1873 Auction of the Salt Marsh & Tide Lands of North Beach

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

232. [MAP]. ALLARDT, G[eorge] F[rederick] (Chief Engineer). [Above top border] Salt Marsh and Tide Lands at North Beach San Francisco. [title & auction information below map proper] Sale Map No. 12 Salt Marsh and Tide Lands Situate in the City and County of San Francisco. State of California. To be sold at public Auction by order of the Board of Tide Land Commissioners under and by virtue of the Act entitled an act to survey and dispose of certain salt marsh and tide lands belonging to the State of California approved March 30, 1868, and the Act entitled “an Act Supplementary to, and amendatory of an Act entitled an Act to survey and dispose of certain salt marsh and tide lands belonging to the State of California, approved March thirtieth, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight,” approved April 1st. 1870. at the Sales Rooms of Greenebaum & Co., Auctioneers Nos. 115 & 117 Bush Street, San Francisco. Sale to commence...March 4th, 1873. [lower left] R.P. Johnson, Edgar Briggs, C.M. Stratton, Board of Tide Land Commissioners. J.M. Currier Secretary. San Francisco, 1873. Lithograph map mounted on contemporary cartographic linen, showing the North Beach area between the boundary of the Presidio and Webster Street-historic Lobos Square and one block north of Lewis Street (“Water Line Front”) and Lombard Street, title within map: “North San Francisco Homestead & Rail Associat[ion]”; border to border: 47 x 36.5 cm; overall sheet size: 56 x 46.5 cm. Scattered voids in the margins and within the image, including several costing part of the titles. A well-used, dilapidated copy of a rare map. Some moderate staining, mostly marginal. Simple black wooden frame, under glass.

     Rumsey (3971) records a two-map sheet of the same date for the same sale, the right side of which is this map, and the left side of which is an area map of Mission Creek and Mission Bay. The present map was separately issued, with its own border. Rumsey (3970) is an 1869 area map of San Francisco with focus on the Salt Marsh and Tide Lands, documenting the earlier phase of the shoring up and sale of salt marsh and tide lands. The present map shows the area of North Beach bounded by the Bay, Webster, and Lombard Streets, and the Presidio. To the left of Webster Street is historic Lobos Square, the relief tent city after the 1906 earthquake. Presented are block and lot numbers, drainage, etc.

     Originally, San Francisco’s northeast shoreline extended only to Taylor and Francisco streets. What is now North Beach actually was a beach, which was built up with landfill in the late nineteenth century. Docks, warehouses, wharves were then built on the newly formed shoreline. As early as 1858 the state of California allowed purchase of lands below ordinary high-water mark which could be reclaimed and allow for growth of the city. The government later claimed that such sales did not include salt marshes and tidelands, which led to the acts described in the title and subsequent sales of salt marshes and tidelands as documented by this map. Such wetlands are crucial to our ecosystem. The Bay Area once contained more than three hundred miles of salt marshes, but it has been estimated that 80% has been lost to development. In recent years, however, some marshes have been restored. On the other hand, in 2007, the American Planning Association named North Beach as one of the “Great Neighborhoods in America.”


Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: