Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

7/19/2014

The Golden Fire Hydrant

Filed under: — stan @ 11:47 am

Being in the earthquake business, I wanted to do a little bit of sightseeing on Saturday morning before we had to head for home. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was the one that started everything in motion that led to the modern-day US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program, so it was an event of great significance to all of us.

There are a lot of stories from that earthquake, but the story of the Golden Fire Hydrant was one I always liked. The city was in flames, the water mains were all broken, but somehow one hydrant had water and saved part of the city. And every April 18th, they have a little street party and give it a fresh coat of gold paint. So I had to go see it.

It was easy to get to. I just got on the outbound J-Church light rail line and got off at the 20th Street stop. The fire hydrant was right across the street.

I took a few pictures, and I also looked around the park a little bit. While I was waiting for the train back, another guy at the station told me the story of the park. Apparently, it had been a Jewish cemetery originally, but when San Francisco decided to move all its cemeteries to Colma, the community there agreed to the move on the condition that nothing be built on the site of their former cemetery. So the neighborhood got a nice little park out of the deal.

And that was the last real bit of sightseeing for our trip. It was a fun week.

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