April 18, 2008

They Always Called It "The Fire"

My grandparents all had stories of the 1906 earthquake, how my grandmother was saved by her sister from being crushed by a falling cabinet, how her father's team of horses kept busy for weeks hauling people's stuff out Mission Street all the way to Colma, all of them, father's and mother's people, living in the Mission District and thus spared the utter obliteration of the fire that consumed downtown, but caught up in the ancillary destruction of broken buildings and streets and lives that visited everyone from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz in the wake of the enormous temblor that struck that day 102 years ago.

Here are some panoramas the city from that time.

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