Historical Articles and Stories

Bernal History Project has compiled these stories from neighbors and friends. Have a story to share with us, or time to help transcribe some? E-mail Vicky Walker if you want to help.

Terry Milne

BHP's Terry Milne writes a "Legends of the Hill" column for the New Bernal Journal, our bimonthly neighborhood newspaper. Read all his articles here.

Donate a Memory

Help tell the history of Bernal with our new project.

BHP Special Research

In 2006, BHP and the Cortland Merchants Association collaborated on a Cortland Centennial History Walk, looking at the businesses of 1906.

Teenager Henry Behrenst's diary from the 1920s turned up in the attic of a house on Elsie Street. Can you help us learn more about him?

Gloria Lane tells the story of 448 Cortland Avenue, once home to the Richardson family.

Our predecessor, Bernal Heights Preservation, and the fight to save 111 Manchester Street.


Bernal residents past and present who are no longer with us.

First-Person Narratives

The Story of the Ribeltad Vorden

An extract from Bernal historian Jerry Schimmel's memoirs about the Folsom and Precita bar with the unusual name.

A Bernal Heights Open Space

Jerry Schimmel took a walk along Mayflower Street, looking at the hills, stairways, and native plants.

The Lighter Side of Living on Bernal Heights Boulevard

Jerry Schimmel reports on strange happenings. Learn how the gate got installed, about the mystery of the Bernal Hill Post Office, and various escapades involving cars and shouting.

The Bernalians: Growing Up on the Hill

Cardboard sleds, forts named Raccoon Palace and the Taj Mahal, and raising tadpoles: Alex Grimm writes about life on the north side of Bernal.

Historical News Articles

Archival News Stories

Bernal-related news articles from the San Francisco Call and San Francisco Chronicle.

A Century of Crime in Bernal

Vicky Walker investigates a one-boy crime wave, battles between gangs on the north and south sides of the hill, and goat rustling.

Bernal Death Severs Last Link in Old S.F. Regime

Jose Cornelio Bernal died in 1926, the last connection to the original Bernal rancho.