Main Profile

At A Glance

Panoramic view of the Golden Gate

SUMMARY This film, photographed from the front of a moving steam engine, shows the scenic portion of the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad route along the bluffs and cliffs of Lands End (at the northwest corner of San Francisco) overlooking the Golden Gate and the Marin headlands. The line gave access to the famed Cliff House and Sutro Baths, previously accessed by the Point Lobos toll road through the sand dunes and by a nearby inland railroad. The Ferries and Cliff House line, the youngest and last of San Francisco's steam railroads (five in all) was built between 1886 and 1888 under the direction of owners W.H. Martin, John Ballard, W.J. Adams, Thomas Magee, and H.H. Lynch. The line was absorbed into the United Railroads of San Francisco in 1894 (owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad) and was served by six light and two heavy Baldwin steam engines, the latter used on Sundays. The rails were of English steel. Hurt by competition from a rival - and cheaper - inland line owned by former Mayor Adolph Sutro (owner of the Cliff House and Sutro Baths and enemy of the Southern Pacific Railroad), the line ceased operation shortly before the 1906 earthquake. The locomotives were replaced with electric streetcars of the Sutter and California Street Railroad's #1 line. The streetcars ceased operation after the trackbed was eroded by landslides in 1925. Today the trackbed, partly destroyed by landslides, is a trail in the Lands End unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Monterey cypress trees and other plants were subsequently introduced and have greatly altered the original coastal shrub landscape. The film shows the first 1.5 miles of the 5.25 mile eastbound return trip from the Cliff House and Sutro Baths to the train terminal at California Street and Central Avenue (now Presidio Avenue). From the terminal, passengers could continue by cable car to downtown or to various outlying neighborhoods. The portion of the route not shown was along California Street, through the thinly-developed sand dunes of the Richmond district. The scenic portion was built at an elevation averaging 150 feet, affording superb views of the Golden Gate, the entrance strait to San Francisco Bay. OTHER TITLES Panorama of the Golden Gate CREATED/PUBLISHED United States : Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1902. NOTES Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 11Jan1902; H13041. Location: Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County, California. SUBJECTS Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railroad Co. Narrow gauge railroads--California--Marin County. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Calif.) Tamalpais, Mount (Calif.) Mountains--California. Marin County (Calif.) San Francisco Bay (Calif.) Presidio of San Francisco (Calif.) Beaches--California--San Francisco. Cemeteries--California--San Francisco. Actuality--Short. RELATED NAMES Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) DIGITAL ID lcmp003 m3a34536
Length: 02:51


Questions about Panoramic view of the Golden Gate

Want more info about Panoramic view of the Golden Gate? Get free advice from education experts and Noodle community members.

  • Answer