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San Francisco at the Height of The Litigation over Land Ownership Claims

Rare early map of the City and County of San Francisco, prepared by San Mateo County Vitus Wackenreuder and printed by Britton & Co in San Francisco.

This is one of the earliest printed maps of San Francisco to show the western and southern parts of the peninsula, with the land grants, and full topographical detail.  The map also shows the northern part of San Mateo County and a small part of Marin County.  

The map illustrates the peninsula during a period of significant change in its topography, especially the sand dunes of the Outside Lands and rivers and creeks which either now longer exist or have been radically altered.  The map also lays out the location of the lands early property owners and Spanish ranchos, as well as illustrating the planned course of the Spring Valley Water Works from Pilarcitos Creek to Laguna Honda reservoir and the San Francisco Water Works aqueduct, extending to the reservoirs on Russian Hill.

Includes three insets of  the Farrallon Islands, including a view showing the American outpost on the island.

Noe Valley is Horner’s Addition, already platted for subdivision.John Meirs Horner was a Mormon immigrant who bought the land from José de Jesús Noé, the last Mexican alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena  in 1854. The map also shows Pioneer Race Track, constructed in 1851.

This is the second state of the map, which was first issued in 1861.

Condition Description
Several fold splits, with minor loss at folds, expertly repaired on the verso. Minor toning at folds.
Vitus Wackenreuder Biography

Vitus Wackreuder (1823-1887) was a Germany born civil engineer, who arrived in California in 1849 with the Gold Rush with a carpetbag.

Wackenreuder painted a noteworthy gouache of Mission Santa Barbara in 1852 and made a map of San Francisco in 1861 for the city directory. While in San Francisco he bought and soldproperty on lower Market Street.

The Wackenreuder homestead was on what is now Bayshore Blvd where he lived with his wife Thomasa Eienega and thirteen children. He died in San Francisco on Aug. 15, 1887 of “a shock of paralysis”