San Francisco’s ‘Odd Fellows Cemetery’

A History of a City’s betrayal of the ‘Odd Fellows’ dead and their families……..

Reburial in a mass grave, ‘The Odd Fellows Section’, at Greenlawn Cemetery in Colma, California in 1933……..

Greenlawn Memorial Park’s ultimate abandonment and desecration of the ‘Odd Fellows Section’.

In the early 1930’s the City of San Francisco relocated more than 26,000 graves from San Francisco’s ‘Odd Fellows Cemetery’ to Colma’s Greenlawn Cemetery. The remains were reburied in a marked, mass grave, and the grave site designated the ‘Odd Fellows Section’.

Today the ‘Odd Fellows Section’ is no longer recognizable or approachable as a grave site. In 2003, Greenlawn Memorial Park permitted, and still permits, a ‘fresh cut flower’ nursery business to operate directly upon the ‘Section’. Over the years, farming practices have damaged, scattered, and destroyed the 26,000 grave markers that once identified where remains were placed. Only a neglected, damaged monument, dedicated to the ‘Odd Fellows Section’ remains on site to mark the area as a dedicated burial ground; a cemetery.

How can 26,000 buried souls be treated in such a manner by a state licensed cemetery, their families sent away with no right to visitation? Read on, the story is a tragic one of betrayal to the buried dead, their families, and lost integrity.

See below for where these 26,000 souls are buried today….

Vehicles and light tractor with implement sit parked over Odd Fellows graves at the Geenlawn Cemetery in Colma

Today (photo above), the ‘Odd Fellows Section’ at Greenlawn Memorial Park lies below this cut flower nursery. No longer even included on the Cemetery’s map, the ‘Odd Fellows’ is fenced off, the dead abandoned, their graves and markers desecrated. Greenlawn is attempting to wipe away the memory of their names and their lives, as if they never lived. We can’t let that happen.

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The San Francisco Odd Fellows Cemetery Story

Odd Fellows Cemetery, San Francisco: 1865

Originally located in the undeveloped ‘Outside Lands’, in what is now referred to as the ‘Inner Richmond’ District of San Francisco, ‘Odd Fellows Cemetery, San Francisco’ was moved to Colma and is now under a commercial farming operation. Where's the respect?

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San Francisco’s Odd Fellows Cemetery was unique in its time. This picture, likely taken from the top of the recently completed Columbarium in 1897, shows the cemetery spread out towards the summit of Lone Mountain.
San Francisco’s Odd Fellows Cemetery was unique in its time. This picture, likely taken from the top of the recently completed Columbarium in 1897, shows the cemetery spread out towards the summit of Lone Mountain.