Francisco was a land of sand dunes and roaming animals when
the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Though much of San
Francisco developed in the ensuing years the Haight Ashbury
remained in its virginal state of sand dunes and roaming wildlife.
Now the city easily encompasses the Haight district but in
the early and mid 19th century the Haight had only a few barn
houses because the city had not expanded far enough westward.
The Haight was in the minority because its soil was more fertile
than the rest of San Francisco. The Haight also had trees
and small springs as opposed to the acres of sand that had
been in downtown. In the 1850’s the Haight was had four
dairy farms. Each farm was approximately nine acres and their
owners are now immortalized with street names. The northern
farm was owned by Henry Haight, who became the first governor
of California. The eastern farm was owned buy R. Beverly Cole.
The Southern farm was owned by Gratten and the Westward farm
was owned by Stanyan. The city was rapidly expanding as the
economy became more stable and less dependent on the gold
and silver found in the hills. With this new economy came
more and more families and children that had not been present
during the rough and tumble first years of the gold rush.