(uskings.us) In Colma’s two square miles, there are 17 cemeteries. The San Mateo County necropolis has been dubbed the “City of Souls” because it hosts an estimated two million dead people and only 1,200 live ones.

Colma is a small incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, on the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. With most of Colma’s land dedicated to cemeteries, the population of the dead – not specifically known but speculated to be around 1.5 million -outnumbers that of the living by a ratio of nearly a thousand to one. This has led to Colma’s being called “the City of the Silent” and has given rise to a humorous motto, formerly featured on the city’s website: “It’s great to be alive in Colma”.

Events that lead up to the incorporation of the Town of Colma began seventy five years before the incorporation in 1924. In 1849 the gold rush brought hundreds of thousands to San Francisco and with them they also brought disease leading to a high death rate. Twenty six cemeteries had been established and most were almost filled by the 1880s.

In the late 1880s, cemetery owners started looking for new property to bury their dead as San Francisco’s cemeteries were full. The southern end of Colma was chosen because of transportation.

In the late 1890s California had passed the State Penal Code 297 prohibiting burials anywhere except in an established cemetery. Such as one established by a city, county, national, religious or organization. January 14, 1914, eviction notices were sent out to all cemeteries to remove their bodies and monuments. Colma then inherited hundreds of thousands of bodies.

According to en.wikipedia and colma.ca.gov. Source of photos: internet