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Ocean Shore Railroad Co. locomotiveSan Franciscans had known since the 1865 earthquake that “made” ground or filled areas were dangerous during earthquakes. So, it is remarkable that the Board of Supervisors proceeded to again fill bay and swamplands with the rubble from the destroyed city. This legislation, introduced May 10, 1906, was to order the Ocean Shore Railroad to fill the Precita Valley Swamp in the area of the current Highway 101-Cesar Chavez [Army Street] interchange. In fact, that area, as well as virtually all of the flatlands east of Bernal Heights, bordered by Bayshore Boulevard, were filled with rubble and debris from 1906.

Tracks were laid by the Ocean Shore Railroad to the swamp and wetlands of the Bay for the fill operation. Rubble was also dumped along Seventh Street near Channel.

Dumping Debris in Precita Valley Swamp.

Supervisor Kelly introduced the following Resolution and moved the suspension of the rules for its immediate consideration.

So ordered.

Whereas, The unsanitary condition of the basin lying between Potrero avenue extended, Army street, Alabama street and Serpentine avenue, and commonly known as “Precita Valley Swamp”, has consituted a public nuisance for many years past, which fact was recognized by the Board of Supervisors when it appropriated the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) in the Budget of the fiscal year 1905-1906, for the extension of Hampshire and York streets, through said swamp, and for the filling in and construction of sew-[word or words missing from typescript]

Whereas, the Ocean Shore Railroad Company has been granted the privilege of his Honor the Mayor of laying tracks on Twenty-fifth street, Capp street and other streets for the purpose of removing the debris from the burnt districts and carrying the same to the Islias Creek Basin; and

Whereas, Said Precita Valley Swamp lies in the immediate vicinity of the proposed dumping ground, and if said debris is placed therein it will at once abate the outstanding nuisance of many years and relieve the City and County of San Francisco from the cost of filling the streets proposed to be extended and the property immediately thereto; now therefore be it

Resolved, That the Board of Supervisors hereby requests the Board of Public Works to instruct the Ocean Shore Railroad Company to dump in said Precita Valley Swamp a portion of the debris removed from the burnt district for the purpose of abating the nuisance therein existing and of assisting the City and County by relieving it of the expense of said fill.


Supervisor Kelly moved the adoption of the resolution.

Amendment to Motion.

Supervisor Lonergan moved as an amendment, that the Resolution be referred to the Joint Committee on Streets, Sewers and Parks and Hospitals and Health, with instructions that said Committee report on the Resolution not later than Monday, May 14, 1906.

So ordered.

Minutes of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
May 10, 1906
Return to the 1906 Earthquake Exhibit.

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