Colma, California: Mystery Tombstone

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
1500 Hillside Blvd., Colma, CA
Directions:
Hillside Blvd. and F Street.
Hours:
Daylight hours.
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Mystery Tombstone
The Colma Historical Museum displays a tombstone lost en route to the 1930s mass grave relocation of San Francisco. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [12/01/2009]

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Mystery Tombstone

A mysterious tombstone in Colma. The tombstone is by the Colma Historical Museum. The plaque reads: " Mystery Tombstone: This tombstone, one of the oldest found in Colma, marked the gravesite of H.J. Hartnagle, who died in 1875. The tombstone was originally located at Odd Fellow Cemetery in San Francisco. It was discovered in 2001 near Holy Cross Cemetery along the old Southern Pacific right-of-way during the tunnel excavation associated with the San Francisco Airport BART extension. In the 1930s, when courts decreed that all bodies in existing San Francisco cemeteries be removed, Hartnagle's remains were transferred to a mass grave site at Odd Fellows (Greenlawn) Cemetery in Colma. During the transfer, the tombstone was somehow separated from the body. It may have accidentally fallen from a railroad car or may have been discarded as many tombstones were when San Francisco cemeteries were evicted. Individual tombstones are prohibited at the mass grave site. It may never be known how the tombstone separated from Hartnagle."

[Richard, 03/12/2009]

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