Ponds and Streams in the Mission


I guess I’ve always known there were ponds and rivers and junk in the Mission back before I was born, but this week it came to my attention that maybe at least one of these rivers was lined with abattoirs and ran red with blood.

I asked Telstar Logistics‘  Todd Lappin if he could corroborate this, but the best he could do were these two maps. Commendable cartography both, but they corroborate no carnage. Anyone else have any hot leads?


Explore posts in the same categories: History

17 Comments on “Ponds and Streams in the Mission”

  1. Kasey Says:

    The slaugherhouses were all on Islais Creek in an old neighborhood called Butchertown

  2. zinzin Says:

    it does show a river on 18th. i am trying to remember where i got that factoid.

    i dont usually make shit up about abattoirs.

  3. olu Says:

    apparently you can see water in the basement of Mission High.

  4. eddo Says:

    another tip on mission history – if you go to homestead, the bartenders there have all the records of all the owners of the bar since 1902, and have a crazy amount of maps and stuff of the area and old articles about the bar and its owners. in fact, they have a copy of both maps that you showed above, in addition to a whole slew of other historic goodies.

  5. K Says:

    You can also see the stream in the SF Armory, particularly when it rains heavy.

  6. LindyLula Says:

    Yep. Kasey has it right. Butchertown.

  7. LindyLula Says:

    Oh and have a look at my friend Ledia’s project. She traced Mission Lake in chalk.


  8. […] from Mission Mission, these maps on ponds and streams in the Mission are really, really […]

  9. sangroncito Says:

    I hope I’m not standing on one on those once upon a time streams and ponds during a major earthquake. I suspect I’d be liquified.

  10. […] History as Revealed By Creeks, Streams, Lakes and Lagoons Allan over at Mission Mission and Telstar Logistics are investigating hidden ponds and creeks of the Mission. Thankfully David […]

  11. johnny0 Says:

    A book on Butchertown via Sparkletack. $50-$200 on Amazon, or free to read in the SF public library…

    You can’t see Butchertown on the 1859 map, but on the 1869 map there are a bunch of buildings where Bayshore is now, between Jerrold and Oakdale, right above Islais Creek…

  12. Concerned Says:

    Just last week, as they were digging the foundation at 18th and Valencia across from Luna Park, they hit ground water at about 7 feet. You could see the water table exposed, it was a little pond for a day or two, probably for the first time in decades.

  13. johnny0 Says:

    hey zinzin, plug1 has more on Islais Creek, the abattoirs and Butchertown.

  14. […] Justice muestra la inteligencia de las ciudades que se construyen en el agua (¿sabe de algún barrio así?) « De Paseo en Kayak en el Arroyo […]

  15. […] Justice displays the intelligence of cities built on water (know any neighborhoods like that?) Filed Under: Today's Mission This entry was written by Mark Rabine, posted on at 8:03 am, […]

  16. Allen,

    I’m Christopher Richard, coauthor and publisher of Creek & Watershed Map of San Francisco. I’m also curator of aquatic biology at Oakland Museum of California. Several of my maps have shown up in blog discussions of the Mission District, including Burrito Justice.

    It is time to reprint the map and I have had second thoughts about the original hydrology of the Mission District. I have compiled a mountain of research, including over 100 maps of the Mission District pre 1870. I have retranslated the journals of Anza, Font, and Palou about the founding of the mission.

    To date, I have had very productive reviews of my research by mission locals, Joel Pomerantz and Bob Isaacson. I would very much enjoy the opportunity to go over my materials with you if you would be interested in doing so.

    If you, or anyone else knowledgeable on the topic would be so kind, I would enjoy a get-together, either at the museum or in San Francisco.

    Please forgive me; I am about to spam you with requests in all the indirect portals into your web world, as none of them seem like reliably read email accounts.

    Please contact me via the link on this page: http://museumca.org/creeks/contact.html


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