San Francisco Earthquake and Fire postcard

April 18th, 1906

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire postcard

This postcard was sent from Oakland, California on May 10, 1906, to Alfin Backlund at 209 West 11th Street, in Kansas City, MissouriHe was working for the Kansas City Power and Light Company at the time.   Downtown Kansas City has obviously changed (circa 2011), probably as much or more than downtown San Francisco as seen in the following picture.

Actually the information on the postcard is wrong.  In this picture one is looking Down California Avenue (not “up”).  To the left of the picture one can see “Old Saint Mary’s” Cathedral / Church which is located at California and Grant Street, the “entrance” to Chinatown.  At the bottom of the hill is Market Street.

Faintly visible is the round clock, underneath the caption reads (and read) “Observe the time, and fly from evil”, good advice then as it still is now.  Across the street is (now) a wonderful small park, Saint Mary’s Square, that has a remarkable statue by Benjamin Buffano (Beniamino Benvenuto Bufano 1889-1970) of Sun Yat Sen, founder of modern China.

Photograph of Benjamin Bufano statue of Sun Yat Sen in Saint Mary’s Square in San Francisco (California) by Fred W. Clayton

This photograph by Fred W. Clayton of Sun Yat Sen was taken in March of 1959 when he was temporarily in San Francisco, California in the middle of his tour in Afghanistan.  He had been called to Washington D.C. for consultations, during which time his mother died.  He was able to attend the funeral service in Palo Alto (California), returned briefly to Carson City (Nevada), and then returned to Afghanistan (flying east) while less than two weeks later the rest of his family flew to Afghanistan flying west (leaving April 1st); a trip that included a stop in Hong Kong (China).

The original photograph is a 35 mm slide.  This picture is a reproduction of a color print made from the slide circa 1980.

Photograph Copyright by Donald Clayton – All rights reserved.

[“San Francisco Earthquake and Fire” Post written on May 6, 2011 @ 02:44  ZLT / GMT / Zulu / UTC]

SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE

April 18th, 1906

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1906

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April
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1906.04.18 / Wednesday

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[2] 37:122 – North America – United States of America – California – San Francisco County –
San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE

On April 18, 1906, an earthquake registering approximately 7.9 on the Richter Scale rocks northern California.  The city of San Francisco sustains the greatest damage in the much wider area that is impacted.  The earthquake is followed by a fire, and the spreading fire causes the military to destroy countless buildings.  In total it is one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. The number of deaths exceeds 3,000.  It is the greatest loss of life consequent to a natural disaster in California history.

[USA Brigadier General] Frederick Funston, [Commander] of the Presidio of San Francisco, and a resident of San Francisco, tries to bring the fire under control by using black powder, dynamite, and artillery shelling in an effort to create firebreaks.  Often the explosions themselves help spread the fire.  The resulting damage is enormous.

One landmark building, among many lost to the fire, is San Francisco’s Palace Hotel, also known as the Bonanza Inn.

The Palace Hotel is later rebuilt and exists in San Francisco today.

 

Source #1, Palace Hotel, Google Maps link showing the Palace Hotel, Bonanza Inn (book) 1939.