July 2014

View from the Past: July

Abigail Johnston

Rose Marie Sicoli-Ostler’s Letter to the Editor in last month’s View, bemoaning upcoming changes to the long-established 22-Fillmore route, inspired a little research. The line began operation in 1895, running streetcars from Bay and Fillmore to 16th and Bryant. Sometime prior to 1905, the route was extended from 16th and Bryant to 23rd and Third. The 22 was the first streeatcar line to resume service following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. In 1925 it was lengthened on the other end, from Bay Street to Marina Boulevard. After July 31, 1948, the 22 converted to the “trackless trolleys” we know today. The streetcar tracks were all gone by the early 1960s. This photograph—from the Tom Gray collection—of two Number 22 streetcars at 18th and Missouri streets has long been in the Potrero Hill Archives Project’s files. The “cow-catchers” Rose Marie remembers from her childhood are in evidence. Handwritten on the back is a date, 1948. We’ve assumed that the photo was taken that year to document the end of streetcars on the Hill. But now, several details—including the cars’ white fronts and their northern destination—lead us to believe it was taken in about 1940. 

—Abigail Johnston, Potrero Hill Archives Project

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