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Tombstone from the Holy Cross Cemetery. Holy Cross Cemetery was founded in 1887 in Colma, California. Colma, located just south of San Francisco, is known as, "a memorial city" and "the city where the dead outnumber the living" due to its 17 cemeteries which occupy 73% of the land area of the small 1.98 square mile town.

Colma's cemeteries grew rapidly at the turn of the last century in no small part to San Francisco outlawing new burials in 1900 and then less than 20 years later ordering the hundreds of thousands of bodies currently buried in the city removed, a process that would continue for nearly 40 years. Tens of thousands were re-interred at Holy Cross due to this and five sections alone were filled due to the 1919 Spanish Influenza outbreak.

Holy Cross is the final resting place of many of California's famous and infamous. A short list of notables includes (in no particular order): Joe DiMaggio; all of San Francisco's Catholic Archbishops; Senator James Phelan; Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown; San Francisco Mayors George Moscone, Joseph Alioto, and Eugene E. Schmitz; and Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini.

For those interested in learning more about Holy Cross Cemetery's famous residents a walking tour map is available at the main office of the cemetery.

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