Hayes River

Hayes River photo 1

Hayes River


  • Two suminagashi cards: 4.25″ x 5.5″
  • Original, double prints
  • Portrait or landscape: as you prefer
  • White backing card stock & matching envelopes

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Though ambling slowly, the mighty subterranean Hayes River in San Francisco is wide and voluminous, spreading through the alluvial sediments, bay muds, and landfill under the Civic Center and Downtown neighborhoods. It broadsides Market Street, encountering a long concrete subway tunnel that interrupts its gait. So copious are the waters of the Hayes that, to protect their investment from damage, BART runs “de-watering” pumps day and night in the Powell Street BART station, to keep the Hayes from flooding the tracks. It finally meets the surface South of Market, where it enters the bay beneath China Basin. Originally, it came to the surface in a marsh at Mission and Seventh Streets.
On average, the river is about fifteen feet below surface, and much deeper and wider than most surface rivers. The extent of this slow fluid influx is such that hundreds of landowners along this waterway originally used private wells, built right into their foundations, to supply all their water needs.

Hayes River photo 3

Hayes River photo 2

Hayes River photo 4

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