Group commemorates 104th anniversary of San Francisco earthquake

Records indicate 8 survivors of 1906 quake, devastating fire still alive

A group of people gathered in San Francisco this morning to observe a moment of silence before wailing emergency sirens in honor of the 104th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Every April 18, hundreds of people meet at Lotta's fountain on Market Street at 5:11 a.m. to drape a wreath on the fountain.

They then go to 20th Street to repaint the fire hydrant that saved the churches in the Mission District from the fires that ravaged the city for three days after the temblor.

The commemoration ends with a Bloody Mary breakfast and movie screening at restaurant Lefty O'Doul's downtown.

One of the last remaining earthquake survivors, 104-year-old William Del Monte, was scheduled to attend this year's event.

"There's a certain sense of optimism that is in every (survivor) that I've met," event organizer Lee Houskeeper said. "Sort of a 'We can do anything' attitude.' They rebuilt the city from ashes. They have an incredible sense of humor."

Houskeeper has kept track of earthquake survivors for the past 25 years and believes about eight are still alive.

He also oversees the current earthquake commemoration ceremony, which was inspired by a now-defunct fraternal order called the South of Market Boys. The South of Market Boys began placing wreaths at Lotta's fountain in 1919.

Lotta's fountain was a popular gathering place and outdoor concert site in the early 20th century, Houskeeper said. After the earthquake, it became a focal point of city.

"People would say, 'Go check on mom and then meet me at Lotta's fountain,'" Houskeeper said. "Or they would put up notes there looking for so-and-so."

Janna Brancolin, Bay City News


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: Drop Your Keyboard!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 4,370 views

A "scary" investment has become a solid bet
By Tim Hunt | 2 comments | 560 views

Julie Testa seeking election to Pleasanton City Council
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 401 views


Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form