Category Archives: History

Viva La Contra-Revolución! La Lengua Dissidents Dislike Funny Name, Seek to Rejoin Dominion of Bernalwood

Fellow Citizens of Bernalwood, this is a day we’ve long awaited. We have endured years of rebellious bluster and seditious propaganda seeking to undermine the integrity of the Bernal Heights motherland. Yet we now have indications that the La Lengua separatist … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, History, Politics | 43 Comments

Bernal Heights Once Had Its Very Own Doggie Diner, and It Looked Fabulous

Doggie Diner was a chain of fast food restaurants scattered around the Bay Area. The franchise enjoyed its heyday during a mid-1960s expansion, during which it installed rotating doggie-head mascots above each of its 30 or so restaurants. The doggie-heads … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Drink, History | 25 Comments

Now Showing: The Lost History of the Former Cortland Theater

Did you know there once was a movie theater on Cortland Avenue? The Cortland Theater (which became the Capri, after 1957) operated for more than 50 years (!!!) at 802 Cortland, in the building that’s now a church. In this … Continue reading

Posted in Cortland, History, Media | 27 Comments

A Brief History of How Cesar Chavez/Army Street Became So Damn Awful in the First Place

The photo above (Thanks Mark!) shows a view of Cesar Chavez Boulevard looking west from Folsom in 2008, a few years before the current/ongoing sewer and streetscape improvement project got underway. As you can see, it is very unlovely. In … Continue reading

Posted in Design, History, Infrastructure, Unbuilt Bernal Heights | 60 Comments

UPDATED: Vintage Photo Was Very Probably Taken from Bernal Heights

Sarah from the Bernal Heights History Project recently posted this photo, soliciting input to help pinpoint the location where the picture was taken. Obviously, it’s a view looking east, so that pretty much narrows it down to either Potrero Hill … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, History | 19 Comments

There’s a Bernal Buried in the Mission Dolores Cemetery

Neighbor Laurie made a historic discovery last weekend at Mission Dolores: Sketching at Mission Dolores today, I was startled to see the headstone (and footstone, if there is such a word) for one of the original Bernal family that gave … Continue reading

Posted in History | 4 Comments

In 1889, Bernal Heights Was a Confusing Mess of California Avenues

Last week, map maven Eric Fischer zapped a tweet to La Lengua’s rebel spokesblogger Burrito Justice, sending him a link to an odd 1889 map of Bernal Heights: @burritojustice Have you seen this 1889 Bernal Heights map before, by the way? … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, History, Unbuilt Bernal Heights | 15 Comments

What Year Was the Party to Celebrate Bernal Hill Becoming a Park?

This photo has been floating around the Interwebs for a few weeks; it’s a poster/handbill for an event to commemorate the dedication of Bernal Hill as a proper park — in contrast to the mining quarry/ad hoc garbage dump/motocross track … Continue reading

Posted in Bernal Hill, History | 12 Comments

Bernal Heights Writer Publishes the Definitive Short History of the High-Five

You may recall that earlier this week Bernalwood encouraged one and all to give Neighbor Markus a high-five for all the hard work he’s done recently to reinvigorate the Flickr online photo service. Now we would also like to encourage … Continue reading

Posted in Books, History | 7 Comments

Remembering the Great Bernal Heights Gold Rush of 1876

One of the more charming and ridiculous episodes in Bernal Heights history concerns the Great Bernal Heights Gold Rush of 1876. Seriously! There really was a mini-gold boom on Bernal Hill in the late 19th century, and while it lasted barely … Continue reading

Posted in Bernal Hill, History | 4 Comments

Time Travel: The View Northwest from Bernal Hill, circa 1907

Well, this is convenient. Last week, the Bernalwood Office of Signals Intelligence detected a tweet from @sfhistorian which contained a rather awesome photograph taken from Bernal Hill in the early 1900s, circa 1907. The photo shows the view looking over … Continue reading

Posted in History | 8 Comments

Ghost of Lyceum Theater Haunts Safeway Parking Lot

Over on the Facebook, the Bernal Heights History Project shares this terrific photo of the former Lyceum Theater, which stood on Mission Street at the intersection with Virginia, at the north entrance to our Taoist Safeway. The photo above was … Continue reading

Posted in History | 10 Comments

Do You Remember The Stores In This Vintage “Cortland Avenue Shopping Guide?”

Miss Vicky from the Bernal History Project found this vintage Cortland Avenue Shopping Guide, and she needs some help to interpret it: We found this Cortland shopping guide in the SFPL archives. Do you remember any of these stores? Can … Continue reading

Posted in Cortland, History | 25 Comments