06/25/05 - posted by Jana Wright
We moved to Daly City's St. Francis Heights in July of 1963 from the Richmond District when I was nearly 9. One of the clearest memories I have of the area was seeing the cows on the hillside. I could see them every morning from our front window. We lived at 480 El Dorado Drive.(El Dorado at Southgate) I thought it was so cool to live in an area that was so close to a dairy farm--When we lived in The Richmond, our milk was delivered by our Milkman on a milk truck; I assumed this is where our milk came from.

We spent the rest of the summer exploring the hills around us--we found the scary Chinese Cemetery, pig bones in the area where Mary's Help Hospital (Now Seton) was being built and all those grassy knolls we could slide down on cardboard! Southgate ended at Cerro Drive then, near the nursing homes. It was a summer of picking blackberry, finding tree frogs, losing my shoes in sticky mud and hip-high grasses made into Forts.

I think it was the later that year that the freeway consruction began in earnest. I remember noticing the cows had disappeared. Then we saw the heavy machinery advancing up the hillside. The dump trucks, the bulldozers and graders, going back and forward on the hillside. But what I remember very clearly was hearing the breaking of glass when they demolished the Dairy. Even at the tender age of 9, I knew an era has ending.

During the time the Highway 1 extention was being built, I remember walking down into the construction site beyond where Southgate ended with my sister and seeing this huge pit. We sat there, just in awe, not really understanding what we were seeing. In my mind's eye, I decided it was a enormous swimming pool! Little did I know it was the pit that would cover the parking area and buildings of Serramonte Shopping Center. We were viewing this 'swimming pool' from the embankment above Denny's Resturant. Never mind that the weather was not conducive to swimming outside in Daly City; I had convinced myself it was a big swimming pool.

Boy, was I surprised it turned into the shopping center!

[ First Message ] [ Next Message ] [ Previous Message ] [ Last Message ]
[ Back to message list ]
The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.