Irish Hill: The San Francisco Neighborhood That Disappeared

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The San Francisco History Center and the Art, Music and Recreation Center invite you to discover and learn more about one of San Francisco's "lost" neighborhoods -- Irish Hill. San Francisco is famous for its hills, most well-documented in books and photos. But one hill's history, a hill that barely exists today but for a lonely bluff in today's Dogpatch neighborhood, remains both unknown and untold: Irish Hill.

This dynamic, working-class neighborhood, situated between 20th and 22nd Streets, Illinois Street and San Francisco bay was populated between 1857 and 1918, mostly by single men. Many of them were first-generation Irish immigrants, who earned their living in the shipbuilding and other heavy industries at Potrero Point, today's Pier 70. At its peak, 1,100 people lived there, in boarding houses, hotels and cottages. They worked hard, and played even harder, in as many as 35 saloons in its ten-square block perimeter.

But how does one research a neighborhood whose residents, buildings, streets (even its land) have been gone for a century, a ghost town with virtually no physical evidence of its very existence.

Through rarely-seen photos, newspaper articles, and artifacts, independent researcher Steven Fidel Herraiz tells the fascinating story of the Potrero's neighborhood that, literally, disappeared.

Related exhibition: Potrero 1980s, Jo Babcock Photography

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Learn more about History and Genealogy through the wealth of resources available at the Library.

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