Sunnyside History in Photos: People

A collection of photographs of people who lived in Sunnyside. Also see this collection of posts about Sunnysiders. Do you have a photo to add? Write me.

More photos here.

1906. The Mickelsen family at 511 Congo Street. Immigrants from Denmark who stayed for several generations.
1906. The Mickelsen family at 511 Congo Street. Immigrants from Denmark who stayed for several generations.
1917. Charles Behler and his family and neighbors pose for a group photo on the 600 block of Mangels. Courtesy Geoff Follin.
1917. Charles Behler and his family and neighbors pose for a group photo on the 600 block of Mangels. Courtesy Geoff Follin. Read the story here. 
1920s. The Williams brothers ran the Sunnyside Coalyard at 36 Joost until the 1930s. Courtesy the Williams family.
1920s. The Williams brothers ran the Sunnyside Coalyard at 36 Joost until the 1930s. Courtesy the Williams family. Read the story here.

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In the picture III: more Sunnyside Elementary School class photos

The third set of class photos from Sunnyside School. See the first group here.  See the second group here. I am grateful for the spontaneous contributions of one-time Sunnyside students Anthony Eckstein and Alan Hansen. Read more about Sunnyside School here.

During the 1960s, before court-mandated busing was instituted, Sunnyside was one of two schools where students from the Bayview were bused to, in order to relieve congestion at the overcrowded Bret Harte Elementary School. That meant a greater diversity of kids at Sunnyside, even before the official busing program began in 1973. And it shows in these two sets of photos, from the late-1940s and the mid-1960s.*

Kindergarten, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1948. Courtesy Alan Hansen.
Kindergarten, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1948. Courtesy Alan Hansen. View larger. 

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In the picture again: more Sunnyside Elementary School class photos

More class photos from Sunnyside. See first group here.  My thanks to Sunnyside resident and one-time Sunnyside ES student Greg Adams. Read more about Sunnyside School here.

First grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1958. Courtesy Greg Adams. View larger. 
First grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1958. Courtesy Greg Adams. View larger.  

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In the picture: Sunnyside Elementary School students through the years

There is nothing quite like kids’ faces! I’ve been fortunate over the years to have been given the chance by several former students to scan class photos from the 1930s to the 1960s. I present them here in reverse chronological order without commentary.* My thanks to Marty Hackett, Mark Sultana, Julie Spalasso Vozza, Bill Wilson, and Greg Gaar for sharing these with me.

View more class photos here and here.

The current building of Sunnyside Elementary School (250 Foerster Street, San Francisco) was built in 1927. Read more about its history. 

Sixth grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1964. Courtesy Marty Hackett.
Sixth grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1964. Courtesy Marty Hackett. View larger. 
Fourth/fifth grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1963. Courtesy Marty Hackett.
Fourth/fifth grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, 1963. Courtesy Marty Hackett. View larger. 

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The radio listening habits of Sunnyside School students in 1948

Photo: otrcat.com

Part of a series of articles about Sunnyside School.

In 1948, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a survey that the Second District PTA made at Sunnyside School to find out about when and how students were listening to the radio — the “wireless” entertainment of the day. The reporter noted that the Sunnyside student body then represented families who were “neither overly rich nor overly poor … a most ideal medium between the two.”

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SF Chronicle, 30 May 1948. Read whole article here. 

The survey asked about 220 students in grades three through six about how many radios they had, when and what they listened to, and what their favorite programs were.

Wireless Distractions

One of the points the reporter harped on was the use of of the radio during studying. Making it sound slightly shocking, he lauded the PTA for revealing this possibly harmful practice as “something that must give educators a morning-after-sized headache.” (Hardly an apposite metaphor to use for supposedly responsible adults!)

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1946, Sunnyside School. Ms Carol White’s third-grade class. Not a particularly diverse school body at that time. Courtesy Bill Wilson.

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1899: ‘Not Enough Seats for the Scholars Out at Sunnyside’

Part of a series of articles about Sunnyside School.

Presenting a feature in the San Francisco Examiner in 1899, detailing the state of Sunnyside’s first school, located in a cottage. More about the difficult early years of Sunnyside School here. 

The conditions for these children were incredible. The house where the school was located was in poor condition and no bigger than most houses here today. Imagine one full of 117 children!

This house still stands at 143 Flood Ave and was recently sold for just over $1M. (How did the house number change?) Despite what the article states, Sunnyside was then largely Irish and German immigrants and their families.

View this article image larger.

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SF Examiner, 21 Nov 1899. From Newspapers.com. Click to view larger. 

 

1917: The Log Cabineers of Sunnyside

Baby Blue Eyes, one of the native wildflowers that once grew on Mount Davidson. Photo: YosemiteHikes.com

On a week when being outdoors is hazardous, history can substitute for fresh air. Here is a story from a century ago, about a group of Sunnyside children called the Log Cabineers, who were led in many activities around the then-undeveloped hills in the neighborhood by a remarkable young woman, Elfreda Svenberg of Foerster Street. She introduced them to the joys of being outside with plants and animals, taking them on hiking trips–even a ten-day vacation in Marin.

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SF Examiner, 20 Mar 1917. View larger.  Newspapers.com.

Miss Svenberg included both boys and girls in her club, saying they were “too occupied with the joys of outdoor life” to become boy-struck or girl-struck.

The group was featured in the SF Examiner article above during a fund-raising drive for a club house. It was customary to give a small token in thanks for a donation–a wild flower boutonniere in this case, perhaps picked from Mount Davidson, where native wild flowers famously grew before development. (Read an account here.)  Continue reading “1917: The Log Cabineers of Sunnyside”