The Neighborhood Through Time
Building a Working Class Community
was quick to move into the South of Market area, including George Gordon’s
San Francisco and Pacific Sugar Refinery on Eighth and Harrison streets
and William Ralston's Kimball Carriage and Car Manufacturing Company.
By the 1880s, men in the South of Market could find work at furniture factories, blacksmiths, and supply yards selling coal, wood, feed, and lumber. Small manufacturing included a cooperage, pickle factory, matzo factory, chemical laboratory, photo plate factory, cream of tartar works, mattress factory, flourmills, pasta makers, and winery.
The majority of people who lived and worked in the South of Market were Irish immigrants or their American-born children. The South of Market landscape was shaped by its industrial and working class character. While smoke stacks and factories punctuated the sky line, nearly every street intersection had its corner grocery store, liquor store, or saloon. Saloons, whose proprietors were almost always German, gave workingmen a temporary escape from crowded houses and tenements.