20 November 2008

Mount Hope Cemetery - San Diego CA

Mount Hope Cemetery is located at 3751 Market Street in San Diego, California (92102). The Business Office phone number is (619) 527-3400. The cemetery is managed by the City of San Diego. The Grounds are open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Business Office is open Monday though Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The City of San Diego web site for the cemetery is here.

The original Mount Hope Cemetery was opened in 1869 east of the "New Town" of San Diego. It was combined with other burial areas originally designated for the International Order of Foresters, Masonic Lodge, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the County of San Diego Indigent Burial Program. In February 1973 a Veteran’s Section in the newer area of the cemetery was dedicated in honor of all San Diego Veterans.

The cemetery has 110 acres (with 80 acres in use at present) with over 76,000 persons at rest there.

The entrance is on the south side of Market Street, about midway between Interstate 15 and Interstate 805 (both have offramps for Market Street). The entrance looks like this (looking south)

The Business Office is about 1/10 mile inside the gate on the left, and has parking for about 8 cars. The view from the road is (looking east):

The cemetery grounds are rolling low hills, with roads defining the different cemetery sections. The San Diego Trolley tracks run through the cemetery, separating the Masonic Section, the G.A.R. Section and the I.O.O.F. Section south of the tracks from the larger Evergreen Cemetery section north of the tracks. The grounds have, in general, a mix of above-ground and in-ground markers, with a few larger monuments.

There is a dedicated area for the Grand Army of the Republic that contains many graves of Civil War veterans. There is a GAR memorial with an American flag pole, as shown below:

On the west side of the memorial is a plaque, as shown below:

There are a number of web sites that have lists with persons interred at Mount Hope Cemetery (and its' predecessors), including:

* http://www.findagrave.com/ has over 3,100 listings here. There are also short biographies of 13 famous people here.

* http://www.interment.net/ has over 500 listings here.

* The California GenWeb Cemetery Archives has an index with over 14,000 listings here.

* The USGenWeb Archives for San Diego cemeteries has listings in alphabetical order here. I think these are the same listings as the California GenWeb archives.

The San Diego Genealogical Society offers a book of Mount Hope Cemetery, Burial Records, Book 1, 1868 - 1909, 319 pages, comb binding on their web site for $30. This was compiled from the listings in their original records publication, San Diego Leaves and Saplings, from member transcriptions many years ago.

If you go to the Business Office to search for a person buried there, the helpful staff finds the listing on their computer, and then prints a map of the cemetery showing the approximate location of the grave, and then provides a map of the immediate area with the selected person and 15 of the closest neighbors. It's a wonderful system once you figure it out!

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