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Hurry Up

     It is to be presumed that the city fathers in tend to stop burials in the old cemeteries and remove the city cemetery beyond the county boundary at an early date. We say it is to be presumed so, but only because they say so. It ought not to be a violent presumption to suppose that responsible public men, speaking in full view of the whole city, mean what they say. Yet if we are to distinguish past performances from past promises, there can be nothing more widely misleading than to place any great amount of reliance upon anything the Board of Health or the Supervisors may say in regard to the cemeteries. Several years ago the burial places of the dead were to be removed from sites which have already come too near the center of the city to be pleasant to the living, but since then Boards have come and Boards have gone, and yet the cemeteries remain just where they were. They are too crowded and are offensive in many ways that may be more easily imagined than described. They ought to be closed without delay—say at the end of the present year. There is no excuse for not closing them, one and all, after half a year’s notice. Land in San Mateo county is plenty and reasonably cheap, and close to a railroad station. A trip by railroad would be far cheaper than one is by the hacks at present in use. In regard to the city cemetery, it is very certain the city fathers ought to hurry up its removal without further delay. It is idle to talk about the question of expense, as that, obviously, will take care of itself. It transpires that 200 acres, covering a most suitable site, can be obtained for $22,500. The removal of bodies can be effected for $30,000, making a total cost of $52,500. The present site would then be available for building purposes, and would readily sell for $2,500 an acre, leaving a profit on the transaction of $447,500. Besides, a nuisance would be got out of the way, and room made for a very desirable addition to the city. But it is work of supererogation to further argue the question. The work should be done, and be done at once.

San Francisco News Letter and California Advertiser
May 21, 1887