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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 12, 1864


Night before last, a stick six or seven feet long, attached to an exploded rocket of large size came crashing down through the zinc roof of a tenement in Milton Place, Bush street, between Dupont and Kearny, passed through a cloth ceiling, and fetched up on the floor alongside of a gentleman's bed, with a smash like the disruption of a china shop. We have been told by a person with whom we are not acquainted, and of whose reliability we have now no opportunity of satisfying ourselves, as he has gone to his residence, which is situated on the San Jose road at some distance from the city, that when the rocket tore up the splinters around the bed, the gentleman got up. The person also said that he went out - adding after some deliberation, and with the air of a man who has made up his mind that what he is about to say can be substantiated if necessary, that "he went out quick." This person also said that after the gentleman went out quick, he ran - and then with a great show of disinterestedness, he ventured upon the conjecture that he was running yet. He hastened to modify this rash conjecture, however, by observing that he had no particular reason for suspecting that the gentleman was running yet - it was only a notion of his, and just flashed on him, like. He then hitched up his team, which he observed parenthetically that he wished they belonged to him, but they didn't and immediately drove away in the direction of his country seat. The tenement is there yet, though, with the hole through the zinc roof. The tenement is the property of ex-Supervisor Hinckley, and some of the best educated men in the city consider that the hole is also, because it is on his premises. It is a very good hole. If it could be taken from the roof just in the shape it is now, it would be a nice thing to show at the Mechanics' Fair; any man who would make a pun under circumstances like these, and suggest that it be turned over to the Christian Commission Fair on account of its holy nature, might think himself smart, but would the people - the plodding, thinking, intelligent masses - would these respect him? Far be it. Doubtless. What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue. The foregoing facts are written to prepare the reader for the announcement that the stick, with the same exploded rocket attached, may be seen at the hall of the Board of Supervisors. It has remained there to this day. The man who set it off, and hung on to it, and went up with it, has not come down yet. The people who live in Milton Place are expecting him, all the time. They have moved their families, and got out of the way, so as to give him a good show when he drops. They have said, but without insisting on it, that if it would be all the same to him, they would rather he would fall in the alley. This would mash him up a good deal, likely, and scatter him around some, but they think they could scrape him up and hold an inquest on him, and inform his parents. The Board of Supervisors will probably pass an ordinance directing that missiles of the dangerous nature of rockets shall henceforth be fired in the direction of the Bay, so as to guard against accidents to life and property.

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