The Mission fire hydrant at 20th and Church Street has long been glorified as saving parts of the Mission. As Dr. Weirde writes on FoundSF “Every year, earthquake survivor Les Bulloch puts a coat of gold paint on the hydrant — the only one that still functioned after the 1906 quake. This very special hydrant was responsible for saving the houses between 20th and 22nd Streets from the Great Fire.”
The “gilding of the fire hydrant” will take place again this year at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 18th, but this year the Mission fire hydrant has company. “It is now known that the fire hydrants at Hayes and Buchanan, and Ellis and Van Ness, were equal to the actions of the Gold Hydrant, and at 10 a.m. on April 17, these two hydrants will be painted silver in long overdue ceremonies to honor the contributions of the “Silver Twins” in stopping the “Ham & Egg” fire in the Western Addition.”
So, take your choice, getting up early on Friday or Saturday.
Here is a rundown of all the commemorative activities:
TWO DAYS OF EVENTS WILL REMEMBER THE 109th SAN FRANCISCO GREAT 1906 EARTHQUAKE & FIRE
San Francisco is the true survivor
At 5:11 am this Saturday morning (April 18th) the two known living survivors of the 06′ Quake & Fire will probably not join the hundreds of San Franciscan’s in period costumes that gather each year to hear their oft told stories of being rudely tossed out of bed and escaping the flames that consumed San Francisco.
They will be missed but not forgotten, Honoring the survivors who rebuilt San Francisco from the ashes on April 18th will continue as it should because as the Chronicle’s Carl Nolte says “In the end San Francisco is the real enduring survivor.”
The 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake & Fire Commemoration serves as a reminder each year that our city is on a major fault line and that it is not “if” but “when” the next “Big One” will hit.
10 am Friday, April 17th
Newly Discovered Silver Twin Fire Hydrants Dedication
The Gold Hydrant at 20th and Church Streets is well known for stopping the ‘06 fire from going deeper into the Mission District following the
devasting earthquake at 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906. Since 1969, the citizens of San Francisco have gathered at this hydrant each year early on the morning of April 18 to honor “The Little Giant” by retelling its story and painting it gold. It is now known that the fire hydrants at Hayes and Buchanan, and Ellis and Van Ness, were equal to the actions of the Gold Hydrant, and at 10 a.m. on April 17, these two hydrants will be painted silver in long overdue ceremonies to honor the contributions of the “Silver Twins” in stopping the “Ham & Egg” fire in the Western Addition.
What: Painting of the Silver Twins
Who: Guardians of the City, San Francisco Fire Department Museum
When: 10:00 a.m., Friday, April 17, 2014
Where: Hayes & Buchanan Street
1:30 pm Friday April 17th
Annual John’s Grill “Big One” Survivor Luncheon
Please Note: The luncheon is sold out but the public is welcome to watch the marching band and view the vintage fire rigs.
The 50-Member Archbishop Riordan High School Crusader Marching Band (largest in San Francisco) will perform on Ellis Street in front of Historic John’s Grill (1908). Vintage SFFD fire engines will be on display.
WHAT: At 1:30 pm SFFD Chief Joanne-Hayes White, Former Mayor Willie Brown, Wilkes Bashford and San Francisco’s FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Campus Director Barbara Cupper will welcome three 06’ survivor families who have come forth with possible garments and renew the call for folks to look in their attics and closets to find and preserve precious historic clothing from San Francisco’s Gilded Age.
At 1:40 pm Former San Francisco Mayor Willie l. Brown Jr. and Fire Chief Hayes White will pronounce San Francisco History Association Founder and President Ron Ross the 2015 1906 Earthquake & Fire “Honorary Survivor” and place the antique fire helmet on his head.
WHEN: 1:30 pm Friday, April 17th
WHERE: John’s Grill, 63 Ellis Street (between Stockton & Powell)
WHO: Score of San Franciscan’s in Period Costumes
City Officials, Police & Firefighters, VIPs, Historians and survivor family members
Saturday APRIL 18th, 5:11 AM
109 Th COMMEMORATION
AT LOTTA’S FOUNTAIN
Saturday, April 18 at 5:11 am several hundred San Franciscans in 1906 period costumes along with Mayor Ed Lee, Police Chief Greg Suhr, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Former Mayor Willie Brown, San Francisco Supervisors and master of Ceremonies Bob Sarlatte will commemorate the 109th anniversary of San Francisco’s 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire at Lotta’s Fountain.
SET YOUR ALARM FOR EARLY!
Earthquake and Fire Events
WHAT: The 109th Annual 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and
Fire wreath laying and commemoration
WHERE: Lotta’s Fountain, Market Street at the junction of
Kearny, Third and Geary, San Francisco, California
WHEN: 5:00 AM, Saturday, April 18
Moment of silence at 5:11 AM followed by the wail of sirens and the traditional singing of “San Francisco.”
April 18th-The Gilding of the Fire Hydrant
That Save the Mission District
WHAT: The annual 1906 painting of the fire hydrant that
saved the Mission District.
WHERE: 20th and Church streets at Dolores Park
WHEN: 5:40-6:00 AM Saturday, April 18
Annual Lefty O’Doul’s Bloody Mary Survivor Breakfast
WHAT: The Lefty O’Doul’s Annual Survivor Bloody Mary
Breakfast. Open to the public ($10 Donation).
WHERE: 333 Geary Street (at Powell)
WHEN: 6:00 AM—10:00 AM Saturday, April 18