Welcome to San Francisco - a Block by Block History

This is an experimental site to record, study and experience the history of the great city of San Francisco - piece by piece. We start the process with the 1900 Sanborn Insurance maps and other Block Books to lay a foundation for a block by block historical record. Then we slowly begin to incorporate information from city directories, census records, newspaper articles, vital records, photographs and other historical documents to bring the history of each plot of land to life. We will no longer just see old buildings. Now we will know and understand the people that once lived and/or worked in them and the events that took place in them - sometimes wonderful, sometimes tragic. Please join us and be a part of this exciting new project.

I am beginning with Block 918, as listed in the 1900 Sanborn Insurance Map. I have decided to begin with this block because it is located in Pacific Heights in an area of the city that was untouched by the fires that consumed most everything else in the days after the earthquake of April 18, 1906. Additionally, the home at 2016 Vallejo Street (still standing but renumbered) was built by my 3rd great-grandfather, Carl Paul Lenhard Leichter, in 1890. His daughter, Ella Leichter, was married in the home to Theodore Schucking, nephew and heir of Adolf Sutro, Mayor of San Francisco. It was also there that Carl was living when he walked out the door one day in 1899, walked to the Presidio Wharf and jumped to his death in the San Francisco Bay. So, for me, the home has an important role in my families history. What block is important to you?

- Dale Sheldon ( moc.liamg|atanostilm#moc.liamg|atanostilm )

Districts and Blocks

Note: The city of San Francisco is divided into 9 primary districts and each district, in turn, is divided into several neighborhoods. They are as follows -

  • District 1 - Northwest
    • Golden Gate Park
    • Jordan Park
    • Laurel Heights
    • Lake Street
    • Lone Mountain
    • Outer Richmond
    • Sacramento Street
    • Sea Cliff
  • District 2 - Central West
    • Central Sunset
    • Inner Sunset
    • Irving Street
    • Outer Sunset
    • Parkside
  • District 3 - Southwest
    • Ingleside Heights
    • Lake Shore
    • Lakeside
    • Merced Heights
    • Oceanview
    • Stonestown
  • District 4 - Twin Peaks West
    • Diamond Heights
    • Forest Hill
    • Ingleside Terrace
    • St. Francis Wood
    • Twin Peaks West
    • West Portal
  • District 5 - Central
    • Buena Vista Park
    • Castro
    • Cole Valley
    • Corona Heights
    • Dolores Park
    • Glen Park
    • Haight Ashbury
    • Noe Valley
    • Twin Peaks
  • District 6 - Central North
    • Alamo Square
    • Fillmore
    • Hayes Valley
    • Japantown
    • Lower Pacific Heights
    • Western Addition
  • District 7 - North
  • District 8 - Northeast
    • Chinatown
    • Financial District
    • Nob Hill
    • North Beach
    • North Waterfront
    • Russian Hill
    • Telegraph Hill
    • Union Square
    • Van Ness/Civic Center
  • District 9 - Central East
    • Bernal Heights
    • Dog Patch
    • Inner Mission
    • Mission Bay
    • Potrero Hill
    • South Beach
    • South of Market (SOMA)
  • District 10 - Southeast

List of Blocks

Block # North Boundary South Boundary East Boundary West Boundary Dist. Neighborhood Notes
296 Jackson Washington Larkin Polk 8 Nob Hill
297 Washington Clay Larkin Polk 8 Nob Hill
317 Jackson Washington Polk Van Ness 8 Nob Hill
318 Washington Clay Polk Van Ness 8 Nob Hill
918 Green Vallejo Laguna Buchanan 7 Pacific Heights
919 Vallejo Broadway Laguna Buchanan 7 Pacific Heights