“Miranda”, young girl from 1800’s found buried under Richmond District home, finally laid to rest in Colma

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Late last month, contractors unearthed a young girl’s casket while digging up the garage floor of a home near Rossi Park. The airtight, metal casket had preserved nearly everything inside including her blond hair and the rose she had in her hands.

At the time, homeowner Ericka Karner named the unidentified girl “Miranda Eve”, and set about finding the proper way to move her burial site.

It’s believed that Miranda was a leftover from the Odd Fellows Cemetery, which was located on what is now Rossi Park, but was decommissioned in the early 1930’s. At that time, all of the cemetery’s remains were moved to Colma, but as we sometimes are reminded, not all of the dead made the trip.

Karner contacted the city of San Francisco, but was told she could not get a burial permit without a death certificate. Thankfully, an organization called Garden of Innocence, which provides burials for abandoned children, stepped in to help Karner with the re-burial.

Miranda was finally laid to rest this past Saturday in a ceremony at Colma’s Greenlawn Memorial Park.

“They carried the casket through a line of Knights of Columbus members dressed in full regalia and over to the young girl’s final resting place, which was covered in flowers and surrounded by nearly 100 onlookers,” reported The Chronicle.

The pulled out all the stops for Miranda’s service, which included “countless baskets of rose petals, a volunteer minister and even a local poet who read an original work to honor the little girl”.

Miranda’s original casket was placed inside a new, cherry-wood casket for the burial since the glass on the original has been broken during the initial investigation by the city’s medical examiner.

For the time being, the girl’s headstone is etched with the name “Miranda Eve” and the words “The Child Loved Around The World – “If no one grieves, no one will remember””.

Research is underway to try and identify the girl, or at least learn more about her, using DNA tests.

See more photos

Sarah B.

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle


  1. RIP Baby Girl. I am so glad people cared enough to give her a nice burial.

  2. I hope they find out something about her, right now, nothing is known, only that she probably lived somewhere in the span of years 1865 to 1890 but did she? all pretty much guesses. I took a walk yesterday to where Odd Fellows once was after mapping out the perimeter using Google Maps and it’s actually a pretty huge amount of land. Little girl was found just about in the middle of the cemetery.

  3. on friday, june 17, at 10am there will be a public meeting at city hall, rm 416 regarding the proposed changes to be made to arguello blvd
    the city doesnt want anyone from the public to show as they posted the notice on one lamp post in front of rossi park

  4. Now that they have found the casket was made in 1858, that shoule give some clarity as to the possible year she was buried. Why has it been so difficult to determine the area she was buried in the original Odd Fellows cemetery in connection to the house she was found under? Wouldn’t cemetery maps reveal who was buried there. Also, most cemeteries have a “child burial” section.

  5. SUZI, I wonder how they narrowed down the year casket was made? Also I’m not sure how accurate the cemetery records are, if they can find it at all and if they weren’t destroyed in 1906. On opensfhistory.org and other places there are photos of the burial removals and it’s definitely not a precise affair. Imagine a bunch of people with shovels and sandy soil. I believe the area where the casket was found was all open ground, sand dunes from the beginning. From what I understand, the removals (just bones) were placed in small white boxes and transported to Colma and most headstones were, used for underlayment for roads and other uses. The house on Rossi was the first building on that land in 1935 I think. There so many possibilities and what if’s, I guess no one wants to take that much time to research everything. One peculiar thing I found was the builder of the Rossi house had the same last name of a little girl (supposedly his daughter?) that died around 4 years old in 1935. But they say little girl in the coffin had on a 19th century white dress, but weren’t dresses like that pretty common in the 1920-1930’s? …..sorry for the speculation, I let the imagination get carried away sometimes.

  6. In 1993, when the renovations were started on the Palace of the Legion of Honor museum, which had been damaged in the 1989 ‘quake, they pulled up a section of the floor and found a lot of bodies that were supposed to have been removed when the cemeteries and “potter’s field” that was Lincoln Park before it became a golf course — but weren’t. Typical city job — the stones had been kicked over, covered with a couple of feet of dirt. The contractors said “WHOA!” and went to the city supervisors who said to just backhoe them out (!) The construction company said no way, there are laws about disposiing of human remains. The city supervisors said “we don’t have the time or money — backhoe them out!” The contractors refused, and it went to COURT to force the city to do the right (and LEGAL) thing. How do I know this? A good friend of mine is an archaeologist who was contacted about it. This was in 1993, before cellphones, and he was sitting by his phone for a couple of days, waiting to find out if he was going to have a job working on it. He had a lot of experience excavating Native America sites — and he was wetting himself with amusement. He said “When people discover Native American remains that are 1500 years old, if they knew anything about antrhopology, they’d know there is NO way that those bones are related to the people who live there now….but the archaeologists are called in, shamans are called in –huge time and expense. But SF finds remains of people who were buried 80 years ago– many of whom probably have grandchilden who are still alive — and it’s “oh, just backhoe them out!” MORE ABOUT IT HERE: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=1993%20bodies%20found%20under%20palace%20of%20legion%20of%20honor

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