A freshwater lake in the southwest corner of San Francisco, Lake Merced is the home lake of Pacific Rowing Club and is surrounded by three golf courses.
This lake sits in the midst of a residential area, but is also close to a skeet-shooting club, the San Francisco Police Department shooting range, and the National Guard armory. The Pacific Ocean is only about one mile away.
Lake Merced is famous for a duel in 1859 in which Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court David S. Terry shot and killed U.S. Senator David C. Broderick. In 1868 the Spring Valley Water Company bought the water rights from the ranch of Francisco de Haro and quickly established a monopoly on water for the San Francisco area until the city built a dam in the Sierra Nevadas early in the 1900's. Since then, the area surrounding the lake has developed with golf courses, residences, and apartment complexes.
Lake Merced, at 343 Lake Merced Blvd, lies a short twenty-minute drive north of San Francisco International Airport and is convenient to many tourist sites. It is within walking distance of San Francisco Zoo and Cunard Cruise Line. Other nearby sites include Twin Peaks Summit, parks and playgrounds, and tour guide shops.: