"I was there..."
1901 View south across Islais Creek and toward current Portola neighborhood- Cows grazing in the marshland University Mound aqueduct-pipeline being updated. I280 freeway and Alemany Boulevard pass through this view today The small house on slope at end of flume is visible at right edge of photo below.
Photo: OpenSFHistory.org wnp36.10018
This 1913 northerly photo of Bernal's south slope shows an intersection of the Ocean Shore Railroad and the Alemany water flume. The flume carried water from Islais Creek near Glen Park around the south and east slopes of Bernal Hill to a reservoir at 16th and Brannan. The barn in the distance was in the southern-most corner of todays Alemany Farmers Market.
Photo: OpenSFHistory.org wnp36.00335
Speaking of Alemany Boulevard, my father told me an interesting tale of a solemn event that occurred years ago when the boulevard was a stream and the viaduct that now spans it on Mission Street had not yet been built.
A cousin of my father's had been drowned in the Russian River. His body was to be buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, which was, in those long-gone days, a great distance from the city. It was almost a daylong trip from the Mission District for the horse-drawn funeral cortege.
The cortege traveled by way of Mission Street. Arriving at what is today Alemany Boulevard but was then nothing but a creek, the hearse, leading the melancholy procession, drove down the bank to the stream, started to cross that body of water, and got stuck in the sand.
It was a crisis, and the men in the funeral cortege responded grandly. They took off their shoes and stockings, rolled up their trousers and put their shoulders to the hearse. Between horse and men the hearse made it to the opposite bank. The carriages passed over without difficulty. My father's cousin had passed over the waters.
--Frank R. Quinn, from the monograph Life in the Mission