At the turn of the 20th century, the Haight-Ashbury first gained prominence as the gateway to Golden Gate Park; six decades later, it would anchor the worldwide cultural revolution that blossomed in the 1960s. Though synonymous with peace, love, and living outside the mainstream, its history goes back long before the Summer of Love. Starting as a dairy farm in San Francisco’s Outlands, the area saw a building boom of Queen Anne country homes for well-heeled San Franciscans and served as a refuge for victims of the 1906 earthquake and fire. Through world wars, industrial and cultural revolutions, the dot-com boom, and beyond, the Haight-Ashbury has one of the most fascinating histories of any place, anywhere. Here is the story of a vibrant neighborhood that attracts throngs of visitors, while maintaining a core community of families, young people, and long-timers.
Author Bio: Author Katherine Powell Cohen, Ph.D., compiled these vintage images and stories from individual sources, public collections, and from the interviews she has conducted as a columnist for the Haight Ashbury Beat newspaper. An English professor at San Francisco State and Golden Gate Universities, she has lived in the Haight-Ashbury for over 20 years.
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