27 February 2009

California Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases

I interrupt the occasional posting of gravestone photographs and cemetery summaries to bring you a very important, and interesting, document - the Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases, provided by the Cemetery and Mortuary Association of California. The heading on the Guide is "State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Cemetery and Funeral Bureau." The web site with this Consumer Guide is http://www.cfb.ca.gov/consumer/funeral.shtml.

The Consumer Guide has sections for Legal Requirements, Deciding in Advance, Burial, Cremation, Special circumstances, Price List Requirements, Complaints, and Glossary of Terms.

I found very useful information in this Guide - for instance, did you know that (in California):

* Human remains may be kept at home until disposition without embalming or refrigeration. Generally, decomposition will proceed more rapidly without refrigeration or embalming.

* Disposition of Cremated Remains: Retention at a residence - The funeral establishment or crematory will have you sign the Permit for Disposition showing that the remains were released to you and will file it with the local registrar of births and deaths. You may not remove the cremated remains from the container and you must arrange for their disposition upon your death

* Cremated remains may not be transported without a permit from the county health department and they may not be disposed of in refuse.

Read the whole thing. I picked this up the last time I was at La Vista Memorial Park in National City, searching in vain (so far) for my great-grand-uncle David D. Smith.

19 February 2009

Civil War Soldiers buried at La Vista Cemetery in National City CA

There is a G.A.R. section at La Vista Memorial Park in National City, California with a number of well-kept in-ground graves and a monument to the men buried there.

Out in the "non-endowment" area of the cemetery are several stones that bear notations that commemorate Civil War veterans. The ones I saw and photographed (before my camera juice ran out today) were these:

1) David Palmanteer:

David Palmanteer,
Co. K,
?? PA Inf.
[note, the flag obscures some of the stone. I didn't see any years):

2. Leonard F. Davis:
Lieut. L.F. Davis
Co. "A"
21 Wis. Inf.

There are additional in-ground stones (above the front one) for Leonard F. Davis and his wife that read:

Leonard F. Davis


Sarah E. Trimble
wife of
Leonard F. Davis
Aug. 6, 1831
Oct. 13, 1890

3) B.F. Fletcher
B.F. Fletcher
Co. A
16th ME. Inf.

I will go back to La Vista soon to see if I can find more Civil War soldiers gravestones and photograph the stones in the G.A.R. memorial area.

16 February 2009

Mormon Battalion Memorial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

One of the more interesting memorial stones at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is this one which shows a frontier man and a frontier woman on one side:

The plaque embedded in the ground below the memorial reads:

In memory of the Mormon Battalion whose
members made the longest military march in
U.S. history of over 2,000 miles from Iowa to San
Diego in 1846-1847 during the war with Mexico.

Albert Warren Dunham ........Lydia Ann Edmunds Hunter
... Private - Company B .........wife of Captain Jesse Hunter
-------------------------------------Company B
23 May 1828 - 11 May 1847 --23 January 1823 - 26 April 1847

Lydia Hunter and Private Albert Dunham were
buried in a cemetery in the La Playa area of
Point Loma and were moved to Fort Rosecrans National
Cemetery with other military personnel in 1887.

The other side of the monument:

The inscription reads:

Lydia Hunter died
from complications
resulting from the
birth of her only
child, a son named
Diego hunter, the
first American born
in California. Diego
was born on 20 April
1847. Lydia died 6
days later.

May we honor her
and each of those
women who served
with the Mormon
Battalion. We also
pay tribute to the
many others that
sent their sons,
husbands, and
brothers into the
service of their
country during the
war with Mexico in

06 February 2009

San Pasqual Battle (1846) Memorial at Fort Rosecrans

One of the monuments to soldiers killed in battle at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma in San Diego is for those who lost their lives in the Battle of San Pasqual in 1846.

The San Diego chapter of the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West installed the San Pasqual monument in 1922 to honor those soldiers who lost their lives in the 1846 Battle of San Pasqual during the Mexican War. The monument is comprised of a stone boulder with a bronze plaque mounted on it.

The California State Military Museum has reprinted a portion of the book SNAFU: Great American Military Disasters by Geoffrey Ragan here. It provides a long description of the battle and the outcome.

The book The Silver Dons by Richard F. Pourade tells how the remains of the dead soldiers came to be buried at Fort Rosecrans:

"But the dead of San Pasqual lay in forgotten graves in Old Town [San Diego]. The names on the small wooden crosses had weathered away and were no longer remembered."

Who were these 18 dead soldiers? I cannot read the names on the memorial plaque on the stone from my picture. The list of the Americans who died at the Battle of San Pasqual is here - this is a great web page with many pictures of present-day San Pasqual and a re-enactment of the battle.

I found a great picture of the plaque at Fort Rosecrans on www.interment.net here. The names on the plaque are:

Ist United States Dragoons

Company C

* Sergeant John Cox
* Corporal William C. West
* Private George Ashmead
* Private Joseph T. Campbell
* Private William Dalton
* Private John Dunlap
* Private Joseph B. Kennedy
* Private William C. Leckey
* Private Samuel T. Repose

Company K

* 1st Sergeant Otis L. Moore
* Sergeant William Whitress
* Corporal George Ramsdale
* Farrier David W. Johnson
* Private William H. Fiel
* Private William C. Gholston
* Private Robert B. Gregory

California Volunteer

* Henry Baker

Topographical Engineer Detachment

* Francois Menard