The neighborhood of Sunnyside, San Francisco, California, began as a real estate speculation project started by the capitalist Behrend Joost in about 1890. Laid out on bare land, it was a long time before there was more than a scattering of houses. Joost also started an electric streetcar to bring people out there, but a marked lack of basic services like streetlights, sewers, paved roads, schools, churches, fire protection, and other necessities kept growth slow. After the Quake and Fire of 1906, the City gave the neighborhood more support and improvement; a building boom during the 1920s filled the blocks out.
This website tracks some of the micro-histories that might otherwise remain untold–people, families, houses, small businesses, even the lost natural features of our land–details that can be obscured in the broad-brush sweep of grander history.
Here are also some links to other places to find historical information about Sunnyside:
San Francisco’s West of Twin Peaks, by Jacqueline Proctor, Arcadia Books, 2006. [Amazon.com link for actual book]