29 December 2008

Grant's Tomb at Greenwood Memorial Park

Did you know that Ulysses S. Grant is buried in Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego?

The stone just says "Grant." The Historical Walking Tour handout obtained from Greenwood says:

"Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. (1852-1929): The son of President Ulysses S. Grant came to the San Diego area in 1893 for his wife's health. He was active in real estate and promoting the San Diego area. He built the U.S. Grant Hotel as a memorial to his father. The bronze Angel of Death is the work of Henry Lukeman, a prominent eastern sculptor who had studied with Daniel Chester French (Sculptor of the Lincoln figure in the Lincoln Memorial). The stone was cast in 1911. Henry Lukeman later worked on the Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia."

A biography of Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. is available on the San Diego Historical Society web site here. Wikipedia has a biography here. More information about the man and his gravestone, including a picture of the other side, is on the FindAGrave site here.

22 December 2008

"The Zoo Lady" at Greenwood Memorial Park

Take a look at this gravestone - is a gorilla buried here?

This gravestone stands in the Masonic Place section of the historical portion of Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego. Belle Benchley (1882-1972) is buried in this grave. The Historical Walking Tour information about this grave says:

"Note the unusual monument with the gorilla's head on it. Belle Benchley, a former schoolteacher who began work in midlife for the [San Diego] Zoo, was known as "The Zoo Lady." She helped transform the zoological gardens into the world-famous San Diego Zoo that we enjoy today. She was especially concerned with improving the medical care and simple comforts of the Zoo inhabitants. She held the position of San Diego Zoo Director Emeritus until she died at the age of ninety-one years."

A biography of Belle Benchley is available on the San Diego Historical Society site here.

15 December 2008

The Tanzer Cenotaphs at Greenwood Memorial Park

What is a cenotaph? It is a monument erected in honor of a dead person whose remains lie elsewhere.

There is a collection of cenotaphs at Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego that are beautiful and intriguing. They are located in the Hawthorne Place section of the cemetery in the southwestern, historical, section of the cemetery. From the road, the cenotaphs depict angels, dogs and lambs, and face in various directions, and look like this:

The Historical Walking Tour handout that I obtained from Greenwood says this about this collection:

"Frederick Tanzer (1861-1938) and his wife purchased sixteen graves here to be used for 'memorials' to their many relatives buried in Germany and elsewhere. After his wife was buried, Mr. Tanzer placed fifteen pieces of Carrara marble statuary on the site that he and his wife had planned as a memorial to their parents and many relatives. The statuary is a 'Sermon of Love' by Mr. Tanzer for his wife. Mr. Tanzer devoted his life and fortune to this memorial in statuary, and he died a pauper."

It doesn't indicate whether the Tanzer's had any children. I checked the 1900 US census and it said that Fred and Mary Tanzer had zero children. What a pity that these statues don't "belong" to someone in the San Diego area.

This is one of the few times I think the adage "I'm going to spend everything I have - I can't take it with me" applies!

11 December 2008

Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego

Greenwood Memorial Park and Mortuary is located at 4300 Imperial Avenue in San Diego CA 92113 (take the Imperial Avenue exit East from I-15, or the Imperial Avenue exit West from I-805), three miles east of downtown San Diego (take State 94 east to south Interstate 805). The cemetery is visible from south Interstate 805. The cemetery gates open at 7:30 a.m., the mausoleum at 8 a.m., and the mortuary and cemetery offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The office phone number is (619) 264-3131. Greenwood has a web page at http://www.dignitymemorial.com/4615/LocalHome.aspx .

Greenwood was opened in 1907, and is situated on 117 lovely acres with attractive trees, seasonal flowers and well-kept landscaping. The park includes three lakes, veterans’ features, the Lifesharing Hero's memorial, a Canadian Legion monument, the large Cathedral and Bible mausoleums, and a historic section. Other than the monuments, the Serenity section, the historic section and the mausoleum, all burial sites have in-ground gravestones. There are approximately 100,000 residents in Greenwood Memorial Park - it is the largest non-military cemetery in San Diego County.

A short history of Greenwood Memorial Park is included on this page published by the San Diego Historical Society in the Journal of San Diego History.

I visited Greenwood Memorial Park two weeks ago in order to find graves of some of my distant cousins, obtain information about the park, the famous residents buried there, and to take some pictures. I wrote the names to be searched on a form, and waited several minutes (with a cookie and a bottle of water) for Kevin to come out and tell me that they did not have a record of my lost cousins. I told him that I also wanted information about famous people, and he volunteered to take me on a short tour of the "historic" section of the cemetery. After the tour, he provided a list of the famous residents which had brief biographies for each of them. I took some pictures, too.

The office on the top of the hill looks like this:

The Salli Lynn Chapel can be used for funerals and memorial services:

The most eye-catching memorial is shown through these gates. This is labeled Tribute on the maps but is the Lifesharing Hero's memorial. This view is through gates to the Serenity section of the cemetery, which has mostly Vietnamese stones.

This is a view to the north toward the Bible Mausoleum from the office area.

The web sites that have transcriptions and photographs include:

* Interment.net has 120 transcriptions.

* FindaGrave.com has a great map, some pictures of the grounds, and 1,485 transcriptions from the cemetery, including some with biographies and photographs of the deceased. There are also links to 25 "famous" persons buried at Greenwood.

* The USGenWeb California Tombstone Project has four lists of transcriptions - Transcription #1 (23) A-E (over 1300) F-J (over 1000) K-P (over 1200) Q-Z (over 1100).

* The Political Graveyard has six entries for Greenwood graves of politicians.

05 December 2008

Crypts and Niches at Cypress View Mausoleum

I described the Cypress View Mausoleum in San Diego earlier this week.

Many of the "residents" of this mausoleum are in crypts containing bodies in coffins stacked up in walls inside the buildings - all the way up to the ceiling, as shown below:

The rest of the "residents" are in niches containing urns or boxes of cremated remains, as shown below:

02 December 2008

Cypress View Mausoleum

Cypress View Mausoleum and Chapel in San Diego is located at 3953 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92113; Phone: (619) 232-6168. The business does not have a web site. A map showing the area around Cypress View is here.

Cypress View Mausoleum is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Cypress View was founded in 1927. This burial site has two types of burials - coffins entombed in the walls of the buildings, and inurnments in niches along the walls of the buildings.

The large sign is visible going east or west on Imperial Avenue:

On the south side of Imperial Avenue, the business office is part of the large building which includes the chapels, and most of the crypts:

Across the street, on the north side of Imperial Avenue, is another large building with tombs and niches:

The Jewish section, called Home of Peace, was established about 1950 and has approximately 750 entombments and urns as of 1998.

The online lists of interments include:

* http://www.findagrave.com/ - has 161 entries, many with tributes and pictures

* http://www.cagenweb.org/ - has 135 entries, plus some good outside pictures

* The US GenWeb Archives - has the same 135 entries

If you go to the Business Office to search for a person buried there, the helpful staff finds the listing in their card file, and provides a note of the location. If someone is available to help, they will guide you to the entombment or inurnment. The mausoleum on the north side of Imperial Avenue is locked, and the grounds are gated and fenced.