Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


While we were in San Francisco we were fascinated with the old cable cars. We rode on them every day and we stopped off at the cable barn and museum. The barn is where all the machinery is that drives the cable system under the streets of the city. In the museum I saw this plaque which was erected by the employees.
Some time ago wreckers were tearing down an old house on Haight street in San Francisco. They found riveted to a brick wall a large marble plaque on which were carved three marble dogs, two lying beside a large safe and one
perched on top of it.

Erected by the employees 
of Haight St Cable Car Line 
and P&O Rail Road
To the memory of their three dogs.
Jack, Fido and Tip
In life they were intelligent, 

noble and affectionate, and
                                   were cruelly poisoned by burglars 
on the morning of March 9, 1891

  and nobly perished at the post of duty.
                                   Jack, FIdo and Tip. Ill-fated three.
Poor dead playfellows, a sad bequest.
  Faithful to the last, now you're free.
   Sleep on forever, peaceful by your rest."

On the stormy night of March 9.1891, Jack. Fido and Tip heard three safecrackers chiseling into the brick wall of the cable car barn that held the safe of the Haight Street Cable Car Line. The dogs not only barked, but they attacked the burglars, who threw them poisoned meat. The dogs naturally ate the meat, but meanwhile their barking had attracted the watchman, who emptied his pistol at the burglars, scared them off and saved the safe.The dogs died. 

This is my contribution to Taphophile Tragics.


  1. Aww those poor dogs. The museum sounds fascinating.

  2. well this fits the tragic part. i would love to see/ride those cable cars

  3. WHAT we found incredible during our 5-6 days in San Fran, late 2009, was the number of locals who used the cable cars regularly or semi- regularly

    One lady told us she carried her supermarket shopping home and saved her feet and ankles from the trudging up and down the steep hills

    If we hadn't spoken to these folk we'd have thought it was tourists on the cable cars !

  4. Awwww! I'm a sucker for a sad doggie story!

  5. What a sad end for the three dogs.

  6. Well, I started to leave a comment but it disappeared. I'll try again...

    This is such an interesting little tidbit of San Francisco history. A little sad, but I'm glad the company honored the dogs with a plaque.

  7. I think it's nice that this monument was created for Jack, Fido and Tip. They were nobly doing their duty when they were killed.

  8. What a story, sad to hear the dogs died. It is a nice monument. Interesting post from San Francisco, it is a beautiful city. Have a great day!

  9. Oh for goodness sakes!!!! What a sad story... Shame on those burglars... But--I love the plaque, and that was nice of all of the employees to remember those precious dogs that way..

    Cute post, Diane.

  10. Old cable cars are a Lisbon's icon too and I also love them.

  11. I remember Bill's post about how the cars are pulled along by the cable beneath the road. That really surprised me.

    I love the original story as well as the yarn about how the plaque was rediscovered.Those thieves certainly had thought through the job at hand if they had meat and poison in their dillybags.

    There was a lot of deep thought put into the naming of those three dogs: Jack, Fido, and Tip.

    RIP ...

  12. And here I had thought animals could sniff poison in food...

  13. Best dogs...sad. Glad you had a memorable vacation and made it home well.

  14. What a sad story ! I missed this when we took the cable car in San Fransisco.

  15. Yes, a sad story. Some humans can be so cruel.

  16. What a fascinating if very sad story. Good that the were comemorated.

    Herding Cats