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About Mission Bay/Mission Creek

1852 Coast Survey MapThe name "Mission Bay" first appeared on the 1852 U.S. Coast Survey Map, named for the mission, Mission San Francisco de Asis (informally known as Mission Dolores), founded at the head of the tributory creek. A tidal lagoon of over 500 acres including the extensive salt marshes that reached inland to Folsom and Mission streets, Mission Bay was a wildlife refuge for an inmmense bird population that fed on its teeming schools of fish, especially smelt. The 1852 shoreline extended roughly from Third and Townsend, inland to Brannan Street, and west to Seventh and the line of Townsend, crossed the mouth of Mission Creek, and continued half-circle to Potrero Point, ending appriximately at the modern juncture of Sixteenth and Illinois streets. Only Channel Street remains as a surving sliver of the waters of vanished Mission Bay.

1857 Coast SurveyMission Creek was a navigable fresh water stream flowing into a tidal estuary, chosen by the Spanish fathers in 1885 as the ideal site for the Mission San Francisco de Asis. Springs formed a small falls and pond (located in the modern vicinity of Seventeenth and Nineteenth streets, Valencia and South Van Ness). Today, the juncture of Division and King Streets marks the 1852 site of the tidal entrance of Mission Creek from Mission Bay. By 1874 the creek was vacated as a navigable stream between Ninth and Eighteenth streets. No visible evidence of Mission Creek exists today, although Channel Street is sometimes informally known as Mission Creek.

Southern San Francisco, ca. 1876

For a complete history of Mission Bay, please check Nancy Olmsted's Vanished Waters — A History of San Francisco's Mission Bay and Mission Creek Conservancy, a public benefit corporation, dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tidal community at Mission Creek.

And here's an interesting historical essay from FoundSF on Mission Rock by Chris Carlsson.



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It is remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living.

—Ernest K. Gann

There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

—Norwegian Adage


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