Robert's at the beach Blackie the Race horse swims Golden Gate : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I have collected a post card and a matchbook which mentions Blackie the race horse (the only one to swim the Golden gate), led by Richie Robert's of Robert's at the Beach. I have tried to look up information on Blackie without any luck. Can anyone tell me about Blackie or Robert's at the Beach? Thanks

-- Jennifer Dillon (, November 18, 2002


Roberts at the Beach was a carnival type beach attraction near the corner of Sloat Blvd and Great Highway. It hit its stride in the 1940s. The current Roberts at the Beach Motel is the last vistage of this once famous landmark.

Good luck in your research.

-- Kurt Iversen (, November 19, 2002.

-- Sean M. Hall (, November 19, 2002.

Founded in 1897 as the "Sea Breeze Inn" at Great Highway and Rivera by Shorty Roberts father(?), it later became "Roberts at the Beach", a popular restaurant, at the same site, which is several blocks from the present Roberts at the Beach on Sloat Blvd. By the 1960s it had become "Roberts Caterers" Photographs can be viewed on the San Francisco Public Library Historical Photo web site, Image Nos: AAD- 2993, AAC-0073, AAC-0074, AAC0075, AAC-0076.

Blackie's swim is chronicled in various places. One is the San Francisco Chronicle October 2, 1938 (microfilms available in local libraries). The horse's swim was memorialized on dinner plates used at the restaurant. A web site that sells historic restaurant table ware has the plate with an excellent photo that can be downloaded. It shows Blackie swimming the Golden Gate, and the restaurant, appearing to be the Sea Breeze.

-- Charles Grant (, November 19, 2002.

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. You guys Rock! Jen

-- Jennifer Dillon (, November 19, 2002.

I see my brother, Charles Grant, beat me to a response on this question. He is absolutely correct in his answer. Take it to the bank.

The last time I was in that building, it was around 1960, they were renting it out for private parties and I recall very plainly seeing a painting of "Blackie" swimming the Golden Gate.

Roberts at the Beach was a major landmark starting back late in the 19th Century and I remember seeing all through my youth. Of course I didn't see it anywhere near the 19th Century.


-- Frank Grant (, November 20, 2002.

I lived on 45th avenue ,in San Francisco, in the Sunset District until 1965 then 27th avenue,in the Richmond District and back to 41st avenue, until 1970. As I remember, there was a large glass window display, on the residential side of The Great Highway, for Roberts at the Beach. In it were the taxidermied black horse, and a buggy, and I believe 1 or 2 dressed mannequins. I have a precious souvenier, that is the "picture" matchbook,of Roberts at the Beach, with the horse painted inside The glass display announced the "horse that swam the Golden Gate", and was an impressive sight. Since I skated at the ice rink on 48th avenue as a kid, played at the beach, zoo, park and Playland, and roller skated at Sutro's and Skateland, I had many opportunities to visit this place as well. I am very interested in photographs anyone might have of Skateland roller rink from 1962 until it was closed. I also am looking for any photos of the "Goody Coffee Shop" that was on Balboa, I think, a couple of blocks from George Washington High school, from 1962 to 1965. Also, any photographs of Playland's "Pie Shop", "Bull Pup", salt water taffy vendor, and the like. What a great time and place to grow up! When my mother was growing up in San Francisco, her father was the Health Inspector for the City of San Francisco. I imagine those years to be including 1925, and until he became a State Health Inspector, ending in the 40's. If anyone has any input on that, I would also appreciate contact. My address is P.O.Box 1784, Lucerne, California, 95458. Thanks

-- margie moses (, July 17, 2003.

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