Teardrop Memories

Size: 13 x 11 Mattted
San Francisco earthquake and fire survivor gravestone monument dealer photo dated April 3rd 1906. Great antique Old West image. It must have been a busy year for Hugo with the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, considering is profession.
Carl J. Zulk, Mrs. Zulk and family dog standing in the doorway of their two story Victorian house Monument, Tombstone Dealership office. C.J. Zulk can be seen sporting moustache, wearing three piece suit, watch chain, tie and Bowler Hat. Mrs. Zulk hair in bun wearing full length skirt w sash belt, long sleeve heavy blouse buttoned around neck.
Inside front window is raised letter sign on wood plaque - C.J. ZULK OFFICE There’s 20+ very ornate marble and granite Tombstones, Grave markers, Headstones displayed out front. The charming Victorian two story house has two overhanging window boxes w windows on three sides with paneled wood construction. Window on right has an ornate crocheted piece displayed.
Large sign on pole reads: C.J. ZULK. MONUMENTAL WORKS.
Sign on front of window boxes reads: C.J. ZULK DEALER IN GRANITE AND MARBLE MONUMENTS They must have raised farm animals horses for there's fences, sheds in the background. Dirt road in front. U.S. Flag can be seen waiving at left. Beveled edge 10 3/4"x 12 7/8" gray matte features a raised black perimeter around photo. Less yellow in hand as flash distorts this clear image.Imprinted in silver lettering: HUGO WEITZ, Photo. 125 Chattanooga St. S.F. A hand written note on the reverse side in pen and ink:
Inn 3th April 1906.....Zulk Unfortunately I can't make out the rest of the inscription.
Many thanks to local historian John Freeman for the following comments:
I make a quick field trip past the block where the Monument Works once stood, but the modest little building is long gone. With a modest three bedroom, 70 - 80 year old home on a 25' lot in San Francisco selling at over a $ million these days, land value it too precious, especially on a commercially zoned street where the Monument Works was once located, to keep cute little old buildings. Running out of room wasn't the cemeteries major problem on this peninsula, the land for housing got more valuable than for permanent residents in the ground.

Like so many, Hugo Weitz turns out to be a fairly busy photographer. I have seen school group photos, business-house photos, 2 related to a printing shop and now the third version of the cemetery monument maker, Zulk.
A note on the back, written just two weeks before the quake is interesting.
The fire in '06 didn't get very far into the Mission District. Most of the neighborhood was wood, but there was better water protection AND fortunately the wind changed. You don't read much about it, but one of the major reasons the fire in 1906 got as much headway as it did was because it was a very usual "off shore" flow easterly wind blowing from the land toward the ocean April 18th and 19th, 1906. The fires started near the waterfront area were fanned westerly and south toward the Mission District for two days.
On the third day the usual westerly breeze kicked in and then fanned the fires back toward the previously burned area, but also toward some of the sections that had been "missed" in North Beach. The old Mission Dolores was spared, but the fire came within a block of it. The more residential sections of the Mission District were also spared Chattanooga St. for example. The location was right outside the Odd Fellow Cemetery, on Geary Boulevard, then called Point Lobos Ave. near Parker Street, Stanyan St. The only hint today that there was a cemetery in that area is the historic Columbarium building of the Neptune Society.

Tear Drop Memories offers fine Post Mortem photography, rare funeral collectibles and interesting cemetery art, vintage Halloween and death related books. Please visit our other two TIAS web shops ; North Fork Pets And Antiques, a great shop for antique Victorian bird cages and vintage Dog, animal collectibles and Maidens Memoirs, the place for old Love letters, Victorian scrap Books, vintage diaries and circus freak photos. Email us for our phone number we are dying to hear from you!

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