Where is potters field? Is there a list of the people who were commonly buried as poor?

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Where were the impoverished taken to be buried when they died? I hear that it was called potters field, where is that? Is there a list of the dead that were commonly buried together as indigent?

-- Sandy Longstreth (longs321@aol.com), December 10, 2001



Scroll down to May 30, 1998. That question was answered on that date. I hope this helps.

-- Michael Binetti (mbinetti@boldata.com), December 10, 2001.

Make that May 19, 1998.

-- Michael Binetti (mbinetti@boldata.com), December 10, 2001.

Potter's field is located where the Palace Legion of Honor Museum now is and I think it includes a good part of the Lincoln Golf Course. The Potter's Field cemetary which is kind of a slang name rather than the actual name for the cemetary, started in 1870 when the city needed to move the graves of the Yerba Buena Cemetary located at Civic Center. The city had decided to build the new city hall there. In the early years of the Gold Rush people were burried all over the place because they didn't want to waste any time or money with burials. After awhile, people got fed up with finding dead bodies everywhere and smelling the stench of the dead everywhere so created the Yerba Buena Cemetary at Civic Center and dug up those graves throughout the city and burried them there. -- Well the city grew faster than anyone believed and in 1870 they decided to build the new city hall at the Yerba Buena cemetary site. So all the graves had to be dug out again and then were transported to what some named the the Potter's field. The people who were burried here were mostly the poor, the unidentified, mental patients and Chinese and basically anyone who couldn't afford to be burried privately and whoever the city itself needed to get burried in the ground. I think there is still a monument to the Chinese dead somewhere out there. At that time there were some records kept but I don't know if they have survived. -- When the Palace Legion of Honor was built, I don't think that anyone gave a damn about the graves and it is my understanding that they found bodies but just built right on top of them and even put some of the bodies in the corners of the building to help with the stability. In the late 80s or early 90s, the Legion of honor was renovated and the front yard dug up and low and behold there were dozens of graves uncovered which I think were then transported over to Colma. -- There were also some stories of Ghosts in that area and if you ever go up there on a foggy night, it can make your skin crawl inside out. Since that museum was built in about 1921, there have been hundreds of people who have been murdered or completely vanished from that area. A few cases I can tell you about right now are: In the late 1970s one day, about 1 p.m. in the afternoon, bone chilling screams were heard at the Golf Course above and as far as a half-mile away. Later, a woman's body was discovered that had been stabbed 90 times. No one in the police force had ever seen anything like that kind of mutulation and the press were kept at bay and only given a brief statement. No one was seen leaving the area or ever brought in for questioning nor ever convicted of this crime. If someone had done this, they surely would have been completely covered in blood and people in the area saw absolutely nothing. -- In the early 90s, a young woman who worked at the Crocker Galleria went to lands end and was never heard from again. She completely vanished off the face of the earth even though a nationwide search was put out for her. About the same time or so a high school principle in Oakland, California didn't show up for work one day and several days later his car was discovered parked at Land's End. Many of his students came over and search the area and even spoke with me about it but there was nothing I could do to help them. The only thing I can say is that I discovered some broken prescription glasses and have always wondered why someone would leave broken prescription glasses there even if they had broken them there by accident. I have also discovered some kind of military medal with an Eagle medal and a red white and blue ribbon attached though I can't make hide nor hair of that either. -- In the mid 90s, a guys body was seen at the bottom of a cliff who turned out to be a stockbroker. The official story was that he jumped off a cliff. Yes, he seemed to have fallen off the cliff but things are not always as they appear. In a bar between 47th and 48th on Judah streets, the story going around was that this guy was forced off a cliff. Since that event, the rangers have closed off that area with signs since they don't want to take any chances. There are hundreds more stories about missing and murdered people out there and it sure seems strange to me that such a small area can have such a high disappearance and crime rate. -- My own intuition about that place is that it's like a Devil's Triangle. There are many mysterious things out there -- Huge Boulders pierce out, that seem to have no rhyme or reason to be there with land that seems to have been connected to the Marin side only yesterday -- numerous ships that have been sunk there several of whose tops you can still see jutting out at low tide -- fog that is often so thick you you can't see 20 feet in front of you. On top of that, this Devil's Triangle no man's land seems to give off an almost compelling drive by some force other than we know of that beckons you uncontrollably to let out all your deep pentup anger and commit murder. It has been proven that there are forces of nature greater than what we are capable of sensing and that we might have the capability to sense other things then just our five senses. I strongly believe this. Numerous times I have experienced this including after the World Trade Center where I accurately told someone who I never met or had any clue whatsoever that her brother was in the World Trade Center when it was hit. Was that just a coincidence? Now if I could just predict the lottery numbers.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@my-deja.com), December 10, 2001.

Sandy, Check out the Park News, Winter Edition (at all Visitors Centers of the National Park Service), it contains an article about cemeteries and an image of the Lands End Cemetery (rather rare!).

I guide a monthly free walk called "Legends of Lands End" for the NPS, details are in the Park News. In addition, the 2002 Spring dates are: March 23, April 20 and May 18; the story of the Golden Gate Cemetery is told among others...

-- Wolfgang Schubert (wolfgang@legalmatch.com), December 20, 2001.

yes its for the poor i think my dad was buried there still looking untill i find out/

-- laura blue (lulu1959@hotmail.com), February 02, 2002.

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