ECW Weekender: Visit the Site of the Broderick-Terry Duel

Broderick-Terry Obelisk

Are you in the San Francisco area and looking for something to do? Pack a picnic lunch and head over to Daly City to explore the site of the Broderick-Terry duel. The famous duel that ended dueling in California was fought in this small ravine near the shore of Lake Merced, in the early morning of September 13, 1859. The participants were U.S. Senator David C. Broderick and Chief Justice David S. Terry of the California Supreme Court. Senator Broderick was mortally wounded. The site is marked with a monument and granite shafts where the two men stood. The site is California Registered Landmark No. 19.

This little gem can be found at 1100 Lake Merced Blvd. in Daly City, a suburb of San Francisco. The streets are narrow and it is in a tiny greenspace surrounded by houses. There are nicely maintained walkways, picnic tables, and fire pits. The entrance is clearly marked, however it looks like you are entering someone’s backyard. Just trust me–the signs are correct.

Once you are in the park area, the sight is to the right and can be easily accessed by a short dirt trail. The trees are beautiful, there were flowers when I went, and the markers indicate where the duelists stood. Once you see them, you will wonder how you missed them the first time.

The site is open all day, but morning-early afternoon hours are best for avoiding freeway traffic. There is no cost, and the park has nice picnicking facilities. I think a wheelchair could make it with a little help–nothing is very strenuous about the paths or the grass areas.

The famous duel has been re-enacted at least once. This should encourage you and a friend to stand at the markers and face each other, thereby realizing just how close David C. Broderick and David S. Terry really were when shots were fired.

 

For more historical information about Broderick, Terry, and the Duel check-out my recent blog post.

A map can be found HERE and Siri can help you wind through the narrow Daly City streets.

About Meg Groeling

CW Historian
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