A Look Back in History: From Horses to Carville to MUNI

As horsecars were moved to the dunes on the western edge of the City, a small community called “Carville-by-the-Sea” was established. Carville was located in what is now the Outer Sunset District. Carville was located just south of the western end of Golden Gate Park. 

At about this time, San Francisco’s citizenry began to campaign for public ownership of utilities with a successful vote in 1898 and the new charter taking effect in 1900. This led to the creation of the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) in 1912, formed to compete with private transportation companies. 

Municipal Railway: First Motor Coach 01 (white) & Street car 101: 10th & Fulton.

The first day of Muni service was on December 28, 1912, and 50,000 people turned out for the celebration. The A line operated from Kearny and Market to Fulton Street at Golden Gate Park while the B line provided service on Geary from 10th to 33rd avenues. In June of 1913, the Geary line began service from the Ferry Building to Ocean Beach. 

The estimated population of Carville was 2,000 in 1900. However, as San Francisco grew the once unwanted property surrounding and within, Carville became desirable. The Oceanside Improvement Club adopted the motto “Make clean today by sweeping and burning up the debris of yesterday” and in 1913 held a ceremonial burning of four of the cars. Most of the neighborhood disappeared by the 1920s. 

San Francisco Ferry Building with Horsecars (1875).