Sunday, July 26, 2009

Golden Gate Park Mounted Police Stable

On our 2009 Vacation to California by a coincidence we ended up at the Golden Gate Park. Being close to the Police Stable we looked for it, the roads all had changed in the Park, quite a challenge to say the least, but fate had it and we found it.

It was very different, but the building still was there with the original arena. I met some very nice Policemen this day and a tour guide that was very helpful showing us pictures and talking with us about all the old time photos. I recognized the officers and horses in some of the photos. I was so very happy to have gone there and met up with people that showed kindness as they did 50 years ago.

In the photo above are a few horses tied up where the cars used to be parked...because I was so excited I did not take pictures of the officers...this to my regret.

Next door to the MPS used to be a stable for the Harness and Polo Ponies till they converted it into a Riding Academy. In my youth I spent a great deal of time there, cooling down horses...too bad they closed this facility, it was such an ideal place to ride through the Park. I believe they are trying to rebuild this site.

I also found a link on Ed Lawson, who was the officer that was so kind allowing me to ride the horses, especially the horse named Bob (seen here below painted of me sitting astride) Ed would even drive us home because he worried it was too far to walk through the Park...a kind man indeed and someone I will never forget.

12 comments:

  1. hello, I grew up in san francisco and fondly remember the mounted police stables...I remember 'Bob' as well..do you remember 'Chief'? I used to groom the horses there as well as ride at the golden gate riding academy...what great memories...Nancy London

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  2. wow I bet we knew each other! I remember a horse named Chief but don't recall if it was at the MPS...was your time spent at the Golden Gate Riding Academy one block from the park?(now torn down)Nancy email me if you wish artbydelia @ charter.net

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  3. Hello Delia!

    As you know, I used to be a Policeman in San Francisco (no horses, though!)... I last visited the stables in the late 70's. Glad to hear that you found some good folks still in residence there and had such a great time.
    Surly-Mac

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  4. Hi Scott, I am so glad we stopped there,it was nice seeing the place, brought back good memories.

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  5. Hi Delia
    I have mostly good memories of the Stables when I was the manager of the GGRA (1960-62) after which my mother Rose Schulz took over.
    One outstanding mounted policeman that I recall was Ed Cantwell who was always very helpful to my mom. Is the Riding Academy still
    open?

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  6. Hi, thanks for the comment! I believe the GGRA is closed, as it looked empty when I saw it. When I was young in the 50's the GGRA was outside of the park one block away around 9th or 8th Avenue and now there is a Safeway. I remember an officer name Ed Larsen he was very nice...at least I think that was his name, he used to drive us home cause we walked so far to be with the horses.

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  7. My name is Bill Elliott,my great uncle was Fred Egan he was one of the trainers!He was injured and retired in the 1960's.He also judged horse shows at the Cow Place.When I was a boy Fred took me to the stables,on one occasion he showed me a 16hand black horse who's name was Bill.He said that Bill was named after me!Latter that day I asked another trainer how old was Bill?He said that Bill was 16 years.At the time I was only 12 so I thought that it was the other way around,that I was named after the horse!Does any one remember Bill?Please contact me at weganelliott@aol.com

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  8. Hi Bill,
    Yes I do remember a horse called Black Bill! He had a stall at the very end of the stable, and I remember a Fred who worked there and also at the Cow Palace. I'm not sure if he's the same Fred you are talking about, but think it might be....as a Fred taught me to saddle a horse and clean stalls.
    I have wonderful memories from the Police Stable and the Cow Palace Shows.

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  9. Hi Delia,Yes Black Bill was the horse and my Uncle Fred was the Fred that you knew.He died of cancer on Nov.22,1979 it was his birthday and Thanksgiving!The City named the police stables after him!He was a tall man with gentle blue eyes!He was the perfect role model!He taught my mother Eleanor Egan how to ride!I remember Fred judging horse shows at the Cow Palace!He will always be loved!May GOD bless him always! Bill Elliott

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  10. Wow, I loved the stables. I was horse crazy as a kid and my dad who was a SF fireman used to take me there to feed carrots to the horses. Ed Lawson was a friend and neighbor of ours. He was a great guy. I was at my mom's grave in Sebastopol just the other day and Ed is buried a few feet from her.

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    1. Hi Kathy, that is incredible! The experience that I had at the Police stable helped form me into the person that I am. It was a part of my life I will never forget as well as that very kind Ed Lawson. Whenever you go back to visit your mom's grave could you put one picked flower on his grave for me?
      Thank You so much for stopping by and commenting...a small world indeed.

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