Michigan State University

Twenty Years in San Francisco's Mission District

Kathleen Weessies

Penciled in proposed route for Van Ness Street in San Francisco

This custom-bound book was owned and used by longtime San Francisco real estate agent Harry Cecil Jenkins.  It marks out every real estate parcel in the Mission District and nearby Horner’s Addition, a combined area that runs south of famous Market Street about a mile southwest of downtown.  The Mission District has a long interesting history and is still home to a close-knit Latinx community.  Today the area is facing transition and gentrification as high-tech companies move into the area.  

Harry’s meticulous marks in the book, made between 1909 and about 1930, describe street and property boundary changes of interest to him.  The most prominent markings relate to the establishment of a Sears & Roebuck store on Market Street bounded by Army & Valencia streets.  The store opened in 1929 and was a landmark for decades until it closed in 1975.  It also notes the building of the Van Ness Extension which would cross 12 & 13th streets.

The pages in this book were part of a larger publication by California Block Book & Map Company.  Such books were popular among professionals in San Francisco’s ever-dynamic real estate market.  Very few copies have found their way into libraries or archives to be saved and made available for study.  This copy was found with the confusing and misleading cover title, "Mission: Lands in Acres" and listed Harry Jenkins as the author.  The true nature of the book was only discovered with a more careful examination.



This book will be on display in the MSU Map Library beginning March 18, 2019.


Mission, lands in acres. Made by California Block Book & Map Co. Published in San Francisco by the Company in 1909. 

Index diagram to the map

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