105 years ago today, at 5:12 a.m. in the morning, San Francisco got hit by “the big one”. The devastation is well documented here. The earthquake was bad, but the fires afterwards did most of the damage – a bad combination of broken gas pipelines causing fires, and most fire hydrants not working because of the broken water pipelines.
Just around the corner from my home is one hydrant that DID work. Because of this hydrant, refugees in Dolores Park were safe, and houses beyond this point were protected from the inferno, so the neighborhoods have lots of houses from before 1906. More details here. Nicknamed “the golden hydrant”, it gets a new layer of gold paint, and some flowers, in a ceremony at 5.12am every year on this day.