market Street after the 1906 earthquake. (San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library)

Elizabeth Fisher Gordon was a little girl when the earthquake hit. Her family lived in a two-story flat on Jones Street at Broadway. She remembers that the week the quake hit was Easter vacation from school, so she and her mother and siblings had taken the ferry across the Bay to stay with her grandparents in Oakland for the week.

“My father came over on the last boat before the earthquake hit, to my grandmother’s… I was so sure it was my fault because I didn’t kneel that night before I said prayers. I got into bed and then said my prayers because it was so cold. But I didn’t tell anyone that it was my fault the earthquake came.” —Elizabeth Fisher Gordon

When the aftershocks subsided, Elizabeth’s father wanted to go back to San Francisco to check on their house, but authorities were not letting people on the ferries back to the city. He had to get special permission to return to the devastated city.

“And when he went over, he found out there was a whole lot of damage. But he was able to get a suitcase and put some things in it, never dreaming the fire would reach there, you know. And some of the things he brought were so insignificant my mother thought. I’ll never forget her repeating, “he brought that book.” — Elizabeth Fisher Gordon

Elizabeth’s family stayed with her grandparents for several months after the earthquake until her father bought a plot of land in the Mission and built them a new house. She remembers many people in the Black community relying on friends and family for help during this time.

Black and white photo of of a woman cooking on a cast iron stove in the street.
People cooked in the streets or in their backyards after the quake because chimneys had fallen down, and it wasn’t safe to cook inside. (San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library)

Alfred Butler was a teenager living in Oakland when the quake struck. His father worked on the railroad and had more access to goods than most people in the area.

“He brought a lot of food out from Chicago to feed these people, White people all around the neighborhood. And the people all knew the Butlers. We had to eat in the backyard; we built a stove out of bricks to cook the meals on, because they wouldn’t allow you to cook in the house. The Earthquake had knocked all the chimneys down, so we had to eat in the backyard, fry and cook as best we could. People were thankful for that food too.” — Alfred Butler

Rows of white tent set up in Golden Gate Park to house refugees from the 1906 earthquake.
Refugee camps like this one in Golden Gate Park were set up in parks throughout San Francisco to house the nearly 200,000 people who had become homeless overnight. The military managed the camps. (San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library)

Butler visited San Francisco right after the earthquake and described it as mostly rubble. All the tall buildings had fallen down. But he said people were already cleaning up, and within a year, they’d started to rebuild. Many Black San Franciscans moved to the Western Addition after the earthquake, including his brother.

Black and white photo of two men shoveling debris in front of burned out buildings.
It is said that the bricks weren’t even cool before San Franciscans started rebuilding their city. (San Francisco History Center/The San Francisco Public Library)

“My brother, right after the earthquake, he rented a place on Post near Fillmore. He got a place. He was just lucky. After the Earthquake, everybody moved on Fillmore Street. Businesses moved down Fillmore Street. All the business on Fillmore Street started booming. That’s where all the life was.” — Albert Butler

By 1915, just nine years after the devastating quake, San Francisco had largely been rebuilt. City leaders hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition to show the world it had recovered. While many people left San Francisco immediately after the quake, not too long after the 1915 World’s Fair, World War I began. A wave of new migrants came to the Bay Area then and again during World War II. The Black community in the Bay Area continued to grow in the East Bay, especially as ferry service to San Francisco improved so people could easily commute to the city for work.

Episode Transcript

Olivia Allen-Price: Every year on April 18th… at 5:13 in the morning…. San Franciscans gather at the corner of Market and Kearny Streets to remember.

Bob Sarlatte: Once again, you crazy folks have come together at this ungodly hour to remember and honor the memories of those hearty San Franciscans who survived being tossed from their beds 117 years ago this morning.

Olivia Allen-Price: People come dressed up in period costumes…trying to inhabit the moment in 1906 when an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.9 brought devastation to the city.

Bob Sarlatte: Wednesday, April 18th, 1906 5:12 a.m. A great foreshock is felt throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

Olivia Allen-Price: San Franciscans startled awake …only to see their city burning.

Bob Sarlatte: Fires rage and spread throughout the city. They are not stopped until 74 hours later. Many of San Francisco’s finest buildings collapse under the firestorms. Firefighters begin dynamiting buildings to create firebreaks.

Olivia Allen-Price: But the fire kept leaping over the lines, traveling further west.

Bob Sarlatte: The Great Fire reaches Van Ness Avenue, which is 125ft wide, facing the decision to blow his city to pieces or watch it burn, Mayor Schmitz finally agrees to let the army create a massive firebreak in the hopes that it can stop the raging inferno. Friday, April 20th, 1906 5 a.m. The fire break at Venice finally holds and the westward progression of the inferno was halted.

Olivia Allen-Price: It took more than three days to fully put the fire out. And then San Franciscans took stock. Nearly 80-percent of the city had burned.

Bob Sarlatte: So if we can just have a moment of silence for those who died and those who helped with the city after the earthquake. (Silence) Let’s hear those sirens go. Here we are.

Olivia Allen-Price: The Great Earthquake and fire of 1906 were devastating to everyone living in San Francisco at the time, including its several thousand Black residents.

Bay Curious listener Allison Pennell started wondering about how this community fared after the earthquake when she saw an old photo in a museum booklet. It showed a group of Black San Franciscans standing at the top of Clay Street, watching the fire burn.

Allison Pennell: And I just started to think about that photograph and what would have happened after the earthquake. I know many people came over to the East Bay, and they simply got into boats and got over here, to try to set up an emergency situation over here. And so I thought, how did that work? Because, you couldn’t just probably as a nonwhite person go to the Claremont Hotel and say, I’d like a suite. At that time, the discrimination was deep.

Olivia Allen-Price: She wanted to know more.

Allison Pennell: I’m interested to know what Black San Franciscans did to survive after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and how they re-established themselves either in the East Bay or back in San Francisco.

Olivia Allen-Price: Today on Bay Curious, on the anniversary of the Big One, we’ll hear some first person accounts from those who survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. And we’ll learn how their stories are still inspiring Black San Franciscans generations later. I’m Olivia Allen-Price. Stay with us.

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Olivia Allen-Price: Stories and photos of the devastation wrought by the 1906 earthquake and fire are all around us in San Francisco. But it’s less common to see or hear explicit references to how the Black community fared after the quake. Bay Curious editor and producer Katrina Schwartz set out to learn more.

Sound of elevators at the library

Katrina Schwartz: You can find all kinds of cool stuff at the public library.

tanea lunsford lynx: I was thinking like, where do where does the ephemera live? Where do the things live that we can’t touch? What are the less visited things of the library?

Katrina Schwartz: tanea lunsford lynx was recently an artist in residence at the San Francisco Public Library,

tanea lunsford lynx: And then I found that there was an oral history project that had over 25, recorded oral histories.

Katrina Schwartz: She was transfixed by the voices of Black Americans describing life in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century.

tanea lunsford lynx: yea, we were here.

Katrina Schwartz: Now, tanea and I are standing in front of a display case on the third floor of the main branch …busy library life bustling around us.

tanea lunsford lynx: I wanted folks to kind of happen upon it outside of the elevator. So when folks kind of get out there, struck by the photos that many of us have never seen. Of the 1906 earthquake.

Katrina Schwartz in scene: Yeah. Some people have seen some of the photos, like of the fire and stuff like that. What’s different about these ones?

tanea lunsford lynx: These photos are different because they’re featuring black American folks who were here in San Francisco at the time of the 1906 earthquake. So you not only see the plume of the fires, the smoke in the back of the photos, but you also see, black San Franciscans at the forefront of the photos who are, like, dressed very beautifully.

tanea lunsford lynx: My name is tanea lunsford lynx. I’m a writer and artist and educator. And fourth generation, like San Franciscan on both sides.

Katrina Schwartz: For Tanea, these photos were a revelation.

tanea lunsford lynx: So even though my family has a deep history here, and even though we knew we were here, there hadn’t been like photo proof that I’d seen a lot.

Katrina Schwartz: As part of her residency at the library she began digging into the archives kept here and stumbled across an oral history recorded in 1978… of a man named Aurelius Alberga. A black man and a survivor of the 1906 earthquake.

tanea lunsford lynx: And there certainly hadn’t been stories in our own voices about the experience of being here in 1906 and prior to that.

Music 

tanea lunsford lynx: I felt a kinship pretty quickly. Because something about. Alberga’s tone reminded me of my grandfather’s voice and something about the quality of the audio is…Very appropriate for the time that it was recorded. And so you can, like hear the hum of the machine. You can hear like background noises, like I was I was automatically seated in someone’s house, like listening to them tell their stories. And it was that kinship, that closeness, that sense of intimacy that I was looking for.

Aurelius Alberga: October 22, 1884.

Dr. Albert Broussard: Where were you born?

Aurelius Alberga: San Francisco

Dr. Albert Broussard: What about you parents. Where were they born?

Aurelius Alberga: My father was born in Kingston, Jamaica. May mother was born in San Francisco.

tanea lunsford lynx: He was very chill, for lack of a better word, about surviving that earthquake.

Katrina Schwartz: Historian Dr. Albert Broussard recorded this oral history when Alberga was in his 90s. On the day of the Great Earthquake, Alberga was in his early 20s, sleeping in a room he rented at the corner of Commercial and Kearny Streets.

tanea lunsford lynx: Aurelius Alberga is asleep in his apartment, which most likely was an SRO, single room occupancy. And he lived there, and his father lived in the apartment above him.

Aurelius Alberga: My father was living there too. He had a room right upstairs directly over me. The Quake loosened and one side of the building collapsed. The doors in those days used to open out, and the door to my room was jammed shut — I couldn’t open it, you see.

tanea lunsford lynx: He, like, yells for his father to know where he is, and his father comes down and helps him get out.

Katrina Schwartz: After escaping his small room, Alberga and his father go their separate ways. Alberga is worried about the man he works for who is blind.

tanea lunsford lynx: Alberga’s job at that time is being a chauffeur for a man he calls old Metzger, who’s a man that he works for, who’s, like, wealthy, who’s a blind man. And, he develops this relationship with kind of like, caring for him in different ways.

Aurelius Alberga: He lived on O’Farrell Street between Stockton and Powell. The whole front side of the hotel had fallen out into the streets and left exposed the rooms on that end. He was right there.

tanea lunsford lynx: And so Alberga is like, oh my gosh, I hope he’s okay. And he gets up to Metzger’s apartment. And this man is sleeping.

Aurelius Alberga: He slept through it all, which was a blessing.

Katrina Schwartz: After heroically saving Metzger’s life, he takes the old man to his mother’s house. Old Metzger is worried about savings he’s got stored in a safe downtown so he sends Alberga to retrieve the money. That errand takes Alberga all over the town and he watches as the city is destroyed. He recalls how the water mains were broken and firefighters struggled to contain the blaze.

Aurelius Alberga: They had no water, and no hoses long enough to draw water from the Bay. There’s nothing that could stop it. It just went ahead.

tanea lunsford lynx: It blew my mind that he could recall with precision the exact intersections of where things happened in San Francisco, particularly as a man of, like, more than 90 years old. Because I’m also aware of, like, yes, this was a trauma that he survived. And he was able to recall with such clarity where these things happened.

Katrina Schwartz: Alberga had lost everything in the earthquake and fire, his home, all his possessions. He bounced around the city, staying with friends.

tanea lunsford lynx: One of the things he did say was that folks across like, race and ethnicity were really welcoming to each other as far as, like, inviting folks to literally stay in their homes.

Aurelius Alberga: I don’t think there were any people as friendly as the ole San Franciscans.

Katrina Schwartz: No one as friendly as ‘ole San Franciscans. People were dragging their trunks down the road, nowhere to sleep…

Aurelius Alberga: People were dragging their trunks along the street  and someone would come along and help them. They’d take someone in their house they had never seen before in your life.

Katrina Schwartz: Folks opened up their homes to people they’d never seen before in their lives.

tanea lunsford lynx: So that mutual aid and  that care was something that Alberga named as something that was distinctly San Franciscan at the time, that it was a very friendly place at that time, particularly after this moment of crisis. And so that really stood out to me, too.

Music transition

Katrina Schwartz: Elizabeth Fisher Gordon was just a little girl of nine-years-old when the earthquake struck. Her family lived in a flat in downtown San Francisco. But by 1906 many Black San Franciscans had relocated to the East Bay in search of more space and less expensive housing. Her grandmother lived in Oakland and Elizabeth had gone to stay with her for the Easter holidays, just before the quake.

Elizabeth Fisher Gordon: And my mother came over later in the week and brought the rest of the children. My father came over on the last boat before the earthquake hit, to my grandmother’s. I was so sure it was my fault because I didn’t kneel that night before I said prayers. I got into bed and then said my prayers because it was so cold. But I didn’t tell anyone that it was my fault the earthquake came.

Katrina Schwartz: Elizabeth remembers all the chimneys in Oakland falling down during the earthquake. As morning dawned, chaos reigned and authorities would not let Elizabeth’s father return to San Francisco on the ferry. He had to get special permission to go check on their house.

Elizabeth Fisher Gordon: And when he went over, he found out there was a whole lot of damage. But he was able to get a suitcase and put some things in it, never dreaming the fire would reach there, you know. And some of the things he brought were so insignificant my mother thought. I’ll never forget her repeating, “he brought that book.” (chuckles).

Katrina Schwartz: Her father returned to Oakland where his family was — and their home on Jones street was consumed by the fire. Elizabeth says the family was lucky to be able to stay with her grandparents in Oakland until her father purchased a plot of land in the Mission to build them a new house. She says many Black San Franciscans tapped into networks of friends and family in Oakland.

Elizabeth Fisher Gordon: The people from San Francisco came over here when their houses burned down and they took care of them over here. Red Cross, and they set up temporary housing and what have you for the people.

Katrina Schwartz: Tent cities sprang up in parks around San Francisco…housing 200-thousand people who had become homeless overnight. People set up outdoor kitchens and cooked together. Tanea lunsford lynx documented Black San Franciscans among these scenes in her exhibit.

tanea lunsford lynx: The first photo that we see is a photo of two young black people, children who are sitting in the grass and you see tents and you see a clothing line up behind them, and you see a little stove for cooking as well. And this is a campsite that was set up in Golden Gate Park, because folks had lost everything.

Katrina Schwartz: A PBS documentary called The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake paints a desolate picture of life in the aftermath.

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Narration: Standing in bread lines, meat lines, soup lines, any kind of a line became the central activity of life. Everyone had to do it. Soldiers made sure nobody cheated.

Katrina Schwartz: And anybody not standing in line, was put to work rebuilding the city.

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Narration: It was said that in many places, the debris was not even allowed to cool, and bricks were pitched from lots when still as warm as muffins. Volunteers on the cleanup crews took up the refrain in the damnedest, finest ruins I’d rather be a brick than live anywhere else but San Francisco. The great cleanup had begun. Thousands of standing walls were torn down. An estimated 6.5 billion bricks were carted away or cleaned of mortar to be reused in new buildings.

Katrina Schwartz: People who lived through these times remember it as a swift recovery. Alfred Butler was a Black teenager living in Oakland at the time of the earthquake. He took a mule and cart all the way down to San Jose and around the Bay in order to see what had happened to San Francisco for himself.

He recalls seeing a lot of rubble, and the biggest buildings knocked down. But over the following months the recovery progressed quickly.

Alfred Butler: They built it up right away. In a year’s time, things were pretty well cleaned up. And then they started to build.

Katrina Schwartz: At the turn of the 20th century, Black San Franciscans lived in neighborhoods scattered throughout San Francisco, but many single men were concentrated in hotels downtown…like Aurelius Alberga who we heard from earlier. Alfred Butler says after the earthquake, the Western Addition became the hub of Black life. That’s where his brother moved.

Alfred Butler: After the earthquake, everybody moved on Fillmore Street. All the businesses on Fillmore Street started booming.

Katrina Schwartz: San Franciscans came together after the quake and people from all walks of life helped one another in that moment of crises. But the oral histories of these Black Americans who survived it show that as the city rebuilt, it went back to the de facto racism that ruled it. Butler says good jobs were still reserved for white people, while Black people struggled to find menial ones.

Albert Butler: It was hard to get a job. Negroes, we had a tough time getting a job. A menial job like washing windows or running errands or something like that. Running an elevator or something like that. It was hard to get a job.

Music transition

Katrina Schwartz: For Tanea, the photos of San Franciscans living in tents, cooking outdoors, waiting in line for basic necessities are eerily similar to scenes on the streets of the city today.

tanea lunsford lynx: When looking at these photos, I began to see the past, speaking to the future and the future, speaking to the past.

Katrina Schwartz: And as a Black person, tanea sees echoes of her San Francisco in the oral histories she combed through. A small Black community fighting to stay in a changing city. The devastation of displacement and loss. But also the love of this place and the tenacity to survive. It’s all too familiar. Her poem “We Were Here” is an ode to the Black community in San Francisco, which stretches from the Gold Rush to now. Here’s an excerpt.

tanea lunsford lynx: We were here already, living fantastical lives, already saving the best for the present, already studying the contours of the city. The bay knew us. This ocean was salted with our knowing already. We knew the feeling of firm ground. Before the shaking. We knew stability. The ground knew the planting and rising of our feet like a dance. We were already sending for each other, extending a fishing hook south and pulling each other up with calloused hands. We were already spinning tales about this mass of fog. We were already making home here. (fades under)

Olivia Allen-Price: That story was brought to us by Bay Curious editor and producer, Katrina Schwartz.

tanea lunsford lynx: But of course, we were here, living in our signature ways. Of course, when the earth shifted, we went looking for who could be lost in the cracks. Of course it made for lore. Of course we were doing the fantastical feat like a dance. The earth cracked open and we kept time, an offering of our survival. We kept on living.

Music fades out

Olivia Allen-Price: tanea’s exhibit is no longer on display at the library, but you can see all the photos she used and read her writing on the project’s website. You can find a link in our show notes or on baycurious.org.

Special thanks to the San Francisco History Center, part of the San Francisco Public Library for letting us use the oral histories in their archive. And to the San Francisco African-American Historical and Cultural Society who co-sponsored the original oral history project.

There’s still time to vote in our April voting round. Here are your choices.

Voice 1: I was recently at the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland and saw three different official Oakland signs that read, “No glitter.” I would love to know what happened at the rose garden to warrant so many signs.

Voice 2: Yesterday, I walked with a fellow science teacher on the Great Hwy. We commented on the blackish sand, made of iron filings. Where does the iron come from?

Voice 3: Who are the de Youngs? I think they have some crazy stories!

Olivia Allen-Price: Vote for which question you think we should tackle next at baycurious.org. While you’re there, sign up for our monthly newsletter, ask your own question, or get lost listening through the Bay Curious archive.

Bay Curious is made in San Francisco at member-supported KQED.

Olivia Allen-Price: Our show is made by:
Katrina Schwartz: Katrina Schwartz

Christopher Beale: Christopher Beale

Katherine Monahan: Katherine Monahan

Olivia Allen-Price: and me, Olivia Allen Price. Additional support from:
Jen Chien: Jen Chien

Katie Springer: Katie Springer

Cesar Saldana: Cesar Saldana

Maha Sanad: Maha Sanad

Holly Kernan: Holly Kernan

Crowd: And the whole KQED family.

Sponsored

Olivia Allen-Price: I’m Olivia Allen-Price. We’ll be back next week.

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