The bittersweet tale of solving the mystery of Miranda Eve — San Francisco’s mysterious mummified little girl. (Including some very interesting San Francisco history.)


Uncovering the original lead and bronze casket in San Francisco. Courtesy Garden of Innocence


Edith Howard Cook. Courtesy Garden of Innocence


From Atlas Obscura,

Searching for the Identity of San Francisco’s Mysterious Mummified Girl
The toddler, dubbed “Miranda Eve” when her coffin was found in 2016, died in 1876.
by Rick Paulas


“In 1900, with space in the 46-square-mile peninsula of San Francisco quickly becoming a premium, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted to reclaim some room from the dead. First, they ceased further burials within city limits. Then, in 1914, on the back of a developer publicly valuing cemetery land at $7 million, the city began the arduous and ramshackle process of evicting the deceased.


Over the next 40 years, nearly 150,000 bodies were exhumed and relocated a few miles south to the city of Colma; currently, dead residents outnumber the living there roughly 1300-to-1. But the relocation process wasn’t as fastidious as you’d expect. Records were transferred incorrectly, family plots were split apart, body parts were transposed and mixed with others, often in mass graves.


On May 9, 2016, as construction crews were renovating a home in the city’s posh Richmond district, they struck something with their shovels. Under the garage floor was a tiny coffin made of lead and bronze, its most prominent feature a pair of glass windows that allowed workers to peer inside. They saw the preserved remains of a three-year-old girl. She was dressed in white, with ankle-high shoes, and grasped purple flowers that’d also been woven into her hair. A rosary and eucalyptus seeds had been carefully set atop her chest. There were no markers indicating who she was or when she died…”


For the rest, click here. For more on this story and the identity of Miranda Eve, visit Garden of Innocence.