Colma’s dead tell us their stories from Cypress Lawn cemetery

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In Total SF’s first Halloween episode, Terry Hamburg, director of the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation, leads hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub on a tour of some of the most memorable graves in Colma Memorial Park.

Photo from Total SF Podcast

Video: Ryce Stoughtenborough


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When San Francisco decided it was no longer going to hold people buried, they moved them all to Colma, which is now known to have 17 cemeteries and around 1,500 times more people dead than living.

In the first Halloween episode for Total SF, hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub meet Terry Hamburg, director of the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation, for a tour of some of the most memorable graves in Colma Memorial Park.

They visit Chronicle founders Charles and Michael de Young to learn about The Chronicle’s gun history and talk about a beheaded cemetery dweller and the Hell’s Angels funeral. Plus, they pay homage to Willie McCovey and Lefty O’Doul. (Who really must be in the Hall of Fame.)

Hamburg says people are welcome to walk around the Cypress Lawn cemeteries, which has encouraged visitors – including pets – to visit their open space during the pandemic.

Cypress Lawn Memorial Park includes the graves of San Francisco politicians and business leaders Lefty O’Doul and Willie McCovey, and many other interesting detours.Peter Hartlaub


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