History of Bayview Hunters Point
BVHP History Resources
This is the archive the Bayview Branch Library collected over many many years under the guidance of Linda Brooks Burton, for whom the branch library is now named. It is now located at the Main Library and has been digitized.
1700 - 1839 The Ohlone
Prior to European settlement, the Bayview Hunters Point area was home to the Ohlone people. The land was primarily composed of tidal wetlands and hills, making it ideal for seasonal hunting and fishing.
1839 - 1930s “Butchertown”
Following the California Gold Rush, José Cornelio Bernal sold Bayview Hunters Point property for real estate development to three brothers; John, Phillip, and Robert Hunter. The district quickly grew and developed a butchers reservation, opening 18 slaughter houses within 10 years.
1870s-1930s Shrimping Industry
Shrimping industry develops as Chinese immigrants begin to operate most of the shrimp companies. By the 1930s, there are a dozen shrimp operations in Bayview.
1866 - 1950s Shipyard
With the construction of the first permanent dry dock on the Pacific Coast, shipbuilding became a vital industry in Bayview. Maltese and Italian immigrants began populating the area. By 1940, the United States Navy purchased a part of the property to develop the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, and continued growth in population by an influx of African- American blue collar workers in the neighborhood.
1960s Civil Unrest
By the 1960s, Bayview was predominantly African-American, and was isolated from San Francisco. Pollution, substandard housing, limited employment, police violence and racial discrimination were key issues in the community. In 1966, police shot a 17 year old accused of stealing a car, this incident sparked an uprising, and residents took to the streets to protest.
Read about the 1966 riot in the SF Chronicle.
1974-1989 Shipyard Closes
More than 3,000 workers, most of them African-American, lost their jobs after the shipyard closed. Decades later, residents and former workers experience generational poverty and high rates of sickness. The Environmental Protection Agency declared the shipyard as one of the top 10 most polluted federal properties.
1990-2017 Profit Driven Redevelopment
Projects began in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood. Housing began to rise throughout San Francisco and many people were displaced from Bayview, and moved to Bay Area suburbs. The percentage of African-Americans dwindled from a once 77% to 33% by 2010 and continues to fall.
San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive
Bayview Hunters Point Collection
BVHP_Historical Context (large pdf)