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Rail Splinters

Stereo view photographs of Abraham Lincoln statue damaged in 1906 San Francisco earthquake

December 28, 2019

Rail Splitter Robert Chandler, who has authored several articles that have appeared in past hard-copy issues of our journal, recently made a neat purchase on eBay. It is a pair of unmounted stereo view photographs showing the severely damaged statue of Abraham Lincoln that was erected in front of the Abraham Lincoln Grammar School at 5th & Market Streets in San Francisco. The earthquake and resulting fire that occurred on April 18, 1906 destroyed most of the school and the statue. The school was the first one in the United States to be named after the martyred President, being dedicated on June 29, 1865. The first  post-assassination statue of Lincoln, by Pietro Mezzara, was unveiled at the school on April 14, 1866. The full story of the school and the statue appear in the Summer/Fall 2001 issue of “The Railsplitter” which is accessible through our web site. It is archived along with all past issues. The base of the statue survived the devastation of 1906. The inscription, legible on the stereo view photos, is as follows:


Born Feb. 12, 1809.

Inaugurated President

of the United States,

March 4, 1861.

Re-inaugurated, March 4, 1865.

Died, April 15, 1865.

Statue designed and erected by P. Mezzara. San Francisco, 1866.