June/July 2010: Spreading Bernal history all over town

By Terry Milne

About 140 members waited in breathless anticipation as a panel of earnest historians from the Bernal History Project took the stage at the Jewish Community Center to present a big show (and a lot of tell) using a veritable tossed salad of images from the Bernal Heights Archive. The event on Monday, May 10, was by invitation from the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society as part of their program showcasing the variety of neighborhoods via the heritage and history of each separate community.

The Bernal saga was explored with slides from Mexican land-grant pastures, the 1906 earthquake which split Bernal's history in half, the infrastructure grading of the hill, and the coming of the freeways. Many highlights were expertly explicated by four of the B.H.P. gang -- Tim Holland, Sheila Mahoney, Molly Martin, and Terry Milne. The overall presentation was introduced by our neighbor Carl Nolte, historian extraordinaire.

Many people from all over San Francisco became more acquainted and informed about Bernal and our little island of rural serenity. Audience comments included "best show the Society has had," "quasi-professional presentation," and "I learned so much about a neighborhood that I've never been to." (The most gasp-inducing question from the audience, however, was, "What's going to happen about the mural on the branch library?") With those kinds of accolades -- all the result of so much hard work -- the B.H.P. group must be straining their arms to pat themselves on the back!

More articles by Terry.