Alexander Bouick’s Account of His Journey from Arbroath, Scotland to San Francisco, 1877-1881
Alexander Bouick was born in 1856 in Arbroath, a small fishing village on the east coast of Scotland. He left Scotland at age 21 and arrived in San Francisco in 1880 by way of The Cape of Good Hope, Australia and Hawaii. He worked as a draftsman in the Risdon Iron Works. After settling in San Francisco, Alex returned to Arbroath where he married Jane Lindsay Shepherd, the daughter of an Arbroath baker.
In 1892, he was hired as “janitor” by the San Francisco Theological Seminary and moved his family to a farmhouse on the new campus of the Seminary where Bouick Field is now located. Until a public school was built in San Anselmo, the modest Bouick home served as a school for the neighborhood children.
Alex Bouick eventually became the Superintendent of Grounds and Buildings for the Seminary, a position he held until his death in 1922. Bouick Oak and Bouick Field are named in his honor.
This account of his journey, “A Red Lightie Abroad,” was written for the Free Inverbrothan Literary Association in Arbroath in 1881. A copy of the journal was donated to the San Anselmo Historical Museum by Alexander’s granddaughter, Mary Anne Cowperthwaite.
Note: A “Red Lightie (Lichtie)” was a native of Arbroath.