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Outside Lands Podcast Episode 482: San Francisco National Cemetery

Nicole and Arnold explore the long history of San Francisco National Cemetery. Located in the Presidio, it is one of only two final resting places still active on the west side.
by Nicole Meldahl - Nov 19, 2022

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 482: San Francisco National Cemetery Outside Lands Podcast Episode 482: San Francisco National Cemetery

Podcast Transcription

482 – San Francisco National Cemetery
Nicole: [00:00:00] It's Outside Lands San Francisco, Podcast of the Western Neighborhoods Project. I'm Nicole Meldahl.
Arnold: And I'm Arnold Woods.
Nicole: Hey Arnold.
Arnold: Hello Nicole.
Nicole: How's it going?
Arnold: It is going just fine this week.
Nicole: We're, we're a couple weeks past the election. I don't think the world has ended, which is always kind of my fear now whenever we have elections.
Arnold: And last week we had a preview that said, we're gonna talk about something tonight that you are dying to hear about. And that was a very bad pun.
Nicole: Which is what we're known for here on the Western Neighborhoods Project Podcast. That's right, a few weeks back we talked about the landmarking of City Cemetery in Podcast episode number [00:01:00] 480. I was not there. I was on assignment doing other things. But of course, City Cemetery no longer exists, replaced by Lincoln Park, though many of the interred still lie below the golf course and Palace of Legion of Honor. Like the four Lone Mountain cemeteries, San Francisco decided that the real estate was more valuable for the living than it was for the dead.
Arnold: However, there are still two places on the west side where you can find the final resting places of our ancestors and, in fact, it is still possible to be laid to rest in both places. One is the Columbarium, which we told you about way back in Podcast number 73. The Columbarium is all that remains of the former Odd Fellows Cemetery, one of the big four Lone Mountain cemeteries. You can still have your remains interred in a niche there. The other west side final resting place and the subject [00:02:00] of this week's podcast is, the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio.
Nicole: It feels like a crime that John Martini is not here, but we will do what we can in his absence. So, before we get to the establishment of a national cemetery in the Presidio, we have to go back to the Spanish and Mexican eras there. Spain established the first cemetery at the Presidio. It was located adjacent to today's parade grounds, and you can find a sign of it near the visitor center. After Mexico took over the Presidio in 1822, they continued to use the cemetery for its army. When the United States Army moved into the Presidio in 1848, they opted not to use this cemetery. They always have to be different. Instead, the Army established a new Presidio cemetery to the west of the main post area. And the first Army burial occurred here in [00:03:00] 1852 or 1854, depending on which reports you read.
Arnold: After the outbreak of the Civil War in the 1860s, Union commanders were authorized, in April 1862, to establish burial grounds for soldiers by the battlefields where they fell. On July 17th, 1862, Congress enacted legislation that authorized President Lincoln to quote, "purchase cemetery grounds and cause them to be securely enclosed to be used as a national cemetery for the soldiers who shall die in the service of the country." End quote. As the Civil War did not reach California, the legislation did not affect the local army. However, numerous national cemeteries were established in the East during the Civil War to bury the hundreds of thousands who died in that conflict.
Nicole: So, one of the Union officers during the Civil War was George Pierce Andrews. He was born [00:04:00] in Connecticut in 1821 and entered West Point in 1841. Andrews graduated from the Army Academy in 1845 and received a commission as Brevit Second Lieutenant in the Third Artillery. I don't know why I said that, like I was in a fake Downton Abbey, but here we are. Before you ask, a Brevit was a warrant giving a commissioned officer a higher rank title for bravery, but without the actual pay or authority of that rank. I worked for so long, Arnold, at, in the Presidio, the GGNRA, and I never bothered to look up what that meant. I've written Brevit, secondly, I've...anyways.
Arnold: Now you know.
Nicole: Thank you for answering that. In a little over two years, he had been promoted to First Lieutenant of the Third Artillery with the Brevit rank of Captain, because of meritorious conduct during combat in Mexico at the Battle of Molino Del Rey, [00:05:00] which was part of General Winfield Scott's campaign to take Mexico City. Days later, he received the rank of Brevit Major after being wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec.
Arnold: And after the end of the Mexican-American war. Andrews was detailed to frontier duty in San Francisco in 1849. Over the next four years, he was also stationed in Benicia and Fort Yuma on the border with Arizona. After two years serving in Oklahoma, Andrews returned to Benicia in 1856 as Quartermaster of the Third Artillery where he received promotion to Captain in 1858. Then in 1860 and 61, he was on frontier duty again in the Pacific Northwest, but returned to an assignment on Alcatraz later in 1861.
Nicole: And we all know what happened in 1861. After the Civil War broke out, Andrews initially served in the defense of Washington, DC [00:06:00] between December 1861 and March 1862. However, with fears that the Confederacy would attack San Francisco, Andrews was assigned to Fort Point on April 19th, 1862, likely because of his familiarity with the area. There he was briefly the Assistant Provost Marshal of California and Nevada at the end of 1863 and beginning of the following year. During the final year of the Civil War, he returned to the East Coast to serve at Fort Adams in Rhode Island.
Arnold: After the Civil War, Andrews promote, was promoted to Major of the Fifth Artillery on July 28th, 1868. Over the next 14 years, he served at a variety of eastern seaboard forts, usually in command positions. But upon his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the Fourth Artillery on July 1st, 1880, Andrews was placed in command of a regiment and of the post in the Presidio. For most of the next five [00:07:00] years, Andrews served at the Presidio, getting a promotion to full Colonel on November 3rd, 1882.
Nicole: So why have we recited this short biography of now Colonel George Pierce Andrews? Well, that's because in 1884, while in command of the Presidio, Andrews sent a petition to the War Department asking that a national cemetery be established on post. In response, the War Department issued general orders 133 on December 12th, 1884, signed by Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan and Adjutant General R.C. Drum, which established, and I quote, "a part of the reservation of the Presidio, including the post cemetery thereon to be known as the San Francisco National Cemetery." End quote. It would become the first national cemetery created on the west coast.
Arnold: As we mentioned earlier, the Presidio already had a post cemetery to the west of the main post. [00:08:00] This post cemetery had been upgraded in 1873 when former wooden headstones had been replaced by marble and other stone monuments. Upon opening the national cemetery though, the remains of those in the post cemetery were reinterred, which we hope were in presumably nicer sites. In addition, the remains of soldiers at abandoned forts and encampments all around the west coast and western frontier were also moved to the cemetery in the Presidio.
Nicole: We actually get into this, John Martini and I, in a program we taped, that we recorded last year, I think for Veterans Day, that talks about individuals that we've researched in the Presidio National Cemetery. So, you can find that on our YouTube page. So, when the post cemetery became the San Francisco National Cemetery, it was initially nine and a half acres. Just two years later, the size was increased to 15 acres. Since then, it has increased in size over the years to its [00:09:00] current 28.34 acres, with the final expansion occurring in 1932. In 1961, there were plans to again increase the size, but an uproar over possible environmental damage caused the Army to cancel those plans.
Arnold: So, I don't know if you, our listeners, have ever been out there, but this cemetery sits on the slope of a hill facing northeast, framed by large trees, and a stone wall in sections, a fence in other areas. And it has stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the Marin Headlands. It's rectangular in shape with roads on each side and two roads, which are First Drive West and Main Drive, that run the length of the cemetery between the northern and southern boundaries. Main Drive has a circle in it, which originally was towards the back of the cemetery, but with all the expansions, it's now closer to the main entrance. This circle is known as Officers Circle and, [00:10:00] no surprise, officers are buried there.
Nicole: The original entrance to the cemetery featured a cast iron ornamental gate at First Drive off of Lincoln Boulevard. Although that gate still exists where it was originally installed, the main entrance was actually moved to the east on Portal Drive, just off where Lincoln Boulevard and Sheridan Avenue meet. This main gate, also cast iron, is flanked by two dressed stone piers that have carved urns on top and have plaques identifying the cemetery and its jurisdiction under the Veteran's Administration. Near the entrance gate is a kiosk where you can, you can go to find those who are buried in the cemetery.
Arnold: Besides the move of the main gate, other changes have been made over the years. One of the first was a two-story superintendent's lodge that was built around 1885 for, you guessed it, the cemetery superintendent to live in. In 1915, a [00:11:00] semi-circular concrete rostrum with a red tile platform was added as a place where speeches and official services could be held. In the center of that rostrum is a stepped dais with a podium. Behind the dais is a 25-foot wall with bas relief carvings and a plaque with Lincoln's Gettysburg address on it. A mortuary chapel was built in 1921 by the Quartermaster Department. That chapel is now though the cemetery office. The superintendent's lodge was remodeled in the Mission Revival style in the late 1920s. And also, a garage and tool house were also added in this style.
Nicole: The cemetery also includes a number of monuments. So, near the center of the Officers Circle is the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial. It's a granite obelisk commemorating those who lost their lives in the Civil War. And that was erected in 1893 by the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, George H. Thomas [00:12:00] Post No. 2. And true to its namesake, the monument is located in the George H. Thomas plot in the cemetery.
Arnold: In 1897, the Pacific Coast Garrison erected a statue of a young soldier on a granite pedestal holding a battle flag. It was to honor the dead of the Regular Army and the Navy Union. It was placed over to the northeast of that Officers Circle.
Nicole: That's one of the most haunting statues in the whole cemetery. I've spent a lot of time in the cemetery, cause it was right behind where I worked at the GGNRA. So, I used to hang out there a lot. And yeah, that one's one of the most beautiful. In 1917, the American War Mother's nonprofit organization was formed consisting of the mothers whose children served in the armed forces, and they received a congressional charter on February 24th, 1925. In 1934, the San Francisco charter placed a small monument in the middle of an island in the middle of Main Drive, south of the Officers Circle to commemorate [00:13:00] America's war mothers.
Arnold: That same year, in 1934, a monument to the unknown dead was placed in a grassy, teardrop shaped area in the middle of First Drive West. The stone contains a sad American eagle with the words “to the unknown dead.” And the remains of over 500 unknown soldiers from the original post cemetery and other Pacific Coast forts were reinterred in a single mass grave in that spot.
Nicole: Another point advocating for cremation for me personally. Every time I hear about the relocation of remains, I'm like, oh gosh, I don't want, I don't want my body to be a part of that. So, among those interred in San Francisco National Cemetery is Colonel George Pierce Andrews. He retired from the Army at the age of 64 on March 22nd, 1885. But sadly, he did not get to enjoy a long [00:14:00] retirement, as he died a little over two years later on July 2nd, 1887, at Fort Winfield Scott, the Presidio fort named for his old commander. That must make you feel like you're getting really old. The places that you live are named after people you served with. However, befitting of the man who got the process started for the establishment of a national cemetery in the Presidio, he was laid to rest there.
Arnold: Now we're gonna talk about some of the notable people who are buried in the cemetery. These are ones that we, you know, have good stories or they're known for something, related to the west side. And one of those is another former soldier, which has a name that many will recognize because a west side street was named after him. We're talking of course about General Frederick Funston, who received a medal of honor during the Philippine-American War and was in command of the Presidio at the time [00:15:00] of a certain 1906 catastrophe. Could it be that the earthquake and fire are making yet another podcast appearance?
Nicole: It sure is, and we will say that, there are some moves to cancel Frederick Funston for his role in the Philippine-American War since that was not a great war, and everyone who prospered in that war didn't do great things. So, full disclosure, like Frederick Funston up for debate. Also, full disclosure, I have held his pants personally. I've cataloged his pants and his jacket and his uniform at it, at the Park Archives and Record Center in the GGNRA, and he was incredibly tiny. And his wife wrote his name in his pockets. So, I feel like he used to lose his pants a lot, which makes him quite entertaining for me. Anyways, but we might cancel him. So just heads up on that. At the time of the quake, Funston immediately mobilized troops to assist in [00:16:00] fighting the fire and provide relief to thousands of San Franciscans left homeless. Funston took command of law enforcement and relief efforts and established communications, medical help, sanitation, and order. And under his command, the Army built over 5,000 earthquake shacks to house the displaced. Funston was supposed to command American forces if the country entered World War I, but died of a heart attack at the age of 51 in January 1917, just months before the US entered the war. He was buried in the officer’s section of the cemetery as well. And to commemorate his service to San Francisco, after the earthquake, his name was placed on what otherwise would be 13th Avenue in the Outside Lands. And it's still named that for now.
Arnold: And this of course, is always a complicated question when we talk about these people because on the one hand, Philippine-American War. On the [00:17:00] other hand, all this great work he did after the 1906 earthquake. So.…
Nicole: Yeah.
Arnold: …there are complications to everybody. Anyways, another name you may recognize is Dana Crissy. He was a Major in the aviation section of the Signal Corps and in command of Mather Field in Sacramento in 1919. Crissy was a key figure in the development of air transportation for the armed services. In October of that year, a new airfield at the Presidio hosted a cross country air endurance test, with 46 planes heading west from Long Island to the Presidio airfield, and 15 planes headed in the opposite direction with Major Crissy flying one of those planes. Unfortunately, Crissy's plane crashed at the end of the first day while trying to land in Salt Lake City. The crash killed him and his observer, and he ended up also being buried in the officer’s section at the National Cemetery in the Presidio. And [00:18:00] shortly afterwards, the new airfield in the Presidio was named Crissy Field in his honor. Though the airfield is now gone, the name remains.
Nicole: And a lesser-known soldier interred in the cemetery is Private William Tompkins, a member of the 10th Cavalry, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers. He won a Medal of Honor by making a daring rescue under heavy fire during the Spanish-American War. Four prior attempts at rescuing American and Cuban soldiers had to be abandoned because of the ferocity of gunfire. Tompkins, and three other Buffalo soldiers managed to row ashore despite the onslaught and return with the rescuees without losing a life. After Tompkins died in San Francisco in 1916, he was buried in a grave on the west side of San Francisco National Cemetery. Two other Buffalo Soldier cavalry units operated out of the Presidio, and over 400 Buffalo soldiers are interred at the National [00:19:00] Cemetery. And of course, the Buffalo Soldiers regiment, for those who don't know, they were segregated units of black soldiers. And, John Martini goes into all of this in our program that I mentioned earlier on YouTube right now. So, I'd recommend if you're interested in more of that story that you go watch that.
Arnold: Besides the mostly male soldiers buried at the cemetery, there are also female family members, typically soldiers wives who are buried there. However, there are two women buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery who are there because of their war exploits. One is Pauline Cushman. She was born Harriet Wood in 1833, but adopted the stage name of Pauline Cushman when she became an actor. And her story is really cool and badass.
Nicole: Yeah it is Arnold. So, before performance in Louisville, Kentucky in April, 1863. Cushman was offered $300, a huge sum at [00:20:00] the time, by two Confederate soldiers to make a toast from the stage honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Cushman took the money, made the toast, and was promptly fired by the theater owner. Now you're wondering why we're telling you a story of a Civil War Southern sympathizer. Well, it's because it turns out that this was all a ruse to ingratiate Cushman with the South.
Arnold: Yeah. It turns out Cushman had reported the offer to toast Jefferson Davis to the Union Army's Provost Marshal in Louisville, and he told her to go through with it, so that she could gain the confidence of Southern soldiers. Thus began her life as a Civil War Union spy. Cushman used her acting skills to cozy up to Southern soldiers and learn their plans, which she then communicated to the Union Army. One mission was to ascertain Confederate troop sizes, fortifications, and supplies, prior to the Union's Middle Tennessee campaign in the [00:21:00] summer of 1863. However, during this mission, Cushman was captured, tried and scheduled to be executed.
Nicole: In perhaps the worst good luck she could possibly have, she contracted typhoid fever, so her execution was delayed, because it was apparently bad sport to hang a sick woman. Ahh, chivalry never fails. During her recovery in Shelbyville, Tennessee, the Middle Tennessee campaign happened, with the Union Army liberating Shelbyville and other areas of the state. So, when the Confederates retreated, they left Cushman in Shelbyville because, again, she was too sick to retreat. Southern chivalry at its finest again. So, Cushman escaped execution and was given the Brevit title of Major for her valor. And now thanks to Arnold, I know what that means. Among her other spy exploits was preventing an intended [00:22:00] mass poisoning of captured Union troops and convincing a Southern woman acting as a messenger for the Confederacy to travel with her. Whereupon Cushman was able to deliver both the woman and the plans she was carrying to Union forces. And when I read things like this, I'm like, man, I really shouldn't get so stressed out about my days. About my emails.
Arnold: After the Civil War, Cushman returned to acting and she performed a P.T. Barnum-produced one woman show called Spy of the Cumberland. She moved west in the 1870s, living in San Francisco at times. Suffering from chronic rheumatism and arthritis, she took morphine to alleviate the pain. Unfortunately, she overdosed on the morphine and died on December 1st, 1893 in San Francisco. She was initially buried in a Grand Army of [00:23:00] the Republic Cemetery, but was reinterred at the San Francisco National Cemetery in 1910. And despite only having an honorary rank of Major, her grave lies in the Officers Circle.
Nicole: Because everyone involved was like, this woman's a badass. We gotta bury her in the badass section of the cemetery. So, the other extraordinary woman buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery is Sarah Bowman. And honestly, it would take too long to tell you about all of her exploits, but we'll give you a little taste. Just, just a little bit. Bowman was over six feet tall with red hair, and she joined her husband when he enlisted with future president Zachary Taylor's forces in the Mexican-American war. She signed up as a laundress, but was soon doing cooking and nursing as well. When the army was advancing on the Rio Grande, she left her husband, who was ill, behind and followed the army in a mule driven wagon that [00:24:00] she purchased herself. Cause if you want things done, you just gotta do it yourself. In 1846, when Taylor's forces got stymied at the Arroyo Colorado crossing by Mexican guns on the other side, Bowman rallied the troops by riding to the front of the column and offering to wade the river and I quote, "whip every scoundrel that dared show himself," end quote, if the Army simply gave her a pair of men's trousers for the crossing, Taylor's troops were bucked by her bravery made the crossing and routed the Mexican forces. I think making her our own version of Joan of Arc.
Arnold: So later in 1846, while at Fort Brown, Texas near the Mexican border, Taylor took his army to confront Mexican forces near the coast. This time, Bowman, now married to her second husband, who also served under Taylor, stayed behind and the fort was besieged. While other women at the fort retreated to [00:25:00] bunkers to sow sandbags, Bowman continued to operate the mess hall for three meals a day and tended to the forts wounded. Twice she was nearly struck by bullets, one going through her bonnet. Afterwards, newspapers dubbed her as the heroine of Fort Brown.
Nicole: At the Battle of Buena Vista in February 1847, Bowman reloaded weapons and carried wounded off the battlefield, in addition to maintaining her mess duties and operating a boarding house that essentially followed Taylor's forces around. After the battle of Buena Vista, General Winfield Scott awarded Bowman a military pension for her heroism on the battlefield. This is a really big deal because women were not recognized as veterans eligible to receive benefits until like the 1970s when they corrected the fact that a lot of World War I telephone operators should have been receiving benefits all that time. So, this is a really, really big deal. [00:26:00] So, after the end of the Mexican American War in 1848, Taylor's forces were leaving for California. Bowman was again single then. Okay, I need to know a lot more about that, but that's not gonna be this podcast. So, she's, she's gone through two husbands and now single, and, thus, was not allowed to join the column. I assume they all died. I don't know. We'll get into it later. She rode a horse through the column of soldiers asking, and I quote, "who wants a wife with 15 grand and the biggest leg in Mexico?" End quote. A willing volunteer stepped up and they were promptly married, allowing Bowman to continue in service with Taylor.
Arnold: I have to say in researching this, there's a lot of speculation that, in fact, Bowman was in love with Zachary Taylor. And, the only way to keep following him around was to be married to soldiers under his command. [00:27:00]
Nicole: You know what? I'm here for it. I support her. It's like following bands, you know, where I'm like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll take the drummer, but I'm really into the lead singer. This thing.
Arnold: Right.
Nicole: That never happened. That was hypothetical.
Arnold: Anyways, Taylor went from the war to the White House becoming president in 1849. Bowman returned to Texas and began operating an inn, possibly a bordello, in El Paso. In 1850, she marries again, this time to Alfred Bowman, who is an Army mounted infantryman. After he retired, they moved west and settled in the Fort Yuma area. While her husband prospected, Bowman worked at the fort, again doing cooking and laundry. In addition, she adopted a number of Mexican and Native American children. When she died from a spider bite on December [00:28:00] 22nd, 1866, she was given the honorary Brevit rank of Colonel and buried with military honors at Fort Yuma. When the fort was dis, decommissioned in 1890, she was disinterred and reburied at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio.
Nicole: Okay, so one, I'm terrified of spiders and dying from a spider bite is one of my worst nightmares. So hopefully we figured that out with modern medicine. And two, the whole time you, we kept talking about her, I could only think of Adelaide Bowman, which is the name of the lead character in the Age of Adeline. Which is the best San Francisco movie ever made. And I hope that this is what the inspiration was and I highly doubt that they did that much research. But I really hope, I really hope that they did. Okay, so one final name to mention is Archie Williams, who won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the 400 meters. Adolph Hitler [00:29:00] refused to shake hands with Williams and Jesse Owens because they were African-American. Williams went on to get a mechanical engineering degree at Berkeley in 1939, and then was part of the first civilian pilot training class in Oakland that year. He earned his pilot's license and later became rated as an instructor. He went on to become a civilian instructor at the Tuskegee Institute, but joined the Air Force in 1942 and became one of only 14 African-Americans commissioned into their aviation meteorological cadet program.
Arnold: Thereafter, Williams was in the first service pilot training class at Tuskegee, and after graduation began teaching students there in both instrument flying and meteorology. He flew missions in both World War II and later in the Korean War. After World War II, he was the third African-American Air Force officer to attend the prestigious Air Force Institute of Technology. [00:30:00] Williams retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1964 and began teaching mathematics and computers at Sir Francis Drake High School over in Marin in San Anselmo. After his death on June 24th, 1993, he was buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery.
Nicole: The San Francisco National Cemetery was largely filled by the time of World War II. In 1973, it stopped new burials. But wait a minute, how did Williams get buried there in 1993? And didn't we say that, at the top, people can still get buried there? So, indeed we did, because there is one exception to the no new burials since 1973 rule. And that is, if you already had a plot reserved by 1973, you can still get in. And at this point, there are probably not a whole lot of 1973 or earlier plot reservations that have yet to be filled, but [00:31:00] there may have been some young military families at that time who planned way ahead and got a plot. We don't know.
Arnold: So that's the story of San Francisco National Cemetery, one of only two formal, final resting places still in existence in the Outside Lands. And we say formal, because again, there are untold thousands still buried below Lincoln Park and under homes, businesses, schools and parks in the Lone Mountain area. And that leads us to...
Nicole: Say What Now?
Arnold: And because the San Francisco National Cemetery features great views of the Golden Gate, sometimes it gets mistakenly referred to as the Golden Gate National Cemetery. No big deal, right? Honest mistake. However, it is problematic because, in fact, there is a Golden Gate National Cemetery, which is located just to the south of San Francisco in San [00:32:00] Bruno. When researching the subject online, I found references to the great views of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Golden Gate National Cemetery. Which does not in fact contain any views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Nicole: Construction of the Golden Gate National Cemetery was authorized in 1937 by Congress and veterans and their families began to be buried there in 1941. It was necessitated because the San Francisco National Cemetery was by then already pretty full. So just in time for World War II, they opened a brand-new cemetery. Not that I take that lightly. Golden Gate National Cemetery is much larger than its Presidio counterpart at 161 and a half acres and well over 100,000 people buried there. It was also the first national cemetery to have a large flag display on Memorial Day. A custom now followed by many other cemeteries around the country.
Arnold: And I'd [00:33:00] note that I have two ancestors who fought in World War One and one of them also again in World War II, who are buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery.
Nicole: I've still never actually been there, which seems crazy. I've never been to Colma either. I have some cemetery work to do.
Arnold: Anyways...
Nicole: Yeah.
Arnold: …that brings us to, our listener mail segment. And how do we get people to invest the time to reach out to us?
Nicole: So, it's very easy. You just email us, podcast@outsidelands.org. Or you can take advantage of our robust social media presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can pod, you can post a podcast comment there. Although I'm not great at posting the podcast on Instagram. But you can always DM us about anything you've heard.
Arnold: [00:34:00] And in fact, we had some Facebook messages in response to our Alvord Lake and Bridge podcast, which was episode number 478.
Nicole: Nice.
Arnold: Both Joy and Betz chimed in to say they had actually never heard of Alvord Lake before. And honestly, that's really not too surprising because it is situated in that small Tetris-block-shaped area between Kezar Drive and Stanyan Street and Lincoln Way at the southeast corner, southeast corner of the Park. And most people's outings to the Park really don't include that area. And you wouldn't run across Alvord Lake unless you were walking into the Park at Haight Street. So don't feel bad if you were unaware of it before now.
Nicole: I also feel like people walk by things and they're not like, oh, that's the official name of this thing that I've walked by. I don't realize I'm by certain bodies of water that have a name sometimes. That came out weird, but I get confused in the Park too, is all I'm [00:35:00] saying. And I, my job is to know the history of the Park, so any, who's it moving on? Deborah also commented on Facebook that she wished there were transcripts of the podcast for those who prefer to read. So, this would be a good time to let people know that beginning with that Alvord Lake and Bridge podcast, we've been working on getting, we is generous. It is 100% Arnold, who has been working at getting transcripts posted for each new podcast going forward. This is an Arnold labor intensive effort, even with transcription software doing the initial transcript run through. So, the podcasts get posted first and then the transcript comes later. So, if you're like, where's the freaking transcript to this brand-new podcast? Just give us some time. We've been able to get the transcript posted within a day or so. But again, forgive us for some lag times. We are, we are a mighty organization that is run by a very few individuals who sleep, not so much. [00:36:00] So, we'll hopefully get more volunteers. Hey, do you wanna volunteer to help us transcribe the podcast? This seems like a great opportunity to ask. You can email us, podcast@outsidelands.org, and we can tell you how to get started.
Arnold: In addition to volunteering in that effort, while you're there, you know, listening to our podcast, we've got that big button at the top of the page for becoming a member because there are tons of benefits of becoming a member or just donating to us. And Nicole, what do those entail?
Nicole: Well, your membership, which you will get when you clickity, clickity clack the big orange button in the upper right-hand corner of any page on outsidelands.org, and send us money through the internet. It allows you to support all the incredible things that we do and make available for free, [00:37:00] like OpenSFHistory, which contains thousands of images you can download and use however the heck you want. We never ask any follow up questions. And the Cliff House collection, it's care and exhibition, which is totally ongoing, even though we closed The Museum at The Cliff. And, of course, this podcast. Because people like you make us who we are and we need you. And this is getting very awkward and uncomfortable, but I, we really, we really need you to donate and become a member. So, we can keep doing all the fun things and keep, keep being part of this city with you.
Arnold: Indeed. And this leads us right into announcements. So, public programs for 2022 have ended. We're currently deinstalling The Museum at The Cliff. That's gonna be an effort going on the rest of this month. [00:38:00] Some of its gonna go into storage until we find new opportunities to display the collection, but we're also reinvigorating our office to showcase some of it here. So, stay tuned for announcements on when you can come see the exhibit at our office on Balboa Street.
Nicole: Absolutely. Most likely in 2023, cause once you hit the end of October, the gear is gone. And we just mentioned that we would love to get some volunteers to help prepare podcast transcripts, but this isn't your only opportunity to volunteer with us. We need help with all kinds of things, but specifically content creation, especially in video production cause I, you know, these paws can't really do much besides man a typewriter. And collection folks to help us ramp up cataloging and digitizing the WNP collection so that we can make it available online and get OpenSFHistory rocking and rolling with new uploads.
Arnold: We're also working on [00:39:00] updating our outsidelands.org website, and we could use some volunteer web developer help there as well. Applicants should know and understand php, MySQL, JavaScript, HTML and WordPress, and should be a junior level of experience developer. These volunteer positions are ideal for resume building. Maybe learning something new and investing in the work of our small local history non-profit. Hopefully you also like hanging out with us, and if you're interested in any of these volunteer positions, send an email to us at chelsea@outsidelands.org, because Chelsea helps make this organization.
Nicole: Yes. What she's now getting reputation for. I guess people have come up to our dear friend Woody, to be like, oh, now that Chelsea's there, things are really gonna, you know. Oh, pressure Chelsea. We love you. So, Arnold, what, what are we [00:40:00] doing next week? Do you have any idea?
Arnold: Uh, I have an idea that we will be back next week with a podcast interview.
Nicole: You are correct.
Arnold: Which will be with fascinating west side history subject. I'm sure of it.
Nicole: Yes, we plan this out months in advance and I definitely know who that person is.
Arnold: So join us next week and find out.
Nicole: Thanks for another fun evening of local history nerdery, Arnold.
Arnold: Always a pleasure, Nicole. Bye now.
Nicole: We'll see you next week.
Ian: Outside Lands San Francisco is recorded by Ian Hadley. Content creation and media production at ihadley.com.
Nicole: To learn more about the Western Neighborhoods Project and more on San Francisco history, go to Outsidelands.org. You can also find us on social media at Facebook, which is outsidelands with an S, at Twitter, which is outsidelandz with a Z, and on Instagram, which is outsidelandz, also with a Z. And check out our historic San Francisco images website at OpenSFHistory.org.

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