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Home: Regional: U.S. States: California: San Francisco County

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Masonic Cemetery, SF--San Francisco Owes Restitution to descendants
Posted by: Ed (ID *****6106) Date: March 19, 2009 at 12:47:53
  of 1301

What the below article doesn't mention is that they didn't bother to document whose who in the graves they removed. They took their tombstones that were paid for by the families of each of the deceased and dumped them as fill on the approaches to the Golden Gate Bridge. Majority of the deceased were reburied in unmarked graves at the Japanese Cemetery and Woodlawn Cemetery in Colta, Manteo County, and as the building deadline approached, decided to cement over our remaining ancestors to begin building. Some may still be buried under the University of San Francisco.

This travesty was done because greedy men wanted the land to build on. It did go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which I am sure was just as corrupt then. If they were not looking at the costs, they would have ensured that each one of our ancestors were recorded whose who and handled with care as they reburied them. As you can see from this article, many of our ancestors did not even know what they were up to and never received notification of their deviant intentions.

San Francisco owes us restitution for this travesty of ill treatment of our ancestors. They should gather DNA from each unmarked grave and begin a DNA data base so we can identify our ancestors. They should also make every attempt to locate any historical documents and records for each person that was buried at Masonic Cemetery and removed.

For those who make the comment that this will cost the city and county money...well, they took payment already when they stole our ancestors' grave stones and used them as fill for the Golden Gate Bridge--I am sure this saved them money from having to use other materials. These are a few of the reasons why San Francisco owes the descendants of each person they removed from the Masonic Cemetery restitution.

"'Deadline Set for Cemetery Evacuations. Masonic Association Extends Time for Removals Thirty Days. Another month will be allowed for removal of bodies by relatives from the Masonic Cemetery, it was announced yesterday by George Skaller, president of the cemetery association. To inform those who cannot be reached by letter or otherwise, the cemetery directors have ordered a thirty-day campaign.

"Already 5600 bodies have be placed in other cemeteries by relatives, mostly in Woodlawn, according to Mr. Skaller. About 14,300 are left." [Note here that there are 14,300 people buried remaining and they only sent out 5,000 letter in which 2500 were returned undelivered]

"Of 5000 letters notifying relatives of the removal conditions, about 2500 have been returned by the postoffice (sic), which has been unable to find the addresses.

Under the removal ordinance, which has been upheld in the United States Supreme Court, the cemetery association is obligated to transfer the bodies. Those not cared for by relatives will be placed in a special section of Woodlawn Cemetery."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 22 December 1931.'"

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