Mission Rock

From FoundSF

Historical Essay

by Chris Carlsson

Mission Rock appears in early maps as a rocky outcropping directly outside the mouth of Mission Bay.

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1859 U.S. Coastal Survey Map, showing Mission Rock well out in the Bay.

The rock was bought and sold a number of times and eventually settled into a long life as a grain terminal.

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Men working cargo on Mission Rock, 1897. Yerba Buena Island barely visible in distance.

Photo: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (A11.22,404n)

The rock's size was enlarged continuously until the mid-20th century. Finally, in 1946, the now obsolete grain terminal was set on fire after San Francisco decided to expand its Pier 50 to engulf the former island.

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Mission Rock January 7, 1946

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library (AAC-9764)

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Mission Rock Wharf Goes Up In Flames. January 9, 1946

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library (AAC-9767)

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Fire Soaked Creosote Burns at Mission Rock. January 9, 1946

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library (AAC-9766)

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Aerial View of Mission Rock After Burn. January 10, 1946

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library (AAC-9768)

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Aerial View of Mission Rock Terminal and San Francisco, 1950s.

Photo: California Historical Society (CHS2010.283)



This is excerpted from chapter fifteen of "Vanished Waters: A History of San Francisco's Mission Bay" published by the Mission Creek Conservancy, and republished here with their permission.

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