The City of Souls.
When you drive through or near Colma, Ca, you get a sense of respect and a feeling of remembrance. Many people in the bay area either know or have a relative that is buried there. The stories told are as well known as any legends in the area.
This feeling is especially felt at the Cypress Hills Cemetery at 1370 El Camino Real in Colma California. People from around the bay area including family and friends of those that have lost loved ones in military service give their respects to the fallen.
There are over 4,000 military personnel that are buried just in Cypress Hills alone. Here are some of the more famous. Some of them date back to the Mexican-American war in 1846-48.
Why Colma is Called the City of Souls:
The Town of Colma California had a total living population of 1507 people on the last census in 2000. However, it has 17 cemeteries and about 1.5 million people buried in their town.
After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, the rebuilding of "The City" took years. Over time many in power knew that the key to being wealthy and powerful in San Francisco would be one thing; land.
During the time of the Gold Rush in the late 1940s, many cemeteries were being built in San Francisco. In the year 1900, San Francisco realized they were already getting full. The City and County of San Francisco passed an ordinance forbidding burials.
Cemeteries bought huge plots of land south of San Francisco. When cemeteries were told that bodies could no longer be buried in San Francisco in 1912, by 1914 they were moved by the thousands for $10 per body to Colma. Getting rid of cemeteries would give lots of amazing lands a new life and create new wealth in San Francisco.
Famous People In Colma:
Some of the people that are buried in Colma are a who’s who of our history. Wyatt Earp, Joe DiMaggio, Levi Strauss, music promoter Bill Graham, and several mayors and governors are buried there.
Memorial Day holds a special place for the City of Souls and there will be lots of remembrances for families this weekend.