13 November 2008

La Vista Memorial Park

La Vista Memorial Park is located at 3191 Orange Street in National City, California, 91950 (the city immediately south of San Diego on the bayfront) and has been serving San Diego area families since 1868. La Vista Memorial Park of San Diego. They are the only family owned and operated memorial park in San Diego County. The park is located just east of Interstate 805 and north of State Route 54 (coming north or south, take the Sweetwater Road exit, and go east. The second street to the left is Orange, and La vista is up a winding road.

The La Vista Memorial Park web site is at http://www.lavistamemorialpark.com/. There are location maps and photographs of the park and the setting on the site. The phone number is 619-475-7770. I visited the park yesterday, and took some photographs. Here is the entry gate at Orange Street and 32nd Street:

The cemetery office is located in a relatively small building. At the front desk, you can ask for the location of a grave, and the attendant will look in a card file, find the record, make a copy of it, and then look in a map book to determine where the grave is located. If the attendant is not busy, s/he will take you out to the grave site. Here is the cemetery office building.

The cemetery has a "maintained" section (where the grave sites are in a mowed grassy area and an "unmaintained" section where the graves are not maintained by the cemetery staff, but family members often create shrines for their loved ones. Many of the early graves (before 1920) are in the unmaintained section. This is a view looking to the west from near the cemetery office of the unmaintained section.

Part of the maintained section is shown below looking north from near the cemetery office:

The persons in this cemetery are either buried or cremated and in the ground, in a number of mausoleums or in a niche wall for cremated remains. Grave markers include ground-level markers, small or large monuments, or shrines. Many recent graves are interspersed in the older sections, often with a modern stone right next to an older granite stone. There is a lot of "empty" space in the older sections - I think that there are probably many unmarked graves, which may or may not be noted in the cemetery records.

Just east of the office, there is a Grand Army of the Republic memorial and there are gravestones of probable Civil War veterans nearby. There are also gravestones for more recent military veterans nearby. The GAR memorial is shown below:

The San Diego Genealogical Society published a series of articles providing names and gravestone data for persons buried in La Vista cemetery in their Leaves and Saplings periodical (Volume 5, number 3 and Volume 15, number 2). These volumes are available at many San Diego area public libraries and at the San Diego Family History Center in Mission Valley.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society is in the process of putting all cemetery records, obtained from the La Vista cemetery records provided by the staff, into a spreadsheet and will eventually publish a CD-ROM of these records, and will place a printed copy of the records in several local libraries.

The http://www.findagrave.com/ web site has listings for 555 persons in La Vista Memorial Park here. There are also photographs of the cemetery and of some of the gravestones at the park.

The http://www.interment.net/ web site has listings for 208 persons buried in La Vista Memorial Park here, but has no photographs or memorials.

There are listings from La Vista Memorial Park gravestones in the US GenWeb Archives at http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/sandiego/cemeteries/lavista.txt.

I have several ancestors and relatives buried in this cemetery, and I will post pictures of their gravestones on http://www.geneamusings.com/ in the near future.


Netito said...

In regards to La Vista Memorial Park I found this article which was aired on April 7th on NBC 739. Thnak you for your support in letting everybdy know the lesser known oldest cemtery in San Diego county.

. said...

Have had so-so service from front desk staff until today, where it was horrible. They are not very helpful. When I went and found a grave in the un-maintained portion BY MYSELF, they refused to verify if I had found the correct grave. For being such a small cemetery, I wish they took better care of the maintained area -- there are multiple grave markers that have sunk into the ground, or have been covered in mud. Overall, very disappointed. I'm not sure why the current owners got into this business...