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old_gold_mountain OP t1_iys2u16 wrote

San Francisco relocated large cemeteries from Western neighborhoods down to the city of Colma in the early 1900s. Living relatives of the deceased were given the opportunity to claim a gravestone and request its relocation, but the ones that went unclaimed were claimed by the city and used as construction materials.

More info here:


MonsieurPurdue t1_iys4qyg wrote

So that’s why Colma is like 50% cemeteries! (The other 50% is car dealerships)


rachelcp t1_iyt7b0v wrote

That's so messed up. Just because people don't know you specifically doesn't mean you don't deserve to be found and known by others.


blazelet t1_iyt9hii wrote

I had the same thought. You only deserve to be memorialized if someone is there to claim you? It’s sad.


pseudocultist t1_iytm1iy wrote

Been true for all of human existence tho, so it’s rather natural.


imnotsoho t1_iytmu3k wrote

You are assuming they didn't get new markers. You would be wrong.


rachelcp t1_iyttae6 wrote

Hopefully but it doesn't seem that way, do you have a source?

Just skimmed the article and they were talking about the reasoning being due to the gravesite being an unsightly waste of space, they also mentioned all those who didn't have loved ones being moved to mass graves.

I couldn't find any mention of replacing the headstones though I might have missed it but i doubt that anyone who would disrespect that many dead by moving them to a mass grave would also use the time and money to carve them brand new headstones.


DLBaker t1_iyu3d5b wrote

They could have at least placed the markers face down.


Anothereternity t1_iyuc5wg wrote

The linked article says they were supposed to be placed marking down but made some mistakes


Anothereternity t1_iyuc8ra wrote

Edit: Oh I see you already saw the part about mass grave. My guess is if there’s a marker it’s one larger one with all the names?


ColumbaPacis t1_iyuuc5z wrote

Some of these are so old, they probably couldn't tell what their names are or wrote down the wrong thing.

Does it really matter? A bunch of local graves old are almost two centuries old. Nobody remembers who any of them were.

The point of graves never made sense for me, at least for those who are not religious.