We loved the Gold Rush City tour! Our guide, Ted Evans, was outstanding. Who knew that San Francisco had such humble origins and chaotic, interesting early years? Ted amazed us with innumerable facts that we are passing on to many who claim to know all about San Francisco.
We also enjoyed Bawdy & Naughty with John Ferreira. The City Guides concept is very smart. Such a wonderful way for visitors to get to know your beautiful city. óMA Saunders
I attended the Fairmont Hotel tour and it was an outstanding tour given by Peter Deutsch. He is not only informative with considerable detail, but has many stories to share. It was also fun, with humorous stories, and I would do this tour again in a minute. óMary Ann Sams
My wife and I have lived in San Francisco for over 40 years and went on the walking tour of Chinatown with guide Dennis Gregg. We loved our tour and the insights Mr. Gregg had to offer. We can't believe we lived here all of these years and knew so little of the history of Chinatown.
óBrian and Helen Scott
I thought you might like to know of an old newspaper article that seems pertinent to your website stories about the two crookedest streets (Lombard Street, and Vermont Street - Is it the Crookedest?) by Susan Saperstein. It was published in the San Francisco Call, 6 December 1905: 1, ("New Street Transportation Ideas Are Suggested to City's Merchants") and found on the California Digital Newspaper Collection website: cdnc:ucr.edu/cdnc.
This article indicates that in 1905 the Merchants Association hired a civil engineer named William Barclay Parsons to advise them how to improve San Francisco transportation. Parsons advocated the use of tunneling and terracing. The article includes sketches from his report showing how the terracing would look on California Street and on the slopes of Nob Hill. The California Street drawing is very similar to what was actually done on Lombard in 1922 and Vermont in 1928.
It seems likely that when Lombard Street resident Carl Henry "initially proposed the idea of a curved street" he may have been recalling Parsons' report, or possibly city engineer Clyde Healy found a copy of the report in some dusty file and adopted his plan for terracing.
Marlea Graham, Editrix emerita
California Garden & Landscape History Society, cglhs.org