Finding a tombstone underneath your basement is the stuff of horror movies. But, if you’re willing to look past the creepy factor, it can also be the stuff of a history documentary.
Construction workers in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights neighborhood were ripping up a garage floor to install new electrical lines when employee Joshua Rivera noticed something underneath him.
Joshua said he noticed a smooth slab, markedly different from the rest of the ground underneath the home. As he kept digging, he realized the slab had writing on it. And then it dawned on him — he had uncovered a tombstone, placed there over 100 years ago.
The tombstone said “Charles Cooper, Native of Germany.” As they excavated more, the construction workers realized an entire family shared that one tombstone. Charles and his wife had tragically lost a child at just 13 days old.
As it turns out, the land where this house is built used to be a graveyard. As San Francisco began to grow, the old graveyard was built over to make room for more houses.
The tombstone is too heavy for the five men who were working that day to pick up themselves, but it will be moved before construction continues.
Hopefully, the history of this family will be uncovered, giving us even more insight into what life was like for people in San Francisco over 100 years ago.
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