This weekend San Francisco lost a little piece of history. Rose Cliver, one of the few remaining survivors of the deadly earthquake that shook San Francisco in 1906, passed away on Saturday at the age of 109.
The City will gather today to remember Cliver who was three years old at the time of the the Great San Francisco Earthquake that shook the entire city and ultimately took the lives of more than 3,000 people.
In 1906, Cliver lived with her family in Bernal Heights. She told the SF Chronicle that on April 18, 1906, the day of the devastating quake, she and her family climbed Bernal Hill after the 7.8 earthquake hit. She said:
“We watched San Francisco burn. They wouldn’t let us live in our house afterward. We had to live in the backyard in a tent.”
Their house on Gates Street in Bernal Heights was repaired and is still standing today, sans backyard tent.
Born October 9, 1902, Cliver was considered premature but lived a healthy childhood as one of thirteen siblings. She married and had two children.
Along with fellow quake survivor, William Del Monte, 103, Cliver attended the annual commemoration of the disaster in 2009, and “enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame,” said her son, Don Cliver.
Following a stroke several years ago, Cliver moved in with her son in Santa Rosa where she spent her final years.
People will gather at noon today at John’s Grill at 63 Ellis Street to honor Cliver. Lee Houskeeper, an organizer of the city’s annual earthquake commemorations, said this year’s April 18 remembrance will be dedicated to her.
According to Houskeeper there are only four known 1906 quake survivors remaining.