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Prior to the Spanish arriving here in 1776 it was the Yelamu Ohlone tribe that inhabited Lands End for many centuries seasonally along with 50 other smaller tribes. They hunted for birds, sea lions and otters but they also relied on fishing as well. In ancient times grizzly bears and antelope use to roam these hills of course today such mammals are non existent in this region of California. The natives built shelters out of local trees and brush growing along the hillside as a matter in fact the entire area was heavily forested until the growth of San Francisco. The tribe played games with sticks and for many centuries inhabited the bay area. Sadly when the Spanish had arrived on their galleons with it they brought disease and basically claimed the land as their own calling it Rancho Punta De Lobos. As a matter in fact Captain Caspar De Portola in 1769 and his party of Spanish Explorers were searching for Monterey Bay and ended up missing it. Most of the explorers died of dysentery due to poor drinking water from San Gregorio Creek where they docked eventually passing through what is known today as the ghost town of Purissima (Purest) where they camped at eventually discovering the San Francisco Bay to the north along with its ancient indigenous tribes who inhabited the area. 

 The Spanish a short time later
erected the La Misión San Francisco de Asis also known as Mission Dolores not to far away from Lands End where they could spread Catholicism among the local native tribes. They also had many large ranches along the coastline where they grazed livestock under Mexican rule until California became a US State. Prior to that time the only Europeans to have set their eyes on this natural wonder were the Spanish who created Missions up and down the entire coast line thus ending traditional life for so many natives. The Spanish spread sickness and in a sense they forced the natives off their lands. For many years Land's End remained a hidden jewel forgotten, offbeat and really unknown to the first men that set their eyes on its sea cliffs. That is until the gold rush a resort was built in 1858 called the Cliff House for the wealthy built by an prosperous Ex-Mormon from Maine named Samuel Brannan who bought $1500 in lumber salvaged from a ship that had crashed into the basalt cliffs below.  

Prior to it a man by the name of Francisco Guerrero had been given a land grant given to him by an appointed governor from Mexico named Pio Pico. Even after California became a state and was no longer a part of Mexico Guerrerro continued to own a portion of lands end until the US Army built Fort Miley. Prior to that San Francisco was burying there loved ones in the Golden Gate Cemetery in 1868 on Guerrerro's which today is forgotten but once part of the regions early pioneer history.  No less the fort and cemetery sit right above the Sutro Baths.

A private company had erected a new road which they called Point Lobos Avenue which had horse drawn stagecoach service every Sunday from downtown San Francisco out to Lands End. This brought in tourism to the area many real estate developers were looking for new means to make money and felt Land's End offered some beauty on the edge of the city. They were trying to get more people to visit here but at the time Land's End was very isolated so prior to the stagecoach route you had to hike on in. Only the adventurous would dare make the trek up here and early I ready the areas first pioneers came here to watch ocean mammals especially off Seal Rocks which can be seen in our galleries. The Carriage route simply made it allot easier to come on up here on a Sunday if you wanted to hike, catch a meal or take in the views.

Their were five Cliff Houses in all but in actuality only three stood on this cliffs as two of them were simply renovated or rebuilt. Therefore, you can say that only three stood on these basalt cliffs but based on my research its up for debate depending on who you talk too. You can see vintage photos of all five Cliff Houses on our website that I have compiled. Please keep in mind I do not own the photos I simply am sharing them for educational purposes so our viewers can see past and present but also put things into perspective to go with all the rich history which can be found at Land's End. Sadly two of the Cliff Houses met very tragic endings like many of the men who drowned below its cliffs in ship wrecks or being swept out to sea. Which makes it a prime candidate for a few ghost stories and legends as well. Supposedly over 300 ships have wrecked off the coast of Lands End the worst occurred in 2902 when the SS City of Rio de Janeiro sunk on February 22nd 1901 sunk in 8 minutes after hitting Mile Rock in some heavy fog. I believe that 130 of the 210 people on board perished including her captain William Ward. Years later bodies continued to wash ashore at Point Lobos aka Lands End! Today its quite possible many ghostly seamen may haunt these rugged cliffs where they met their doom!

In 1863 a Captain Junius G. Foster leased the second Cliff House built in 1863 or as others refer to it as the first one because more then likely it was just a renovation of the original one and it actually stayed operable for 31 years. Allot of residents of San Francisco would visit Lands End to ride horses, hunt small game and picnic with their families. The Cliff House became successful with Carriage trade on Sundays. The toll road Point Lobos was fully accessible in 1864 thus bringing in thousands of folks who came here just to get out of the city. Even a two smile speedway was built beside the stagecoach route for San Franciscans to race their horses along the way to the Cliff House to pass time. I read that every weekend this Cliff House was so busy that their was hardly any room to tether your horses here. While some took the stage coach others simply road on horseback up to the Cliff House for a meal and a drink.

Eventually trolleys, railcars and streetcar lines were built all over San Francisco which passengers took up to Lone Mountain then transferred to stagecoach lines down to the beach. Allot of folks came here just to taking in the stunning views and watch the sea lions up on Seal Rocks just off shore of where the Cliff House was located. The Golden Gate Park attracted thousands of outdoor enthusiast who were simply looking to get out in nature. The wonderful thing about the San Francisco Bay area is there is allot of nature to enjoy and Lands End offered hiking for the folks who really wanted to get away from chaotic urban life. You could take a stage down to the beach do a little swimming maybe hiking then catch a meal at the Cliff House then go home and begin your work week. Land's End really has served the people of San Francisco for over 150 years and continues to do so.

Adolph Sutro came to the area in 1883 buying the Cliff House because it was in decline therefore more then likely he had gotten it for a steal. Sutro was involved in real estate trying to bring new housing developments surrounding Land's End. Sutro was an engineer who was responsible for the engineering and designing the Sutro Tunnel in Virginia City Nevada which provided ventilation and draining of the bonanza mines of the Comstock Lode. This actually made him a multimillionaire and as soon as his tunnel was complete he spent out his days in San Francisco leaving his mark on the city. He begin to make a series of land investments and became a major well known entrepreneur in San Francisco. As a matter in fact he was also the cities mayor from 1894-1896. I read somewhere that despite his love for Land's End he simply was not as happy being an investor as he was an engineer so it would make sense that he would take on personal projects such as the Sutro Cave found below the Cliff House today which can still be explored. Sutro built state of the art tunnels it was what he was good at and his heart was devoted towards being an engineer first and foremost.

When Adolph Purchased the Cliff House he put J.M. Wilkens in charge of it who at the time had witnessed a Schooner known as Parallell running aground in 1887  below the Cliff House. The Schooner was carrying dynamite which was set off causing a blast that could be heard for over 100 miles. In fact the explosion was so intense that it completely leveled the north wing of the Cliff House and Tavern. Sutro did have the north wing rebuilt but sadly in 1894 the Cliff House met its fiery doom on Christmas Night. Wilkens could not save the guest registry which had signatures of three presidents and many other prominent visitors. Its hard to believe that a place so beautiful could also harbor so much tragedy. Land's End really became an end for many men who came here by sea while others simply were swept out to sea as the waters here are extremely turbulent. If the sea did not swallow you up fires would as over the years multiple fires which burned down the Cliff House and Sutro Baths plagued Lands End. 

The 1880's were about change as for example in 1877 the old stagecoach route was now renamed Geary Boulevard and if you wanted to traverse it up to Land's End you had to pay a toll. Adolph Sutro also constructed a passenger steam train which ran from downtown to Lands End for a nickel. Sutro also begin designing his baths in the small inlet below the Cliff House in the 1880's in his spare time. He had a dream and he ran with it bringing it to light in 1896 when the largest baths in the world were opened to the public. Supposedly the baths could sustain ten thousands swimmers and bathers. However while Sutro served as mayor his baths would be private for at least two years before they opened publicly. As a matter in fact Sutro planned the baths in 1888 then offered a $500 prize for their design whom which was won by architects C.J. Colley and Emil S. Lemme who also designed the second Cliff House for Sutro. It would be an uphill battle for Sutro has he was fighting with the Southern Pacific over rail access so that the trains could bring folks to the doorstep of the baths and then he would have to front over a million dollars to build the project.

When the Cliff House burned down in 1894 by 1896 around the same time the baths opened a seven story Victorian French Architectural Chateau was built to replace the Cliff House. This would be the second Cliff House. Sutro lived in an estate just above it on some bluffs in Sutro Heights. People use to refer to the Chateau as "Gingerbread Palace" and out of all the Cliff Houses this was the most luxurious and beautiful in my opinion. It cost Sutro roughly $75,000 to rebuild the Cliff House and furnish it in a grandiose style. This chateau had four spires, an observation tower 200' above sea level, twenty private lunch rooms, gem exhibit, art gallery, dining room, bar, parlor, private dining rooms, kitchens, ball room for dancing and also a museum which boasted stuffed animals. Many of his artifacts he displayed came from a place known as Woodward Gardens an amusement park and zoo that operated in San Francisco from 1866 to 1891. Although the Chateau was never a hotel one might have thought of it as one given its size and luxurious beauty overlooking the ocean. As a matter in fact William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt visited this Cliff House and quite a few prominent figures like even Thomas Edison. Sutro knew it was to expensive for the less fortunate to visit his restaurant and baths hence why he built a rail line so others would have a means to enjoy Land's End. Sutro was a good man he is one of my favorite historical figures of the 1800's here in the west his marvels provided not only entertainment but also they saved lives his reputation as an engineer preceded him!

This Cliff House that Sutro had built above his baths only stood for about 11 years despite it surviving the 1906 earthquake sustaining little damage it burnt down September 7th 1907 in a matter of two hours. Sutro was ill in the 1890's and he kept fighting illness but passed away in 1898. So the Chateau fell into his families hands who in turn leased it to John Tait of Tait's at the beach along with his seven partners. I believe that they were renovating and remodeling the cliff house getting ready to open it when had caught fire. Not sure if this was caused by the construction crew maybe they did not taper off faulty wiring or if someone left a candle burning. Really nobody knows how or why it even happened but the Cliff House would never look the same because all that was left after the fire was the foundation. Sadly if Sutro would have witnessed the fire that brought his Chateau and Baths he would have turned over in his grave. Some of his last engineering marvels were put to the test and he built them both prior to passing away which today are now long gone.

Sutro Baths was erected with 600 tons of iron, 3,500,00 board feet of lumber, 10,000 cubic yards of concrete, 100,000 sq feet of glass.  It had 517 private dressing rooms, ice skating rink, 2700 seats surrounding an amphitheater for concerns and club rooms with a capacity for 1100 people. It had over 100,000 pains of glass to allow natural sunlight to come on in. Their was six salt water pools varying in temperatures  and one freshwater pool. Each bath was 499.5' in length and 254' in width all together having the capacity to sustain 1,805,00 gallons of water. The pools had 7 slides, 40k towels for rent, 30 swinging rings and 1 springboard. It also housed the Panorama Of The World Museum which housed an extensive collection of stuff and mounted animals including an art gallery and historic artifacts that Adolph Sutro came across during his travels. During high tide water would flow directly into the pools directly from the Pacific Ocean recycling about two million gallons in an hour. During low tides a powerful turbine water pump which resided in the cave could be turned on from a nearby control room filling the tanks at a rate of about 6,000 gallons a minute and within five hours all water within the pools could be recycled. The Ferries and Cliff House Railroad operated along the cliffs below Lands End overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. This route would run from the terminal at California St. and Central Avenue to the baths.

The pools ranged from being as icy cold as the ocean all the way to a steamy 80 degrees. Some people would take small row boats and row around in the pools as you can see in the vintage photos. Their was always events going on here for example fairs, concerts, competitions, carnivals and swimming championships. In 1913 and 1914 the Pacific Coast Swimming Championships featured Hawaiian Swimmer Duke P. Kahanamoku an Olympic gold medalist who set world records. Over the years other events were hosted here such as trapeze acts, dwarf boxing matches, magicians, contortionist and even high diving canines. You could also order hot dogs, peanuts and other foods. Their was always something going on at the baths it was an outlet for allot of the kids in San Francisco. Perhaps that is why back then crime was not as high the younger generation actually had something to do every day. They could spend a nickel jump on the train get off at the baths go swimming and be home in time for dinner. Before Sutro passed away he had gotten a hold of two rides from the 1894 Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park. Those rides including the Firth Wheel and the Haunted Swing. If you look further below you can see a picture of the old Ferris Wheel below overshadowing the entrance to the baths. The facility that once stood here was massive it had alone six thousand seats for concerts. Its ashamed today its all gone one must wonder what it would have been like to have indulged in such a great place.

After Sutro's death the family was left in charge of the baths and the Cliff House. After the fire that burned down the second Cliff House Chateau it would not be till 1909 when Dr. Emma Merritt who was Sutro's daughter commissioned the rebuilding of it along with John Tait and his investors. More or less it did not compare to Adolph Sutros Victorian structure but it had a neo-classical style.  It was described as one of the great Bohemian restaurants in the city with some of the best breakfasts on the menu locally. She was trying to keep her fathers dream alive by carrying on the tradition of great entertainment and sumptuous dining. This Cliff House was built to last constructed out of poured concrete and reinforced steal bars. It was built to last a 100 years and was more fire resistant then Adolph's wooden chateau. This Cliff House boasted a ball room, multiple dining rooms and open large glass windows so visitors could take in the stellar viewers.  

Also I read this excerpt which is found on the Cliff House website and kind of tells you a bit about the hardships that would soon follow just a few years after Sutro's granddaughter rebuilt the Cliff House. "
In 1918 the Cliff House was shut down due to military orders signed by the President of the United States, “all establishments within a half mile of military installations are to halt the sale of liquor.” John Tait and his group of investors did not believe the Cliff House could continue to operate without liquor and decided to close it. In December of 1920 Shorty Roberts leased the Cliff House from Charles Sutro. During prohibition a dry Cliff House lacked its previous draw, so Roberts shut down all operations in 1925. Roberts was famous for Roberts-at-the-Beach restaurant located at Great Highway and Rivera Street and later opened Roberts-at-the-Beach motel, which continued to operate until 2008." Both the Cliff House and Baths were struggling or rather were on a downward spiral. The Baths and Cliff House were barely struggling to stay afloat and both almost met their demise by 1920 and WWI took allot of young men away. Men that liked to drink at the Cliff House or swim at the Baths now all at war. Some of you might also have wondered why the Cliff House was shut down since the president said that all establishments must cease the sale of liquor if they were within a half mile of any military installations. With that being said the Cliff House was below the bluffs of Fort Miley which was built in the 1890's to provide coastal defense at Point Lobos defending the entrance into the bay. During WWI soldiers were stationed up here often off duty they would walk down to the Cliff House to drink some brews.

By 1912 Sutro's family tried to get the City of San Francisco to purchase the baths by bond issue for almost $700,000 but they just would not bite just as around the same time the Cliff House was not as popular as the previously built. As a matter in fact by 1919 Dr. Emma Merritt lowered the price to about $410,000 trying to get The Baths off her hands. Sutro's grandson ended up taking on over renovating the baths with a South Seas Theme calling it Tropic Beach meanwhile he was leasing out the Cliff House at the time. He brought in ice skating, dancing, ping-pong, basketball and an indoor beach. His ideas were fantastic but they also were very costly I can imagine this is why Sutro's daughter tried to originally sell the baths because they involved allot of upkeep. The family simply was not making any money at all and eventually everything in due time would be sold. Sutro's grandson tried to renovate the baths during the Great Depression to bring in a whole new generation of visitors it just simply would not last and with WWI and WWII people no longer prioritized coming up to the baths to swim daily.

In 1937 George and Leo Whitney purchased the Cliff House to go along with their "Playland At The Beach" attraction nearby. While the baths still belonged to the grandson of Sutro the family did end up selling the Cliff House to both of the men who remodeled it into an American Roadhouse. They even opened up a sky tram which traversed over the Sutro Baths from Point Lobos to the Cliff House where a beautiful artificial waterfall poured over the outer balcony at. About 25 people could ride the tram at a time and folks would buy souvenirs perhaps get a burger at the restaurant when they arrived. More or less it was a tourist trap where folks might go to Playland ride a few rides catch a meal then ride the tram back to their vehicles.

The Cliff House stayed up for many and eventually Sutro's grandson gave up he was losing to much money therefore in 1952 sold the baths to George Whitney for a steal at $250,000. Unfortunately Whitney could not maintain the pools or the pumping system therefore swimming activities ceased. Whitney closed Playland in the 1960's, the
Musée Mécanique, a museum of 20th-century penny arcade games moving it all to the basement of the Cliff House. Then the Sutro Baths by 1966 were closed down forever leaving everything abandoned a true urban explorers dream when you think about it! A developer wanted to build massive condo buildings here in its place this is why in 1966 they were planning on demolishing everything. However, a short time later the Sutro Baths burned to the ground the cause was arson. The insurance policy on the baths was enormous therefore in the case of a fire the payout to the investors or even Whitney himself would have been quite large which made others suspicious. I heard a short time after the fire Whitney along with anyone that had any business ties with the baths such as developers had gotten out of dodge. Its possible that they baths were burned to the ground in some insurance fraud scam and why? Because by the 1960's the baths were not worth anything; historically yes financially no! It costs far to much to continue to maintain the pools and really Sutro had the knowledge in how to do it as this was originally his design therefore Whitney was losing money! I heard that during site restoration the Musée Mécanique was moved to Fisherman's Wharf but everything else was lost in that fire and none of it could ever be replaced.

Over the years their were talks by developers of erecting two giant condominium skyscrapers where the baths once stood and even a shopping mall. But it never transpired and this could be due to the fact that the National Park Service in 1977 purchased the inlet for five million dollars adding it to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. They not only acquired most of the land but also the Cliff House. Which by the way was renovated in 2003 removing many of George Whitney's additions and restoring the building to its original 1909 Neo-Classical style that Sutro's daughter put forth. Today the Cliff House offers two restaurants one is the more formal Sutro's and the Bistro. Every Sunday the terrace room services a Sunday Brunch Buffet and their is even a gift ship and observation deck. I did happen to visit the gift shop and bought a brochure as my way of donating to the Cliff House. I highly recommend that you visit the Cliff Houses store before hiking down to the beach to check out the Sutro Baths ruins. This is one of the few areas in the country where its actually fully legal to explore and climb on some of the ruins left behind after the fire. Therefore, I am caught between trying to seek out Lands End ghosts while urban exploring this breathtaking site which is why I love this place. Please note that you need to be careful climbing around the cliffs especially near Sutro's Cave folks have gotten swept out into the ocean and drowned. Even more so more then thirty ships have run aground just below the Cliff House. The waters here are very turbulent and some of the rocks you see rising from the ocean have been responsible for sinking ships along with there crew members.

I read that during the 2013 government shutdown the Park Service ordered the restaurant to close but the owners defied the order and were forced to close again. They had to reopen it with permission.  More or less for at least 150 years Lobos Point or rather Land's End has been an active site even prior to that when the natives lived off the land. It truly has hundreds of years of history and when you come across the ruins they feel allot older then what they seem to be. Today they are more like ponds or pools of water with foliage growing everywhere and a place where birds gather. Not all of the history found at Lands End is tragic afterall this was a place where people proposed to one another, married at, kids swam in the pools laughing all day long as they went down the water slides and people road the Ferris wheel at. Today not much has changed people still continue to soak up the views while dining at the Cliff House others hike down to the beach to play in the water. Others explore the ruins of the monolithic baths while more then often the Blue Angels fly over Land's End. As a matter in fact this is one of the best places to view them so if you go make sure you look up every so often!

Now that I have given you the history lets talk a bit about the paranormal and the strange. One of the more well known stories to be passed down through the years is about the Cliff House Ghost Lady. Some folks claim that she is actually a statue located near the restaurant others claim she is a ghost that wanders the cliffs below. Folks claim that her statue is actually located on a rocky island across from the old Sutro Baths and Cliff House. Perhaps its just a rocky formation that appears to be statue like? Sightings of the ghost began in 1917 and is of a woman whose actual name was Natalie Salina Harrison. The urban legend states that she was in love with a man named Sean Eric Anderson who fought during WWI against the Germans and was killed. Before he departed San Francisco he promised Ms. Harrison that he would come back and marry her. Well he never returned from the war and she stood on the island awaiting her love. As the legend states she died and turned into petrified stone thus becoming a statue.  Over the years men have been said to be lured by this ghostly lady right off their cliffs or into the raging ocean. I have heard quite a few stories about some people wandering off with the ghost and vanishing without a trace.

Besides the Cliff House goes psychic mediums claim their is a strong negative force surrounding this inlet but then again of course their is considering how many men have died here in ship wrecks. Other folks report seeing a multitude of ghosts here some even dressed in old swim suits of the day. Others claim they have seen ghosts walking along the beach with umbrellas and even holding towels. Some people have heard ghosts laughing as well as crying like the weeping EVP we captured on our first project at the Sutro Baths. I heard others have captured similar EVP's I am not the first paranormal investigator to visit the site nor will I be the last but this is one of my favorite places in San Francisco and it really deserves the love. Their is allot of energy here ranging from ship wrecks, deaths, fires and happy memories to. With that being said it would be abnormal if this location was not haunted! This is a location that presidents visited but it also is a place where some have came to live and others came here to die!

Then we have Sutro Cave but I also heard there is another tunnel system nearby I did not see it but I have seen photos of some tunnels. I heard after the fire the cave was abandoned for many years along with the tunnels not so much today but years ago people claimed a creature lived in them. People who explored the subterranean complained often of seeing unidentifiable claw marks, hearing strange noises and footsteps inside the cave. Many of the locals though that something was living just offshore and may have been used the underground as some sort of lair. People were finding bones, fur, half eaten carcasses of birds, fish and yes even raccoons. Whatever it was had claws my guess would have been a bobcat maybe even a mountain lion although most folks will say differently. Even today the mutilations continue but then again that does not make it paranormal more or less survival of the fittest. I have found big cat lairs in mines here in Nevada so it would not be so outlandish to say at one time a bit kitty may have found the Sutro Cave to be a suitable environment. I heard that the cave and tunnels are not just rumored to be the lair of a monster but also filled with ghosts. Recently a member sent me a sea monster video not taken to far from Land's End its a big ocean I suppose anything is possible. More then likely whatever was dwelling here is long gone but if its still around it might just be lurking below the cliffs awaiting its next victim!

Then we have another series of stories about cult practices which use to take place inside the cave and tunnels. San Francisco supposedly was the birthplace of modern Satanism and its founder Anton LaVey founded the church of Santa in the Black House. The Black House was not very far away from the Sutro Baths may I add therefore more then likely they may have utilized this area to conduct rituals, sacrifices and do seances. Anton LaVey may not have sacrificed any humans nor animals but some of his followers were bad apples and did. Over the years upside down pentagrams have been found here and their is a local legend that if you bring a lit candle through the cave when you arrive at the end an invisible force will throw it into the ocean. Their are so many strange stories that surround Land's End all of them cant just be coincidence for a paranormal investigator such as myself to just simply dismiss. Its a very mysterious place full of love and loss and most mornings and evenings a very thick fog looms over the baths. You can just feel it in the air here sure its a gorgeous place but with a costs sacrifices were made for others to really enjoy all this place has to offer!

Then we also have a series of suicides that have taken place at Land's End and trust me there are some very dangerous cliffs here. Some people have perished just tumbling over one of those cliffs and waters below are churning. On the Bluffs not to far from Fort Miley there was a cemetery which was removed here in the 1930's unfortunately not all the bodies were exhumed and today on occasion one pops up. Maybe some of the haunts are connected with angry spirits of those buried in that cemetery who are forgotten and trying to make their presence known! I am not sure anyone died in the fires but you never know. Its possible a vagrant may have been staying at the Sutro Baths while it as the cause was arson. Then you have multiple shipwrecks which were responsible for killing quite a few men at sea. The Ohioan, Lyman Steward and Frank Buck can all be seen from Lands End. However the SS City of Rio De Janeiro did sink fully and over a 100 men died not to far from The Cliff House. Their ghosts are said to haunt the shoreline here dressed in sailor attire even and it might just be residual energy due such a traumatic incident where so many men died at the same time. Also some of the largest great white sharks traverse the shoreline in search of seals one can imagine that many men who died at sea or drowned ended up in the mouth of one of these terrifying sharks that dwell in these frigid waters.

Lastly Sutro was a well traveled man his put his heart and is soul into these baths because he wanted visitors to have a vast amount of recreational and educational opportunities. While one could swim for the day they also could visit his art gallery or even museum to see a variety of antiquities and artifacts that Sutro collected over the years. Adolph Sutro traveled to the Middle East, Asia, China and even Mexico. He collected everything from paintings, sculptures, tapestries and even Egyptian Mummies which at one time were housed here. Sometimes ancient artifacts are said to carry curses or for that matter even be haunted. The fact remains that sure the artifacts are long gone but maybe the curse that came with them which might have explained all the strange fires, incidents and tragedies over the years. Like I said earlier I find it hard to believe that everything that has ever occurred at Lands End to just be a mere coincidence. You knew however if you visited the Sutro Baths you were in for an all day family excursion as visitors went swimming, watched talent shows, dined at the Cliff House, toured the museum, saw bands and braved the crazy carnival rides.  

When you browse our Sutro Bath Places we want you to feel the history you have to understand it before you can even think about the ghosts. Without the history legends, ghostly tales and the supernatural may not have been prevalent here. I want our viewers to know that this project is not complete yet there will be a second exploration of the baths but for now we really want you to enjoy the vintage photos which I have compiled for our viewers. What do the old black and white vintage photos show? Simple love and loss! Your going to see folks skating, swimming, laughter, smiles, ships wrecking, tragic fires, history, train cars, trams and what was and what is as you see the how this inlet over time transformed through the years. All of this combined with nature, breathtaking views, ruins of the past, geology and a hint of the paranormal. Only then you can you understand how grand the Cliff House and Sutro Baths area along with their value. People sunk their entire lives into this place Adolph Sutro being one of them. When you look at the vintage photos you think wow these were once people like you and I spending time with there families enjoying a day at the beach. Today not much has changed despite the baths being in ruins this is a really bustling place with hikers, photographers, lovers kissing and kids playing. So when you browse our photos your going to see people in them just something to keep in mind as the Sutro Baths reside on the edge of San Francisco which today is a major city thus allot of folks are just looking to escape the urban life and enjoy the beauty of Lands End!

Copyright By
Lord Rick aka AngelOfThyNight
PGS Founder
Author, Producer, Talk Show Host and Paranormal Adventurer

In Memoriam Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro April 1830 - August 1898

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (April 29, 1830 – August 8, 1898) was a German-American engineer, politician and philanthropist who served as the 24th mayor of San Francisco from 1895 until 1897. Born a German Jew, he moved to Virginia City, Nevada and made a fortune at the Comstock Lode. He is today perhaps best remembered for the various San Francisco lands and landmarks that still bear his name.

Sutro Tunnel

Born to a Jewish family[1] in Aachen, Rhine Province, Prussia (today North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), Sutro, educated as an engineer, arrived in the United States at age 20. In 1860, he introduced himself to William Ralston of the Bank of California and introduced his plans for de-watering and de-gassing the mine shafts of the Comstock Lode by driving a tunnel through Mount Davidson to drain the water. Sutro incorporated the Sutro Tunnel company and raised US$3 million, a considerable fortune through this work in Nevada. He included the miners in his scheme, and planned to sail to Europe to negotiate with the Parisian Bank, but the Franco-Prussian War commenced in the middle of July 1870. Sutro was stymied, but out of the blue came an offer from a London bank led by a banker named McClamont, who offered $750,000 in gold per year for the Comstock.

According to historian Samuel Dickson, "... Sutro set off blasts of dynamite, ... leading the way for tunnel diggers. He fought avalanches, mud slides and poisonous gases. He dug air shafts to relieve the danger; the shafts filled with water, one of them to the depth of nine hundred feet. He fought cave-ins and solid rock. Through the grueling months, day after day and month after month, he marched ahead of his men, stripped to the waist, laboring with them, sweating with them, facing death with them, and in the end, winning through with them to victory."

Adolph Sutro became King of the Comstock because his tunnels drained three to 4 million US gallons (15,000 m3) of water a day, rented by mine owners at an average of $10,000 a day, "all moneys accumulated for his stockholders."

Sutro saw that better German pumps were becoming available, that the Comstock was going even deeper than his drainage tunnel and diminishing in metal output, and sold out before conditions worsened further, departing rich for San Francisco.

Estate, baths, and home

His wealth was increased by large real estate investments in San Francisco, where he became an entrepreneur and public figure after returning from the Comstock in 1879. These land investments included Mount Sutro, Land's End (the area where Lincoln Park and the Cliff House are today), and Mount Davidson, which was called "Blue Mountain" at the time.

Sutro opened his own estate to the public and was heralded as a populist for various astute acts of public munificence, such as opening an aquarium and an elaborate and beautiful, glass-enclosed entertainment complex called Sutro Baths. Though the Baths were not opened until 1896, Sutro had been developing and marketing the project for years, attempting four separate times to insulate the site from waves using sea walls, the first three of which collapsed into the Pacific. In 1896, Adolph Sutro built a new Cliff House, a seven story Victorian Chateau, called by some "the Gingerbread Palace," below his estate on the bluffs of Sutro Heights. This was the same year work began on the famous Sutro Baths, which included six of the largest indoor swimming pools north of the Restaurant that included a museum, skating rink and other pleasure grounds. Great throngs of San Franciscans arrived on steam trains, bicycles, carts and horse wagons on Sunday excursions. In 1894, Sutro, in preparation for the opening of the Cliff House, bought a large part of the collection of Woodward's Gardens, a combination zoo, amusement park, aquarium, and art gallery which had closed in 1891.[2]
The Baths were saltwater and springwater pools, heated to varying degrees, and surrounded by a concert hall and museums stocked with treasures that Sutro had collected in his travels and from Woodward's Gardens. The baths became very popular despite their remote location, across the open dunes to the west of the populated areas of the city. This popularity was partly due to the low entry fee for visiting the Baths and riding the excursion railroad he built to reach them. The railroad grade still exists as a walking trail along the Land's End cliffs, maintained by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Sutro managed a great increase in the value of his outlying land investments as a direct result of the development burst that his vacationers' railroad spawned. He also increased the value of his lands by planting his property at Mount Sutro with saplings of fast-growing eucalyptus. This occurred at the same time as city Supervisors granted tax-free status to "forested" lands within city limits. Small fragments of the forest still exist. The largest is at Mount Sutro, where 61 acres (250,000 m2) are the property of the University of California, San Francisco, and another 19 are property of the City of San Francisco.

Mayor (1894–1896)

Sutro's reputation as a provider of diversions and culture for the average person led the politically weak and radical Populist Party to draft him to run for mayor on their ticket. He won on an anti-big business platform, inveighing against the tight grip that the Southern Pacific Railroad had over local businesses. Nevertheless, he was quickly considered a failed mayor, ill suited for political work, and did not provide the popularity boost his party had hoped to achieve by association with him.

At the time of his death, in 1898, his fortune was extensive and his legal affairs in disarray. As a result, his heirs fought bitterly over his holdings.

Many of Sutro's gifts to the city of San Francisco still exist and bear his name, such as Mount Sutro, originally Mount Parnassus (a lower hill nearby is the location of the Sutro Tower), and Sutro Heights. Sutro Baths became a skating rink and then was destroyed by a fire in 1966. The ruins of the baths (mostly the cement foundations) are just north of the Cliff House. They are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (1894-1896)


His brother was Otto Sutro, an organist, conductor and minor composer who was very prominent in musical life in Baltimore, Maryland.

His nieces (Otto's daughters) were Rose and Ottilie Sutro, the first recognised piano-duo team.

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