Golden Gate Life Saver, Carvel Torlakson

05/12/19 - posted by James Torlakson - jamestorlakson<at>

Carvel Torlakson was: A former lifesaver name Torleksen purchased one of the 1870s buildings from the government for $75, moved it to a vacant lot at the corner of 47th Avenue and Cabrillo Street, plopped it on a new foundation, and moved in. I submitted a correction on ;the spelling of his name.
Here is my own accounting of Carvel Torlakson, an illustrious San Franciscan:

Carvel Torlakson’s Home
1904 photograph of the Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park built in 1903, Grandpa’s House is on the very left edge. What faces west of his house in this photo was turned north when he had it relocated to 47th Ave at Cabrillo.
Carvel Thorlaksson, the Legend
Carvel Thorlaksson was a handsome, wiry, adventurous, young Icelander. Brought up in a family of modest means, he occasionally poached game on the estates of the wealthy. On one such occasion, he was observed from a far distance by a beautiful redheaded young woman. She gave authorities a rough description of the perpetrator.
The chase was on. Carvel fled Iceland with the law on his heels. Neither the red-haired maiden nor
Carvel knew that it was she that reported her lover, the vaguely described poacher.
When Carvel went through immigration at Ellis Island, his name was misspelled from
Thorlaksson to Torlakson. As he was running from the law, Carvel (my grandfather) welcomed the misspelling.
More than half a century later, Carvel Torlakson passed away. When my father was clearing out his father’s home, he found an envelope shoved back deeply in a desk drawer. In the envelope was a lock of lovely red hair.

Carvel Torlakson, Gold Miner

Carvel arrived in San Francisco in (1896 -1899?) just in time to head north for the Yukon Gold Rush.

Carvel and his mining partner has found and stored enough gold to make them both wealthy. They decided they had enough and should head back to the United States with their fortune
Carvel went to (Dawson) to pick up supplies for their journey back and his partner stayed at their mine to guard their fortune.
When Carvel returned with the supplies, he found his partner dead—murdered and their gold gone.

A gold pocket watch and gold nugget chain (gold pan and pick motif) remain in Tom’s side of the Torlakson Family

When Carvel returned to San Francisco, he joined the Golden Gate Life Savers.

I have many photos of his famed SF house, Carvel and his family I could make available.

My Pacifica, CA phone is 650 359-6106

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