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The Small Town of 1.5 Million

Welcome to Colma, a small town less than two miles outside of San Francisco, where the dead outnumber the living nearly one thousand to one. Colma was incorporated in 1924 as a necropolis for the Bay Area — a town dedicated to being the final resting place for the dead. There are more dead people in Colma than the living populations of San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley combined.

Jacket photographer Sophia Brown documented her visit to the town known as The City of Souls.

The castle-like Woodlawn Funeral Home & Woodlawn Memorial Park is just one of the 16 cemeteries in Colma. The cemetery was established in 1904 after San Francisco decided that the city's land was too valuable for cemeteries.

The tombstone of a United States World War II veteran buried at Woodlawn Funeral Home & Woodlawn Memorial Park

The Eternal Home Cemetery was founded in 1901 to serve the Jewish community in San Francisco.

In addition to the tombstones, Eternal Home Cemetery contains two Holocaust memorials. According to Eternal Home Cemetery, the purpose of the memorials is to provide a space where friends and families can remember those who they lost and never received a burial.