Monday, August 24, 2009


Colma, the primary location of Doug Dorst’s Alive in Necropolis, is home to many of San Francisco’s 19th and early 20th century dead – moved from the city starting in 1921 when SF’s powers that be decided land within city limits was too valuable to be wasted as forever-tenancies for the deceased.

The bodies themselves were moved to the San Mateo city – now the area where living San Franciscans flock to Target and Home Depot on weekends. But the rubble? Much of that went to the Marina. First loaded with what remained after the devastation of the 1906 Earthquake, what is now one of San Francisco’s priciest neighborhoods was also the dumping grounds for the remains of the city’s cemeteries. Unclaimed tombstones, mausoleums, cemetery walls, benches, and more, ended up as the breakwater for the pleasure boats of today. Next time you take a trip to the Wave Organ, remember to make your remembrances to our city’s citizens of the past!

Coming soon!
19th century Odd Fellows’ Cemetery Tombstones Display
These Odd Fellows’ Cemetery tombstone fragments were unearthed in San Francisco backyards. The Odd Fellows’ Cemetery was dedicated in 1865. In 1933, the bodies were removed to the Greenlawn Cemetery in Colma. Most of the stonework was used to construct the seawall at Aquatic Park, although some odds and ends were left behind.
September – November 2009
San Francisco Main Library – San Francisco History Center
100 Larkin St., 6th Floor

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