Historical photos show sand-covered Great Highway and Sunset
The Great Highway has been closed for the past few days due to windblown sand covering the road, but these historical photos show that earlier residents of San Francisco’s Sunset District and Ocean Beach areas dealt with sand drifts far worse.
The sand can present a hazard for drivers, and the blasting winds turn Ocean Beach into a miserable place for surfers, fishermen and almost everyone else except a handful of hardy kiteboarders. But when the Outer Sunset and Outer Richmond were first being developed, sand often covered streets, sidewalks and yards many blocks away from the water.
Check out these photos from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection from the San Francisco Public Library. Titles and captions come from the library’s information on the photographs, including references to “Mr. Fixit,” a column from the old San Francisco News newspaper.
Sand dunes along Great Highway at Ocean Beach
"Contrasts: View-blocking dunes (center rear) and leveled-off sand (foreground). It's a great beach, but you can't see it. That's the story of Ocean Beach from Lincoln Way to Sloat Boulevard. Along what is probably the most challenging beach in San Francisco - where the sea is as wild as any and where the surf is mean - the public is barred from a look. The reason is simple. There is a sand drift problem there. The Recreation-Park Department has had innumerable crews trying to solve the problem. They haven't succeeded..." Feb. 25, 1964. San Francisco News-Call Bulletin photo by Bob Jones. San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.