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A guide to the Patrick Cunneen collection of South End Rowing Club photographs, 1880-2003
P07-004 (SAFR 23145)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: Patrick Cunneen collection of South End Rowing Club photographs
    Date: 1880-2003
    Date (bulk): 1930-1970
    Identifier/Call Number: P07-004 (SAFR 23145)
    Collector: Cunneen, Patrick
    Physical Description: 484 items. Some items available online.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Patrick Cunneen collection of South End Rowing Club photographs, 1880-2003, (P07-004, SAFR 23145) is comprised mainly of club members rowing, swimming, running, and socializing at their boathouse in San Francisco and in other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The collection has been processed to the item level.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Dates refer to when the original photograph was taken. Many of the photographic prints and negatives in this collection are copies that were made much later than when the original photograph was taken, and the dates of these reproductions were noted when known.
    Some of the photographs (mostly 8 x 10 in.) have South End paper scroll labels with descriptive information affixed to the front of them. The presence of these labels likely indicates that the photographs were at one time framed and hanging in the South End boathouse.
    Information about numeric stamps on the back of the photographs has been included in the physical description notes, because in the early 20th century the stamp often signified the customer number. This might help to identify which photographs came from particular people.
    Photographs are numbered 1-280A, 280B-483. Each item number represents one photographic image or textual item. There are often different versions of a photograph (e.g. a print and a negative) but they are described as one item because they both depict the same image. The photographs were arranged in chronological order within each series. The photographs have been housed by material type and size, according to appropriate storage needs.

    Rowing Nomenclature and Abbreviations

    • Coxed four man sweep = sweep boat (each man only has one oar) with four men rowing and a coxswain
    • Coxless four man sweep = sweep boat (each man only has one oar) with four men rowing, with no coxswain
    • Single scull = one man rowing in a boat with two oars
    • Rowers number = Typically, each rower is identified by a sequential number in order from bow to stern. Occasionally, the numbering is reversed.
    • PAAO= Pacific Association of Amateur Oarsmen
    • SERC=South End Rowing Club
    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P07-004 (SAFR 23145), Patrick Cunneen collection of South End Rowing Club photographs, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-01988
    On December 3, 2007, the following materials were formally accessioned as SAFR-01988: photographic prints, negatives, and documents (including news clippings, announcements, etc.). They were donated by Patrick "Pat" Cunneen, a historian of the South End Rowing Club.
    Pat Cunneen took some of the photographs; however, the bulk were taken by a variety of other photographers, many unknown. Cunneen acquired most of the photographs from South End Rowing Club members but many do not have the photographer or source identified. Some members that likely gave him photographs are Carl H. Bierbaum, George Farnsworth, Al Horstmeyer, Al Rossi and Mrs. A. Rossi, Art Weinrib, and the son of Mike Wheatley.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    The South End Rowing Club is one of the oldest rowing clubs on the Pacific Coast still in existence. It was established in San Francisco in 1873, and its boathouse has been in various locations in Aquatic Park since late 1908. It has been in its current location at Hyde and Jefferson Streets since 1937. The club members participate in both professional and amateur rowing, as well as swimming, running, and handball competitions. They also participate in many social activities, including their annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.
    The South End Boat Club was founded on May 5, 1873, in San Francisco. The first officers were: Peter McAvoy (president); James Bolan (vice-president); H. Comfort (secretary) and James Roe (treasurer). Some of the first members were Dave Morris, Charles West, Richard Landers, Charles Brown, and [Tom] McNamara (Pickelhaupt, Club Rowing, 14).
    The first boathouse of the South End Boat Club was located at the foot of Third Street and Berry Street, in an area of the city called Steamboat Point. This location likely got its name because in the late 1850s, decommissioned and broken-down steamboats that had been shipped from the East Coast in pieces were reassembled near the foot of Third Street (1). Steamboat Point was near the Long Bridge, which ran along the line of Fourth Street from Channel Street on the north to the Potrero [Potrero Point] and on to Hunters Point (2). Construction of the bridge started on February 9, 1865. There were many boathouses on or near the bridge, and regattas were held there regularly.
    On April 7, 1874, the South End Boat Club and Friendship Rowing Club decided to combine forces and adopted the name of the Neptune Boat Club, and took over the South End's boathouse (16-17). In November 1878, the Neptune Boat Club changed its name to the Golden Gate Rowing Club. This was to avoid confusion with the Neptune Swimming and Boating Club in North Beach (which was established July 14, 1877) (20).
    In July 1881, the South End Boat Club was reestablished. The Golden Gate Rowing Club moved out of the building at the foot of Third Street and the new members of the South End Boat Club moved in (25). On February 26, 1882, the South End Boat Club participated in their first race after this re-establishment; a race against the Golden Gate Rowing Club (28). In September of 1885, construction started on a new boathouse for the South End Boat Club (still near the location at the end of Third Street). The architect was Adolph C. Lutgens and the contractors were E & F. J. Owens. (In 1895 Lutgens was hired to construct the Dolphin Club's new building.) The new South End boathouse was finished on November 1, 1885. The first floor was used for boat storage and dances, and the second floor was used as an assembly room, dressing room, and bath (38).
    In the early 1890s the club's official colors became red and white (46). Towards the end of 1891, the South End Boat Club changed its name to the South End Rowing Club (SERC). By 1892, there were 100 members of the South End Rowing Club and they built an indoor gymnasium in the boathouse (47). In 1897, the South End board approved the construction of a handball court, which was completed in October 1899 (52).
    From mid-1900 to 1901, there was discussion between the city of San Francisco and the South End Rowing Club about moving the club's boathouse. The Southern Pacific Railroad wanted to buy the block where the boathouse was located, in order to put in tracks and a warehouse. In December 1901, it was decided that the South End Rowing Club had to move, but they were able to get an 18 month stay in effect on January 1, 1902. "A letter from the San Francisco Board of Public Works in March 1902, ordered the boathouse and handball court [to be] removed by July 1, 1903." The court was removed in May 1903 and in June, and construction started on a boathouse in a new location. The new boathouse was located at the foot of 16th Street near the Arctic Oil Wharf and was designed by Frank Van Trees. In early summer of 1904, the South End Rowing Club moved into its new boathouse (67-69).
    After only being in their new location for about three years, in August 1907, the Harbor Commission ordered the South End Rowing Club to move because they wanted to extend the seawall through Central Basin, Islais Creek and India Basin. In late 1908, the South End Rowing Club boathouse was moved on a barge owned by Henry Petersen. The building was towed to the foot of Van Ness Avenue, on the west side of Black Point Cove (this Cove became known as Aquatic Park in the late 1920s-1930s) (70-72). In 1919, the club built a handball court at their location in Black Point Cove. It was so popular that a second one was built a few years later, likely in 1922 (74).
    In 1913, The Panama Pacific International Exposition Company built an elevated railroad trestle across the cove and in 1914 built a tunnel through Black Point to reach the exposition grounds in the area known today as the Marina. This elevated trestle went across the ends of the rowing club's docks and was not a welcome addition. In the early 1920s, the railroad trestle was moved further inland, even closer to the Ariel Rowing Club, Dolphin Rowing Club, and South End Rowing Club. The trestle was still elevated over their docks but was much closer to the boathouses.
    In July or August 1927, the SERC boathouse was moved from the foot of Van Ness Avenue to the foot of Larkin Street. On December 7, 1937, the club, along with the Dolphin Rowing Club and Ariel Rowing Club, was moved to its current location at the corner of Hyde Street and Jefferson Street (87, 89).
    Beginning in the 1930s-1940s, swimming became more popular at the SERC club. Members started participating in annual events such as the Golden Gate Swim, the New Year's Morning Swim, and the Alcatraz Swim. There have also been many other events that have taken place in Aquatic Park and swimming still continues to be a popular activity at the South End Rowing Club.
    In 1975, Joan Brown, Lee Bender, Trudy DiLorenzo, Diane Major, Cecile Marie, and Marilyn Rodman sued the South End and the Dolphin clubs for discrimination, because they wanted to be allowed to become members. In 1977 they won the lawsuit, and women were finally allowed to become members of both clubs. After their victory, all six women went on to become life-long members of the South End Rowing Club or the Dolphin Club (De Dijn 11).

    Notable South End Rowing Club Members

    • -Charles W. Dullea: San Francisco Chief of Police (1940-1947)
    • -Father Charles W. Dullea, SJ (Fr. Dullea) (died 2004): son of Charles W. Dullea (SF Chief of Police). He served as a college professor, the Principal of Bellarmine College Preparatory School in San Jose and the President (1963-1969), Chancellor and Chancellor Emeritus of USF.
    • -John L. Herget (aka "Young Mitchell"): boxer, saloon keeper, and later politician on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1910-1912
    • -Al Horstmeyer: general contractor for Coit Tower (built in 1933)
    • -Tom Rice (Thomas C. Rice): All-American football player at the University of San Francisco in the 1940s. Professional wrestler "The Masked Marvel" in the 1950s and 1960s (also known as "The Red Scorpion" and then "The Red Phantom"). Good friends with South End member George Farnsworth (aka Furlong). Rice and Farnsworth swam together in the San Francisco Bay almost every day, starting in 1966. When he was 63 he towed a 200-ton sailing vessel several hundred yards while swimming. At 67 he pulled a 120-ton San Francisco tour boat 200 yards using a backstroke and a harness (the boat was loaded with USF alumni and was a stunt for the annual fund drive).
    • -Hugh Toner: Saloon-keeper at the foot of Third Street; State Senator from his district in 1895 and 1897
    • -John Twigg: Boatbuilder - owned John Twigg's Boat Building Shop. Also made gasoline launches in the 1890s.
    • -Ben Wallis: Joined South End, then coached the UC Berkeley crew on a volunteer basis from 1916-1923 and laid the basis for a strong crew program at Cal
    • -Mike Wheatley (Noah Mique Wheatley aka N.M. Wheatley): Founder of Mother's Cookies. Mother's is known for pink and white iced "Circus Animal Cookies."

    Selected List of South End Rowing Club Presidents

    • 1873 - Peter McAvoy
    • 1897 - Edward Scully
    • 1898 - Edward Scully
    • 1899 - John D. Mahoney
    • 1900 - Judge Timothy I. Fitzpatrick
    • 1903 - Charles Jenkins
    • 1906 - Frederick Deremer
    • 1908 - Dr. William Herrington
    • 1912 - E. J. Scully
    • 1941 - Harry Corbett
    • 1947 - Mike Lawley
    • 1951 - Malcolm W. Steel
    • 1956 - Bert Capps
    • 1972 - Chuck Waller
    • 1984 - Frank Gallagher
    Note: This list was gleaned from annotations on photographs and sources used to write the SERC history.

    Chronology

    1873 May 5 South End Boat Club was founded. Boathouse was at the foot of Third Street and Berry Street
    1874 Apr 7 South End Boat Club and Friendship Rowing Club decided to combine forces and adopted the name of the Neptune Boat Club
    1878 Nov Neptune Boat Club changed its name to the Golden Gate Rowing Club
    1880 Aug South End Boat Club was reestablished by J. Bender, H. Lennon, Tim Lynch, and P. F. McCarthy. Members moved back into original boathouse and Golden Gate Rowing Club members moved elsewhere.
    Late 1891 South End Boat Club changed its name to the South End Rowing Club (SERC)
    Sumr 1904 SERC moved into their new boathouse at the foot of 16th Street near the Arctic Oil Wharf
    Late 1908 The SERC Boathouse was towed on a barge to the foot of Van Ness Avenue, on the west side of Black Point Cove
    1909 Jun 20 Grand public opening of the SERC boathouse at its new location at the foot of Van Ness Avenue
    1916 Apr 22 The SERC placed a float in front of their clubhouse and widened the walk and placed seats for the convenience of the public
    Early 1920s The elevated railroad trestle was moved closer inland and the tracks were even closer to the SERC boathouse. Some of the photos taken around this time jokingly refer to the SERC club as the "R/R trestle top club"
    1927 Jul/Aug The SERC boathouse was moved from the foot of Van Ness Avenue to the foot of Larkin Street, to allow for the extension of Van Ness Avenue
    1937 Dec 7 The SERC was moved to its current location at the foot of Hyde Street
    1977 Women were allowed to become members of the SERC
    Sources: Aquatic Park: San Francisco Maritime National Park. National Park Service Cultural Landscapes Inventory 2001. http://www.nps.gov/safr/parkmgmt/upload/AqParkCulturalLandscapeInventory.pdf, accessed February 17, 2012.
    Delgado, James P. A Dream of Seven Decades: San Francisco's Aquatic Park. Reprinted from "California History" 64:4 The Magazine of the California Historical Society Fall 1985.
    De Dijn, Annelien. South End: A Boys' Club No More. The South Ender (Fall 2009): p. 11.
    Inkersley, Arthur. Rowing on San Francisco Bay. "Outing" 35:6, March 1900, p. 575-584. http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/Outing/Volume_35/outXXXV06/outXXXV06e.pdf, accessed March 13, 2012.
    Pickelhaupt, Bill. 1995. Club Rowing on San Francisco Bay 1839-1939: Featuring the South End Rowing Club. Printed in the United States.
    Pickelhaupt, Bill. 2005. San Francisco's Aquatic Park. San Francisco: Arcadia Publishing.
    Note: Pickelhaupt gives conflicting information about the Friendship Rowing Club. On page 10 of "Club Rowing on San Francisco Bay," he says that "The Friendship Rowing Club appears to have been formed by the consolidation of the California Boat Club and the Oakleaf Rowing Club." But later in the book, on page 16, he says that "The South End and Friendship clubs decided to combine forces, emerging as the Neptune Boat Club in April 1874" and on page 17 he says "The Neptune Boat Club, successor to the South End Boat Club and Friendship Rowing Club, was founded April 7, 1874." In his 2005 publication "San Francisco's Aquatic Park," Pickelhaupt also makes reference to the fact that the Friendship and South End clubs merged as Neptune.
    Pickelhaupt also says that the South End Rowing Club was reestablished in July 1881. This conflicts with other information in the Inkersley article that says the club was reorganized in August 1880. The 1880 date seems more plausible because this collection contains several photographs of the front of the boathouse that has a sign that says "Est. 1880."

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Patrick Cunneen collection of South End Rowing Club photographs, 1880-2003, (P07-004, SAFR 23145) is comprised mainly of club members rowing, swimming, running, and socializing at their boathouse in San Francisco and in other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The collection has been processed to the item level.
    Contains photographs of South End Rowing Club (SERC) members participating in recreational and competitive athletic events (rowing, swimming, running) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rowing and swimming locations include Aquatic Park, the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, and the San Francisco Bay. There are many photographs of social events at their boathouse in Aquatic Park and on various beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection has been arranged into six series:

    • Series 1: Rowing
    • Series 2: Swimming
    • Series 3: Running and Triathlons
    • Series 4: Members
    • Series 5: Boathouse and surrounding neighborhood
    • Series 6: Other photographs, textual material and clippings

    Container List

    • Box 1: Negatives
    • Box 2: Prints (5 x 7 in. or smaller)
    • Box 3: Prints (5 x 7 in. or smaller)
    • Box 4: Prints (larger than 5 x 7 in. to 8 x 10 in.)
    • Box 5: Prints (larger than 5 x 7 in. to 8 x 10 in.)
    • Box 6: Prints (larger than 8 x 10 in.)
    While there are photographs of members throughout the collection, rowing, swimming and running/triathlons have been put into separate series because these were major categories of activity at the South End Rowing Club. Handball was also an activity that the members participated in, but there are no photographs of this activity in this collection and there is consequently no series for this topic.
    The photographs in Series 4 (Members) generally show the members socializing, as opposed to training or competing in athletic events. However since the club members liked rowing, some of the social events involve getting to places in boats or swimming in the water. Since many of the photographs in the Members series did not have much description on the back of the prints, it is entirely possible that some of this socializing happened before or after athletic events (or training). Since it is hard to tell when this is the case, these photographs have not been placed into the first three series and have instead been left in the 4th series which is more inclusive. The Members series shows SERC members socializing with each other and does not include photographs of members in their personal lives outside of the club.
    The photographs in Series 5 (Boathouse and surrounding neighborhood) are generally comprised of photographs of the boathouse and neighborhood alone, without any members nearby (there are a few exceptions). There are many photographs in series 1-4 that were taken at or near the boathouse, so portions of the boathouse can be seen in these photos. This has been noted when known (e.g. Group portrait of four men in front of the SERC boathouse). The photos in series 5 are generally shots taken from further back, showing the entire view of the boathouse at some of its various locations in San Francisco throughout the years.

    Related Materials

    San Francisco Maritime Museum Classified Photograph Collection (SAFR 21374): South End Rowing Club, Aquatic Park, San Francisco, CA, late 1908. Black-and-white photographic print mounted and copy negative, A11.15926pl and A12.15926n. Looking toward Black Point over present Aquatic Park area, between late 1908 and August 1912. Copy negative from Society of California Pioneers, A11.00332n. Aquatic Park area, San Francisco, CA, circa 1915-1927. Consists of 3 prints on single mount. 1. Belt Line Railroad trestle over Club docks, 1915; 2. Trestle further inland, approximately 1922-1927 with view of Dolphin Club dock; 3. Crew race with sweep boats in Aquatic Park, circa 1922, A12.36855pl. Aquatic Park area, San Francisco, CA, 1920-1925. Consists of 3 prints on single mount. 1. steam shovel on the shore of Aquatic Park and the elevated Belt Railroad trestle on the left, 1920; 2. Pacific Coast Rowing Championship Race in 1925; 3. Single man (possibly Malcolm Steel) scull in Aquatic Park, circa 1922, A12.36856pl. Fort Mason with views of South End Rowing Club. San Francisco, CA, 1927 April, A12.39741psl. Aquatic Park construction with views of South End Rowing Club and Dolphin Rowing Club boathouses, San Francisco, Calif, Bear Photo Service, June 24, 1935, A12.40871p. Rowing Clubs piers at Aquatic Park, San Francisco, CA, 1965, A12.19363n
    Ted Wurm photograph collection. (SAFR 19184, P82-008). Includes 2 photographs of Club at the foot of Van Ness Avenue, February 26, 1918.
    Donald L. Paff collection of San Francisco rowing club photographs, circa 1919. P99-023.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    Fang family San Francisco examiner photograph archive negative files. Bancroft Library. BANC PIC 2006.029. Box 346: South End Rowing Club, L to R: John L. Dolan, Ed. Maher, Ray Johansen, Jack Stanley, Captain Morris McGowan, F.H. Hamlin, M.P. Crivello, A.P. Hassett, L.F. Martin; second row, L to R: W. Walsh, A. Hickey, W. Stanton, T. McInery, Goe Engler, Leo Beggs, Tom McGoldrick, Bill Burns, Jack Keane, Jack Scanlon, J. Engler, Aug. 3, 1930 [315]. Boxes 527-528: South End Golden Gate swim, 1931 [9609.01]. Box 787: UC Berkeley team rowing crew and South End Rowing Club, 1940 [100409, 3 sleeves].
    Roy D. Graves Pictorial Collection. Bancroft Library. BANC PIC 1905.17500--ALB. Volume 17:13 South End Rowing Club. Foot of Van Ness Avenue. February, 1918.
    University of California crew photographs compiled by Benjamin F.B. Wallis. Bancroft Library, UC Archives (f 308if.c.W19). 1 album (89 photographic prints): b&w ; album 39 x 40 cm. Includes rowing crews at the University of California at Berkeley and at the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco.
    • This material is located at University of California, Berkeley. Bancroft Library.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Rowing--California--San Francisco Bay--Photographs
    Rowing clubs--California--San Francisco Bay Area
    South End Rowing Club (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Aquatic Park (San Francisco, Calif.)
    San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
    San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
    Oakland Inner Harbor (Calif.)
    Black-and-white negatives
    Black-and-white prints
    Gelatin silver prints
    Color prints (photographs)
    Color negatives
    Cabinet photographs
    Clippings
    Ephemera