San Francisco Living

Sea Cliff's Coal Mine

May 5, 2023

So, ChatGPT sometimes does not have it right. When you ask about the San Francisco coal mine, it responds "I'm sorry, but there is no coal mine in San Francisco. San Francisco is a densely populated city situated on the San Francisco Bay Area and is known for its scenic beauty, cultural landmarks, and historical significance. The city has never had a coal mining industry, and there are no active coal mines in the state of California."

While San Francisco is not known for its coal mining industry, there is a closed/abandoned coal mine located in the city's upscale Sea Cliff neighborhood.

The Merced Mine, also known as the Sea Cliff Mine, operated from 1894 to 1896 and produced about 70,000 tons of coal before it closed due to high production costs and competition from other coal mines. The mine was situated on the western side of San Francisco, near the Pacific Ocean, and was accessed through a 400-foot tunnel.

Today, the site of the Merced Mine is closed to the public and is not accessible. However, visitors to the Sea Cliff neighborhood can still see some remnants of the mine, including a concrete slab that was used to load coal onto wagons and a rusted metal cart that was used to transport coal.

To see the entrance, you have to check out the tide table for low tide and make the walk from China to Baker Beach, or the other way around. The walk which can only be done at low tide is a fun family activity.

Despite the fact that the Merced Mine is no longer operational, it remains an interesting piece of San Francisco's history and a testament to the city's varied and colorful past. To learn more


Follow Missy