The Town of Colma, Where San Francisco’s Dead Live


Colma, a small town outside San Francisco, has become a necropolis for the city, which relocated the remains from four of its cemeteries there.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

COLMA, Calif. — While the Super Bowl will be played at Levi’s Stadium, and thousands of news media members who descended on the Bay Area this week were based at the Moscone Center, Levi Strauss lay inside a marble crypt in one of this tiny town’s 17 cemeteries, and George Moscone lay under the grass in another.

In a broad valley devoted largely to the dead, the history museum in Colma – nicknamed “The City of Souls” — sells T-shirts that read, “It’s Great to Be Alive in Colma!”

It is a town of 1,600 living residents and about 1.5 million dead ones — many of whom, like the 49ers, uprooted and left San Francisco for greener pastures to the south.

The road to Sunday’s Super Bowl stretches about 50 miles, from San Francisco, the epicenter of festivities this…

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