Colma is the smallest city in San Mateo County. It began as a cluster of homes and small businesses situated along El Camino Real and the adjacent railroad line. Most of Colma’s land became dedicated to cemeteries after San Francisco passed a 1900 law prohibiting further construction of cemeteries within its city limits, and forced relocation of existing cemeteries in 1912. Colma now houses 16 cemeteries, the resting place of 1.5 million souls. Many of the best-known residents of San Francisco are buried there, including William Randolph Hearst, Wyatt Earp, Levi Strauss, Joe DiMaggio and Pat Brown. While most early residents of the town were employed in jobs related to the cemeteries, Colma has since become more diversified with an assortment of car dealerships, two shopping centers and a cardroom. Colma’s commercial buildings display distinctive Spanish-Mediterranean architecture.
County: San Mateo
Total Area: 1.909 square miles
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