by Lucy Schiller
Grave news: the dead are all around. Though almost all of SF’s cemeteries
were “removed” in the early 1900s to make room for an expanding population, tons of
unexhumed bodies still remain, resting under the sand and fog only to be discovered
should you vigorously take a trowel to the earth.
While not necessarily the go-to choice for a lazy summer day in San Francisco, a good
old Tour de Death does have its appeal, especially when the fog rolls in. Below: 5 spots
to mourn your goldfish in a proper fashion/pay your respects to the good many San
Franciscans who paved the way for you to be reading this right now, mimosa in hand.
Lincoln Park Golf Course/Legion of Honor - An
estimated 10,000 bodies still rest underneath the carefully manicured turf. Gardeners find
bones on a regular basis.
Presidio Pet Cemetery –
Brimming with tributes to long-since departed guinea pigs and the like, the Presidio Pet
Cemetery sits shaded by a shaking highway overpass and hemmed in by a super-high
chainlink fence. The ground is always kind of grossly soggy, but the charm of the spot’s
handmade headstones is hard to beat.
Mission Dolores Cemetery – The
resting place for some 5,000 Native Americans and European settlers, the Mission’s
graveyard is technically the only marked cemetery within San Francisco city limits.
Buena Vista Park – We don’t know about any bodies here, but take a close look at the
rain gutters – they’re fashioned out of really old headstones from the Richmond District’s
At the end of a cul-de-sac behind USF, the Columbarium houses the carefully-labeled
ashes of many an important San Franciscan in gleaming urns. Entry is free, as are tea and
coffee. A hushed, fascinating, strangely great date.