Real estate has always been heavily in demand in San Francisco. So much so that the town residents passed an ordinance in 1900 outlawing the construction of any more cemeteries in the city, and then passed another ordinance in 1912 evicting all existing cemeteries from the city limits. The dead were sent off to the necropolis of Colma, south of the city. With most of Colma’s land dedicated to cemeteries, the population of the dead outnumbers the living by over a thousand to one. This has led to Colma being called “the City of the Silent” and has given rise to a humorous motto, now recorded on the city’s website: “It’s great to be alive in Colma.” It’s also great to meander the impressive city of the dead and visit some of the great luminaries of early California history.
Here’s a great article about the history of cemeteries in San Francisco. (Thanks to Eleanor for the link.)