SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A work crew has uncovered a long-lost tombstone buried deep beneath a home’s underground garage in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights neighborhood.
The Lowe’s Electrical crew was ripping up the floor of the garage to put in new power lines when their work grounded to a halt as they thought they had hit a large rock.
“We thought it was maybe a rock, but oh, it has a letter on it and we realize it’s marble and not regular rock,” said worker Jashua Rivera. “So I uncovered a little bit and there was some writing and realized it was a tombstone and got creeped out a little bit.”
It not the first time a work crew has made such an eerie discovery. In May 2016, a crew working on a home renovation project near Lone Mountain in San Francisco uncovered the coffin of a young girl that was buried in the 1800s.
After months of intensive work, the body was identified as that of Edith Howard Cook who died in 1876 and was reburied in a local cemetery.
However, the newest discovery still has the construction crew a bit unnerved.
“Some of them (the work crew) even ran for the street,” said fellow worker Daniel McCluskey of the discovery.
Frank Graziano said the tombstone was a grave marker for a man named Charlie Cooper, who came to San Francisco from Germany.
“That is a old, old tombstone,” Graziano said. “I have never ran into anything like this. I’ve found old fishing gear and stuff…A whole family is on the side of this – the mother, the father and they had lost a child after 13 days.”
But unlike the discovery on nearby Lone Mountain, the crew did not locate any bodies.
The area used to be home to the Laurel Heights cemetery, but as San Francisco grew the remains were relocated in cemeteries in Colma.
Some of the tombstones were not moved and used in construction projects in the neighborhood.
While there was no need to relocate remains this time, the work crew would like to find where Charles Cooper and his family was reburied and place the tombstone there.
“We can bring some kind of peace to whoever was here, because I’m sure they didn’t want their tombstone thrown over and just buried,” said Graziano. “I wouldn’t want mine.”