A rustic, forgotten lane in the heart of San Francisco (1896)

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A rustic lane in the heart of town – Lined by pepper trees

Downtown cottages and front yards that seem to belong to an earlier period

How many, even old residents of San Francisco, would believe that there was a country town street in the heart of the City?

It would be a surprise to most of them, and a still greater surprise when they were told that it was within 500 feet of the Palace Hotel.

The accompanying picture is a faithful drawing from a photograph of Anthony street, which runs north from Mission, and is the first street east of Second.

It is one of the oldest streets in San Francisco, and the present buildings were once considered the finest houses in the City. The one nearest Mission was put up for a boarding house, but it was so far out of town then that it was hard to get people to live there.

As the City grew beyond them they increased in value, and as the same lady who started in still kept them, she had all the boarders she wanted and at the best prices.

country street in heart of SF 1896

But those days have passed away and the lady who started the boarding-house has been dead many years. Still, the houses have been changed very little except to grow moldy and dilapidated. The pepper trees that were planted in the front yards are still there, and have grown to giants of their kind.

To look down this old street from Mission, it is hard to believe that it is a part of San Francisco in the year 1896.

The houses themselves are old-fashioned enough, but the front yards surely belong to another age. The dilapidated picket fences look as if they belonged to some of the old towns that the miners left years ago and have been trying to keep in existence ever since.

Inside the yards are some old plank walks to keep people’s feet dry in rainy weather. The old green shutters are still there, though having a hard time of it to hang in place.

Few people ever walk through this street, although it is well paved. In fact, that is the only thing about it that looks like a modern street. One end of it opens on Mission street and the other is closed by a stable.

One strange thing about this street is that all of the houses are still used for the same purposes as when they were first put up. One is used for a residence, and all of the others are used for boarding houses.

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