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Silent Cities San Francisco: Hidden Histories of the Region's Cemeteries

Silent Cities San Francisco: Hidden Histories of the Region's Cemeteries

by Jessica Ferri


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In 1914, desperate for land after the Gold Rush brought a population explosion to San Francisco, the city exiled its cemeteries, barring burials within city limits and relocating its existing graveyards to the tiny town of Colma, just south of Daly City, spawning America's only necropolis, where the dead outnumber the living 1000 to 1. But there's more to the story of the Bay Area's cemeteries than this expulsion. Silent Cities San Francisco reveals the complex cultural makeup of the Bay Area, where diversity and history collide, pitting the dead against the living in a race for space and memorialization.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493056460
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/15/2021
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 715,541
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jessica Ferri is the author of Silent Cities New York. Her work has been published by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, The Economist, The Daily Beast, and more. She lives in Northern California.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Part I San Francisco: The Failed Star 1

The Mission 2

The Glorious Dead 20

This Particular Death Was Not Inevitable 38

Part II Death & Co.: Portraits of Colma 49

Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery 53

Olivet Memorial Park 62

Italian Cemetery 70

Woodlawn Memorial Park 80

Serbian Cemetery 88

Chinese Cemeteries 100

Pet's Rest 106

Japanese Cemetery 113

Greek Orthodox Memorial Park and Greenlawn Memorial Park 122

Testament: Jewish Cemeteries of Colma 131

Part III Contra Costa: The East Bay 157

Library of Souls 158

The View from Here 170

Exclusive Use 196

Part IV What Remains 217

The Gutter 218

Garden of Innocence 227

The Sand Trap 240

Epilogue 256

Acknowledgments 263

Notes and Sources 264

About the Author 268

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