San Francisco 1906 Earthquake
Marriage Project

San Francisco City Hall Exhibit
Unveiling Party
04 April 2006

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, maybe not. Even though we were having record rains, it cleared up a little towards the evening and it was still light outside. But, rain storms were still brewing. And, I knew a few people were not going to venture out. Nevertheless, we had an unveiling party at City Hall for the exhibit. 

Pamela and I had set it up the night before. Neither of us had set up an exhibit like this, much less install one in City Hall!! So, we were both nervous and excited. Kevin Matthews, confidential aide to Phil Ting, Assessor-Recorder, seemed pretty pleased with the exhibit. He was our main point of contact. Besides being a super nice guy, he was a bundle of energy. When I spoke with Mr. Ting, he also seemed pretty happy with it.

Among the attendees was Phil Ting, of course, a few of other City Hall notables, descendants from the project's families and 1906 stories, friends, family, and a few people just curious as to what we were doing (and maybe smelled the cake). We had excellent(!) wedding cakes from the Sugar Bowl Bakery (which they kindly donated) and Starbucks coffee for refreshments. 

We had a couple of TV stations there I believe, including NBC. But, I don't know if we made any of the news that night. Jerry McMahon got his name and picture mentioned in the Ming Pao (SF) Daily News the next day.

Otherwise, it was a lot of fun. Pamela and I snapped some photographs in between hosting. There were a few more people than you see here, and I didn't get any pictures of the cakes! Oh well.

Thanks to everyone who did venture out and joined us for a little bit of fun in one of the most beautiful buildings in San Francisco.

Ron Filion
05 April 2006

Ron and I decided over a year ago that we should do something to commemorate the 1906 Earthquake and Fire centennial. We chose a subject we found fascinating: marriages that occurred right after the disaster. 

We began our research hoping to compile a list of these couples. But as the list grew, so did our curiosity. Why did all these people decide to get married at that time? As we searched for answers, our "list" turned into a "project". We found some decendants who shared their ancestors' stories and photographs with us. The project shaped up and went online early this year.

The San Francisco Assessor-Recorder's office invited us to stage an exhibit. We had no idea how we'd pull it off, but we were determined to make it happen because we thought it would be a great way to bring more attention to the wonderful stories that had been shared with us.

We're very grateful to the people and businesses who donated time, money, labor and materials to help make the exhibit a reality. I thank Ron for dealing with my jitters and my family for dealing with the mess in the living room.

Thanks also to everyone who attended the opening of the exhibit. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did. It was wonderful to talk with everyone, particularly the families who worked with us on the project. It's been a joy, from start to finish.

Pamela Storm
05 April 2006

copyright © 2006 Ron Filion and Pamela Storm. All rights reserved.