In 1900, the city of San Francisco decided not to bury any more dead people in the city limits. In 1914, they decided to move the existing cemeteries, which meant digging up thousands of remains. All San Francisco residents were to be buried instead in Colma, a small community south of the city.
Today, Colma is home to 1,800 living residents and 1.5 million dead including some of America’s most famous personalities such as the denim trouser pioneer, Levi Strauss, newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, and business tycoon Amadeo Giannini, the founder of Bank of America.
The large number of under-the-ground population have earned the town the somber moniker “the City of the Silent”. Colma’s residents, however, take their situation with humor. The town’s official slogan is “It’s great to be alive in Colma.”
Read about Colma, the small town that grew into the funeral business, and see lots of pictures, at Amusing Planet.
(Image credit: Colma Historical Association)