A couple interesting blog posts by John P. O’Grady recall how Lincoln Park, the western terminus of the Lincoln Highway, was once a graveyard. In fact, it still is! His first posting explains that the thousands who were buried in San Francisco’s City Cemetery were simply landscaped over a century ago so that a golf course could be built. (Yikes, don’t take any deep divots!) Over time, the rest of the area was cleared too. What happened to the thousands of wooden markers and granite monuments? They were tossed over the bluff known today as Lands Fill! (More disconcerting, the practice of discarding tombstones while leaving the bodies is apparently not at all uncommon.) The second posting explains that scavengers, under cover of night, search through the debris for treasures, and one of them, Dominic Camposanto, recently found a 1928 Lincoln Highway concrete post.
Above: The view from the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
Here’s the story from O’Grady’s blog:
Just recently, after an unexpected heavy rain, he discovered an original Lincoln Highway marker sticking out of the woody hillside like a phallus busted off an old Greek statue. Dom had no idea how that marker wound up in so unlikely a spot, nor did he care. He seldom takes interest in any stories attached to the articles he’s trying to unload, unless it can help make a sale. Anyway, with a prize like a Lincoln Highway marker, he didn’t need any story—all those collectors out there already had one. What they desperately lacked—and he could now supply—is the marker to go with that story. Thus Dom found an eager buyer over at the local university, a famous professor of climatology with a passion for Lincoln Highway memorabilia. The climatologist is very pleased with his purchase and has set it up in his backyard in the neighborhood around Rossi Playground. Now here’s where he could have used another story, one that might have revealed a little something about the history of this particular marker and—more importantly—something about the land upon which his own house is built. [Apparently, another graveyard.]
This could be any one of the 2,400 concrete posts placed along the Lincoln Highway in 1928, but don’t you think there’s a good chance that a LH post dumped over the hill from where the “Western Terminus” LH post once sat would be the same LH post??
Any California LH fans want to look up a climatologist living near Rossi Playground and ask to see the right side of his concrete post?