More Moving History

1. Daly City's Earthquake Cottages

--A drayer named H.H. Smith bought a number of 14' x 20' temporary houses, dragged them out and set them on inexpensive lots on many locations across the county line, in Daly City.

2. Crocker Spite Fence

-- Charles Crocker was a businessman who capitalized on low-wage Chinese workers imported from China to build the Central Pacific Railroad.

Nicholas Yung was a German native who arrived in 1848, became a successful mortician, and in 1855 built a modest home at the top of California Street - a then-isolated part of the City with gorgeous views and few people.

   When the California Street Cable Lines opened up the area in 1878 which led it to become the fashionable Nob Hill, Crocker plotted to build a grander house than any other further up the hill than his rivals - but was thwarted not by money but by Nicholas Yung, who owned the northeast corner of Crocker's newly-acquired block and refused to sell.

    Crocker constructed a three-sided, forty-foot tall wood fence around Yung's house, forcing Yung to move his dwelling to another lot, which he owned on Broderick street.

 3. House Mover's Protest

--A petition from Henry Chester and Patrick Gleason was presented, that they be given a hearing in their protest against the proposed law Imposing a license per quarter on house-movers and house-raisers, which was referred to the License Committee.

The petition says:

This license Is unjust and in furtherance of the plans of certain trusts or combinations of house-movers, who are now designing to destroy competition in their business and render it unprofitable for any person other than themselves to enlace therein. About eleven firms engaged in the business of house moving have entered Into such a combination; that • five other firms have associated themselves Into a co-partnership called the San Francisco Housemovers' Company No. 1. In which name they have taken out a single license.

--San Francisco Call Bulletin, Volume 87, Number 61, 31 July 1900

 4. Oldest Building in the Haight

--Walk right (west) on Piedmont and you will pass the oldest building in the Haight. In 1870 Peter Schadt sold the land now bordered by Cole, Carl, Stanyan and Grattan streets to the Lange family, who operated a pig farm at that location.

 When the Langes moved from Divisadero and Sutter to their new property they took with them everything - including the family home.

 In 1888, the house was again moved to its present location at 11 Piedmont. It was occupied by the Lange daughter, who purportedly chose this location to avoid the sand fleas in the flatlands below.

5. St. Barnabas Church

--St. Barnabas’ history began in 1905. Under the supervision of Fred T. Foster, it moved its building by oxen to the Excelsior District of San Francisco in 1911. After WWII, the demographics of San Francisco began to change into an ethnically diverse city. St. Barnabas had one of the most multicultural congregations in the Diocese: African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Europeans, and White Americans. As St. Barbabas evolved into a largely-Filipino congregation, in 1991 the Diocese approached Fr. Vito about moving the Filipino Ministry from its location in San Francisco to St. Martin Episcopal Church in the Westlake District of Daly City. 

St. Martin Episcopal Church, a congregation with a building, but with a very few Caucasian members; and the Filipino congregation meeting at St. Barnabas, a congregation with members but who were about to lose their place of worship, merged and in 1993 the Filipino Ministry left St. Barnabas and moved to St. Martin’s.

 A fire destroyed many of the old records - including any possible images of the original building's move by oxen into the Excelsior.

 6. Van's Restaurant

-- Today Van's Restaurant is a venerable Belmont establishment with little to show of its building's moving history and San Francisco roots.

 Built in 1915, it originally was erected to house part of the Japanese Exhibition at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The house was originally the Formosa Tea House in the Japan Garden.

Land Baron E.D. Swift purchased the Tea house in 1915 and barged the entire structure down the Bay to Belmont, California, where the house served for three years as a private residence for Swift's two daughters.

 In 1921, teams of horses and mules pulled the structure up a steep dirt trail to its present location nestled in the hills.