An “invasion“ of Golden Gate Park which was not favored by Superintendent McLaren came between 1892 and 1894 when a group of San Francisco businessmen organized the California Midwinter Fair.
Against the violent reactions of McLaren and others equally oppose, the fair covered a two-hundred-acre site at the eastern end of the park. When it closed in July 1894, most of the buildings and the trees and shrubs that McLaren has been forced to plant were removed.
Among the remaining evidences of the successful fair are the Japanese Tea Garden and the music concourse to which was added, in 1900, the “Claus Spreckels Temple of Music”.
An unplanned use of park space came in 1906 when much of its area was devoted to the temporary housing of refugees who had been burnt out in the fateful days of April. Statistics reveal that over forty thousand people were given shelter within its confines.
Occupancy lasted until early 1907; when some of the slower evacuees attempted to establish “Squatter” claims upon the land, McLaren, with al force of park laborers and some court orders, forced them all to leave. John McLaren would have no one trifling with his park.
His successor, Julius L. Girod, who had been McLaren’s assistant, served with distinction until his own sudden death in 1957; his years of service in the Golden Gate Park had numbered forty-three.