What was Polk St. like at the turn of the century?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I need information on how San Francisco was socially, economically, and culturally at the turn of the century, Polk Street in particular.

-- Jericho W. Gerson (jwgmoon80@aol.com), May 18, 1999


Read the novel "McTeague" by Frank Norris. The main character lives on Polk Street just before the turn of the century. Norris was a naturalistic writer and he was a close observer of detail.

-- Joe Thompson (cable_car_guy@hotmail.com), May 19, 1999.

Enjoying the history of my home town, I believe the characteristic smell of Polk St. was that of horse dung, the motion was that of flies and the main ingredient was mud. I would imagine towards McAllister Street there would be a natural lagoon or swamp running off of the hillside. And on the Bay Street side (as much of that is now land fill)there was an ooze into the Bay.

-- Len (len@sonic.net), May 24, 1999.

My great grandmother had a house on Polk..pre fire..in fact they stopped dynamiting a block before her house...She was right across from the movie theatre...a couple of doors down from the post office...that I think was there from a way long time ago...my grandmother and mother grew up there. Since my great=grandfather was a cop...on the Chinatown detail...and he lived there I always got the feel that it was a lower middle -class to middle class neighborhood...at that time...he joined the Department in 1879....and built that house...my grand[arents knew everyone in the neighborhood .

-- Kathy Gori (webdog@webtv.net), November 13, 2000.

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