What’s New at Cypress Lawn: Virtual History Tour

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Virtual Tour Video: Murder, Mayhem & Museums

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The storied origin of Cypress Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park dates back to 1892 when our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, drew inspiration during a carriage ride.

At that time, the future of San Francisco’s cemeteries was in question, as cemeteries were regarded as eyesores by those who were seeking to acquire the land. Noble created an elegant solution with the creation of Cypress Lawn, but it wasn’t just the answer to a problem — he created a legacy that is still cherished over a century later.

At Cypress Lawn, it’s our purpose to celebrate life. To us, that means not only celebrating the lives of our loved ones, but it also means celebrating the history of these hallowed grounds. To aid in this important endeavor, the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation was created to promote educational and cultural activities and to preserve and restore the incomparable, art, architecture, and Arboretum at Cypress Lawn.

Our Memorial Park is the final resting place for hundreds of prominent Californians who significantly impacted our city, state, and world. Part of this includes our historic 47-acre East Campus, which features 87 private mausoleums.

Not only are many prominent businessmen, politicians, and pioneers laid to rest here, but Cypress Lawn is also regarded as an outdoor history and art museum, showcasing work from acclaimed architects, sculptors, bronze artisans, and stained-glass craftsmen. To walk along our grounds doubles as a tour of the history of California.

One of the many programs offered by the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation is our beloved Trolley Tours, which take our guests on a docent-led adventure to explore our Memorial Park. Unfortunately, with the onset of the pandemic, we had to put our Trolley Tours on hold, but we also had the opportunity to create a special digital alternative for all of our patrons to enjoy.

Our new virtual tour gives our guests the ability to explore our Memorial Park in real time. Those who are visiting in person can pull up our virtual tour on their phone and simply click to learn more about the notable people who are laid to rest here. Or, for those who are not yet comfortable to visit in person, this is another online resource that we hope you will enjoy. From baseball stars, to the “Silver King,” to a jazz great, there’s a little something for everyone to learn through our new virtual tour.

We have also created a video that takes you on a tour hosted by Terry Hamburg, director of the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation. This video, titled “Murder, Mayhem, and Museums,” gives you an inside look at our Memorial Park led by an expert historian.

During this time of uncertainty and worry, we hope you will consider visiting our Memorial Park. We’ve witnessed firsthand just how much joy the beauty of this one-of-a-kind place brings to families. Whether you’re visiting us to admire the trees within our Arboretum, taking some time to feed the ducks, or just want to learn more about the legacy of those who are laid to rest here, we hope to see you here soon.