Throughout 2015, San Francisco is celebrating the centennial of its world’s fair, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) held in the Marina. Homestead Valley’s Helen Eells, attended the fair when she was 11 years old and described the experience in an oral history when she was in her eighties. “It was the most beautiful fair! You know we still have the Palace of Fine Arts to show you what kind of architecture it was. It is really said to be the most beautiful fair that was ever shown. It was like Fairyland, it was so beautiful. So that everything looked at was beautiful. They came from every country, and they all had their little places or little stores, or else a whole building. And the Panama Canal was really a very interesting thing. They had it all in tiny, little miniatures. The little boats went through with the little things that they call the mules or the donkeys. And they showed exactly how the thing worked, and the water running in from the Pacific to the Atlantic, or the Atlantic to the Pacific. And so I remembered that. And you know, years later, when I was after fifty, when I went to Europe, I determined to take a ship that went through the Panama Canal, because of the memory I had of that little show. Well, anyway, that was the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. And was it ever a wonderful thing!” A scholarly book by Laura A. Ackley’s describes it well.
Want more info? Read the History of Homestead Valley article:
Helen Eells: A New Life
Helen Eells: The Zone
Helen Eells: The Dayton Flood and the Panama Canal