Did you ever hear of Steuart street park? It was located right here in San Francisco and was quite a famous spot in its day. Here is the story of that almost forgotten place. Steuart street, from Market to Folsom street, was planked in the old days and these planks kept settling in the mud. The planks were sticking up in the center and the mud kept oozing in over the rest of the street. All efforts to have the supervisors make some repairs met with no success and at last the teamsters decided to make some repairs of their own or at least try to do something to improve the appearance of the thoroughfare.
They raked up the mud toward the center of the street and somewhat forced down the bulging planks. Then in a week following New Year's they collected all of the old discarded Christmas trees they could find and stuck them up along the side of the street between Market and Folsom. They hung fish and vegetables on the trees and christened the place Steuart street park. Curtin, who ran a sailor boarding house there, helped the teamsters to build the waterfront park. Jim Smith, who ran the Oregon House was also prominent in furnishing liquid stimulants for its proper christening.
Henry Peterson, the boatman, lived right around the corner from Steuart at 161 1/2 Folsom
street. The police station, the first harbor station, was on Steuart street between Howard
and Folsom. The making of Steuart street park happened about 1872 and the story of its
making was told by Charles Burnham, who at that time lived at Smith's place on Folsom
near Main. Burnham is a member of the South of Market Boys and came from Hartford,
Connecticut, in 1869.