Bridging the Past

Bridging the Past: Curiosities from the Golden Gate NRA Museum Program

Collections and happenings of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Museum Program



Marc S. Boatwright Alcatraz Indian Occupation Collection GOGA 35158

GOGA 35158-117 Marc S. Boatwright in front of a teepee constructed on Alcatraz.  San Francisco’s skyline is visible in the back.

From November, 1969 to June, 1971, a group called Indians of All Tribes, Inc., occupied Alcatraz Island. This group, made up of American Indians relocated to the Bay Area, was protesting against the United States government's policies that affected them. They were protesting federal laws that took aboriginal land away from American Indians

Mysterious Statues at Land’s End: Part Two

Archaeology Behind the Scenes

Mysterious Statues at Land's End:  Part Two
by Kate Clevenger

In our last Archaeology Behind the Scenes blog post, we talked about the mysterious, vanishing statues at Adolph Sutro's home and gardens at Land's End:   Where did the statues come from?  Why did they disappear?  Where are they now?  In this post, we'll explore another exciting archaeological discovery that brought more information to light about these intriguing statues… A few weeks ago, while cataloging the collection of artifacts from Sutro Heights which contained our last discovery, we found another statuary fragment with a maker's mark:

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Martin Behrman Collection

Martin Behrman Collection
Researched and written by Nicole Hayduk

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live over 100 years ago in the late 1800s?The Martin Behrman Negative Collection provides just this: a glimpse of life during the 1850s to 1930s.The Behrman Collection contains over 5,500 images that document early San Francisco, lands that are now within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and

Mysterious Statues at Land's End

Archaeology Behind the Scenes
Mysterious Statues at Land's End
by Kate Clevenger

For visitors and local residents alike, Land's End is one of the most popular and beloved destinations in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The mysterious ruins at Sutro Baths beckon to us to explore their secrets and think about days gone by. Visitors who wander a little farther from the beaten path know that one of the prettiest sunset views in the city can be found on the Parapet in Sutro Heights Park.

Although the breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific Ocean has remained the same, Land's End looks very different today than it once did. Did you know

Spanish-American War Bugle, GOGA 21984

Researched and written by Justin Cleveland

The bugle has always had a place in the military.Bugles are traditionally sounded to assemble troops or give orders and their use dates back to the Roman Empire. The design of bugles has, for the most part, remained the same. While modern bugles, such as the one pictured, are made from brass they were originally constructed from animal horns. Modern bugles may have up to four valves, but historically the instruments have no valves or other pitch altering devices. They are shaped similar to trumpets in a coiled, gradually tapered figure with a mouth piece at one end and the bell at the other.The term "bugle" actually comes from the word "buculus," Latin for bullock (a castrated bull).

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The Star Presidian During the Cold War

GOGA 35330 Why people become communists1 

Presidio Public Affiars Office Records Collection
GOGA 35330

Article by Justin Cleveland

The Star Presidian was a weekly newspaper published and distributed on the Presidio of San Francisco from 1952 to 1995. Printed with the motto "serving those that serve a nation," the paper was geared towards troops and civilians living within the Presidio. Generally speaking, the paper only printed news that directly pertained to the military or life on the army base. Star Presidian stories usually


The museum collections exist to document and support the history of the sites found within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The collection contains over 4.5 million items representing over 200 years of post European contact; natural resources of the north and south Pacific border regions of the California coast covering 12 distinct communities; and historical and military objects related to the history of the San Francisco Bay Area and the United States Army there.

This blog will showcase objects and collections that are held within the Golden Gate NRA's museum program, but have not have the opportunity to be displayed either due to their condition or lack of exhibit space.  In addition to showing objects in the blog, certain archival pieces

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