Willows Resort 1860s

Unfinished History


A horse-drawn omnibus near 2nd and Harrison, heading to the Willows in the 1860s.


The Willows, a popular resort "out in the country" in the Mission District, in the 1860s. It was near today's 18th and Mission, and the willows of its name are growing around the now-buried Mission Creek.

Photo: Private Collection, San Francisco, CA

From the Diary of John "Don Juan" Riley Robinson, Silver Magnate of Batopilas, Mexico:

August 18, 1861 I purchased some clothes, as I am about as seedy as I ever was in this life. Was busily employed all the morning in my room, showing [silver] specimens and talking of Mexico. In the afternoon I went to the Willows and spent an hour in looking at the crowds who spend their pleasant times in that beautiful retreat. It is 3 miles from the city by rail, and Sundays the cars run every 15 minutes, and are crowded with happy faces going and returning from this really beautiful place for recreation. It is beautifully fitted up with books and machinery for amusement for the children, and shooting, and innocent games for the grownups.

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