Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sutro Baths 125 -- March 14, 2021


San Francisco Call, 13-March-1896

125 years ago today, on 14-March-2021, Sutro Baths, built by Mayor Adolph Sutro, opened to the public, just up the hill from the second Cliff House and across the road from Sutro Heights. The article below, from the 16-March-1896 San Francisco Call, describes the events of opening day and other recreational activities in the city. The museum is the former museum of the Mid-Winter Fair, at this point the ancestor of the De Young Museum. It is interesting to see the Baths referred to as Sutro Coney Island. 

Sutro's Baths Were Well
Attended in Spite of the

Music and an Entertaining Aquatic
Programme— Work at the Museum.

In consequence of the weather yesterday Golden Gate Park was almost deserted. There was no music, the drives were vacant except for a half a dozen yonng cyclers, who seemed to enjoy the mud. However, John McLaren, the superintendent, was happy.

"This is a glorious rain," said he, "just what we needed at this time. Yesterday afternoon the men finished planting a little forest of trees on the artificial hill south of the grand court, which is to serve as a break wind, when down came this gentle rain which will invigorate the trees."

Considerable work has been done in the court in the past week. A large number of tall shade trees have been set out and when they are in foliage they will furnish ample shade for those who will gather under them to listen to the music.

The grounds around the new lodge are being laid out by the gardeners and the designers will make them very attractive. Some of the trees that stand in front and obstruct the view of the main driva will be cut down.

Work on the annex to the museum has been delayed on account of the strike which has been on several days. This delays the inside work. As soon as it is finished the work of placing the new exhibits in position will be commenced under the suggestions of Director-General de Young, who is expected home this week.

Travel to the ocean beach in the forenoon was very light. In the afternoon the cars of all the lines were carrying many passengers, all bound for the entertainment in the Sutro Baths. During the afternoon there was, considering the day, a very good attendance of spectators and bathers. Up to 4 o'clock over four hundred had robed themselves in bathing suits and tested the temperature of the clear, invigorating water from the ocean. Colonel T. P. Robinson had provided a pleasing programme, which was given between 1 and' 3 o'clock. It was an exhibition by members of the Olympic Club and included a 100-yard race, water polo, tub-race, candle race, spring-board diving, trapeze diving and high diving.

During the afternoon tbe spectators were greeted with delightful music by Cassasa's Exposition Band, choice and popular selections being rendered until 5 o'clock. In the evening the baths were brilliantly illuminated with electric lights and there was given an exhibition of fancy swimming and diving by members of the Olympic Club and the Pacific Swimming Club. There was also a grand concert by Cassasa's Band.

There will not be any performance to-night, but there will be a gala night to-morrow, when a special programme in honor of the day will be offered.

On account of the moisture the Haight street grounds were not opened yesterday.

No comments: