Cliff House Project
A Program of Western Neighborhoods Project

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Flag Rock
Also known as:  Fishing Rock, Fisherman's Rock

Flag Rock    (WNPCHP)

Flag Rock, B 202, Watkins
John Martini (12/24/2021):  "Watkins seems to have taken his “new boudoir series” in the very early 1880s."


The San Francisco Call - Nov 27 1900
This story states that the bridge was built in 1864



Bridge Collapse, Apr 6 1884

Photo from San Francisco Public Library collection (SFPL AAB-9741)
Handwritten on photo: "Apr 6, 1884."


"Broken Bridge, Cliff House"
Cabinet photo by Rodolph & Co., Oakland, Cal.
(ebay image)


ebay image


Rock Causeway

John Martini (1/4/2021):  "The rock causeway was built during original construction of the Baths. I read in Sutro’s engineer's reports that its purpose was to protect the boulders forming the breakwater on the west side of the Baths. The causeway was designed to hold the sand in place between Fisherman’s Rock and Point Lobos/Parallel Point and keep the boulders from being undermined."


"Flagstaff Rock and Sutro Baths - Golden Gate"


postcard, dated April 18 1909 but photograph is older  (reverse)
ebay image



ebay image
copyright 1891



John Martini (10/28/2021):  "Probably around 1910 based on other photos of eroding causway."






"The original causeway stared to deteriorate in the late 1890s, and by the 1910s was a total ruin."


Sutro Baths west side pc (Mitchell), c. 1915



"It was rebuilt in the concrete form sometime around 1920."


Nov 20, 1920
(WNPCHP WNP136.17)



"Pacific Ocean & Sutro Bath House   Apr. 3, 1921"


Flag Rock causeway, c. 1922


Kodak 35mm Slide
John Martini (2/28/2023): "This photo dates to 1965 or very early 1966. No Sky Tram (we’ve narrowed its closing to 1965), but Sutro’s is still there."


Photographs by Ed Wolf, 1977

"For many years there was a stone pathway that led out to the big rock below the Cliff House. Once out there you could check the fishermen's buckets to see if they'd been lucky. It was slippery out there and occasionally a freak big wave would come and wash over the entire rock, wetting everyone. It was dicey to go out there . . . and edgy to walk out on the stone pathway as well."  - Ed Wolf (12/30/2022)


"Early 1977, I watched this very well dressed woman come down from where the cars parked up above at the Cliff House and walk onto the causeway that led out to the large rock below. She was looking forlornly into the water and I took this photo. Immediately afterwards, she jumped into the surf. The water wasn't very deep, but the waves were rough and pulling her under. Several of us ran into the water and got her out as her husband came running down from where their car was parked above. He dragged her up the hill, screaming at her the whole way. I've often wondered what happened to her."  - Ed Wolf (12/29/2022)





Newspaper Clippings

San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 7, 1884

The San Francisco Examiner - Apr 7 1884


Sacramento Daily Union - 8 April 1884


New York Times - Apr 20 1884


Daily Alta California - 27 April 1884

Daily Alta California - 11 July 1884


Daily Alta California - 19 Nov 1884


Daily Alta California - 21 October 1885


The below story describes an accident that happened less than
a month before the above accident...

San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 18, 1884