Colma, California: Mystery Tombstone Team Field Report

1500 Hillside Blvd., Colma, CA
Hillside Blvd. and F Street.
Daylight hours. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights
Mystery Tombstone

The Colma Historical Museum displays a tombstone next to its parking lot that was lost en route to the 1930s mass grave relocation of San Francisco. Report... [12/01/2009]

Visitor Tips and News About Mystery Tombstone

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

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]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Circus Showfolks of America MemorialCircus Showfolks of America Memorial, Colma, CA - < 1 mi.
Virgin Mary Image in a TreeVirgin Mary Image in a Tree, Colma, CA - < 1 mi.
Sailors' Union of the Pacific MonumentSailors' Union of the Pacific Monument, Colma, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Papua New Guinea Mythical Creature Totems, Stanford, CA - 24 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Hero the Elephant and the Heintz Airship, Elkton, South Dakota (Feb 6-12, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings