Category Archives: “lost” golden gate park

features that have disappeared from the park

Metson Lake

Metson Lake, south-east of the Polo Field, is an out-of-the-way gem in Golden Gate Park.  Built in 1908 and intended as a reservoir to hold irrigation water for the park,   it opened in conjunction with the Murphy Windmill, a … Continue reading

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victory gardens in golden gate park

Urban farming and community gardening have been time-tested in San Francisco.  Few people today realize that Golden Gate Park was a productive urban farm during World War II. ‘Victory Gardens, also called “war gardens” or “food gardens for defense”, were … Continue reading


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searching for spanish monastery stones in golden gate park

Walking in Golden Gate Park you may notice some ornately carved stones, segments of fluted pillars, arches, sculptural reliefs worn smooth by time.  These are remnants of  a medieval Spanish monastery, now scattered throughout the park and put to various … Continue reading

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the old beach chalet in golden gate park

The current Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park dates to 1925.  It’s a building in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and one of the landmark historic structures in the park.  Few people know that there was another Beach Chalet, predating … Continue reading

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urban legend: the ghost in the park

Stories about ghosts seem to haunt public parks.  In Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is said to wander through the ancient forest, exiled from heaven and eternally weeping for her drowned children and her lover. In Central … Continue reading

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horse stable to open in central park

The following excerpt is from a recent article in the New York Times: ‘Central Park is laced with bridle paths and dotted with pastures, and its plants were once fertilized with manure. But though carriage horses trot through it, police … Continue reading

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chicken point: a long-forgotten story involving chickens and coyotes

In The Making of Golden Gate Park:  The Early Years, 1865 – 1906, Raymond Clary recounted some fascinating anecdotes from the early history of Golden Gate Park.  Many of them have long been forgotten.  One story that caught my eye … Continue reading

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perils of the park: man beaten in early morning attack

Lately there have been reports of some violent incidents in Golden Gate Park, fueling official discussions about possibly restricting use of the park at night.  This echoes for me a long journalistic tradition, commencing in the nineteenth century, focusing on … Continue reading

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hunting wild animals in golden gate park in 1905

A full page, illustrated article in the Sunday, August 27, 1905 edition of the San Francisco Call celebrated the many animals housed in the park at that time.  The “head keeper,” William Leland was in charge, and his duties including birthing … Continue reading

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a grizzly story: bear pit long gone!

This bear pit was formerly located at the west end of what is now the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park.  It’s one of the more colorful “lost” sites in the park;  one that lives on in civic … Continue reading

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