17 November 2010

Clifford Walls is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery

I posted what I know about Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nestor in http://ssdcgraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/2009/04/mount-olivet-cemetery-in-nestor.html.

I received an email from Albert Walls, who saw that blog post recently, and he noted that:

"My oldest brother Clifford  Walls is buried there right along the fence line on Iris Street about 50 Ft. from the gate.  He was killed in 1935 or 1936 when he was 16. I was just a baby at the time, but during World War II my mother used to go up to the grave site and put flowers on his grave, all he had was a marker.  Later one of my other brothers made a concrete slab on his grave site. The last time I was there in 2008, I could not find any trace of his site. I found the listing on people that are buried there, but his name was not on the list. There was 5 of us boys; I am the youngest, and all my family is gone now.  I am 75 years old.  I would like for him to at least be put on that list.  We lived at Imperial Beach most of my life, and I am now living in Bakersfield Ca.

" My father, Claude Melvin Walls,  spent 32 years in the Navy. My mother is Florence Walls.  They both are buried at Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery."

I responded and Albert permitted me to post this information on this blog so that it might be saved for posterity.

The Mount Olivet Cemetery listing on the USGWArchives site is at http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/sandiego/cemeteries/mount-olivet.txt.  It does not include the name of Clifford Walls. 

Does anyone know how the name of Clifford Walls could be added to the Mount Olivet listing?  I tried to find the death date for Clifford, but cannot access that listing on the www.VitalSearch-CA.com website.

13 July 2010

"Personal Plots" at La Vista Memorial Park

This article by David Hasemeyer was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper on 28 November 2004 - it is online here at SignOnSanDiego.

The article describes the non-endowed area, called Rest Haven, in the La Vista Memorial Park in National City, California. There are descriptions, and photos, of several of the very personal plots, grave markers and memorials - there are essentially no rules for grave markers in Rest Haven. There are other parts of La Vista Memorial Park that are endowed - meaning they are kept mowed and cleaned, but there are some rules about grave marker types and sizes in these areas.

The article notes:

"Endowed cemeteries give the impression that the dead are remembered because the landscape is constantly groomed by maintenance workers. But at Rest Haven it's clear that only relatives and friends can truly keep a memory alive. "


"About 1,000 people are buried on Rest Haven's four acres and about 1,000 more graves could be added if the cemetery decides to sell any more. "

[Former La Vista manager Ruth] Cook surveyed the cemetery with a look of tenderness and pity for those who have been unattended for decades. "All of these headstones make you feel that they were somebody who meant something at some time to somebody," she said. "I can imagine the day when families would gather."

I enjoy wandering around the Rest Haven part of La Vista Memorial Park. Some of the monuments and memorials are impressive, some are very simple, but they all commemorate the passing of a loved one.

My Carringer great-great-grandparents are buried here, as are Frederick and Elizabeth (Seaver) Blanchard, cousins from Massachusetts.

28 May 2010

Memorial Day at La Vista Memorial Park

The La Vista Memorial Park and Mausoleum are having their fifth annual Memorial Day Celebration from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, 31 May. The Park is located at 3191 Orange Street in National City CA, 91950.

The flyer announcing this event is below:

There will be food, beverages and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. As a special treat, dignitaries (I wonder who?) will be rolling up their sleeves and serving up the refreshments.

There will be the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the "Gone but not Forgotten" by La Vista Memorial Park and the San Diego County Administrator, Public Guardian.

30 January 2010

El Cajon Cemetery Listings Online

The San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) published a 311 page coil-bound book of El Cajon (CA) Cemetery burials in 2007. The book contains entries for over 8800 burials dating from the late 1880s through June 2007, along with a short preface describing the location and history of the cemetery. Interested parties can purchase the book for $30 on the SDGS web site.

The book is available in PDF format on the SDGS web page - see http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casdgs/leaves/data/elcajoncemetery.pdf.

The preface of the book describes the location and a short history of the property:

"El Cajon Cemetery is located on over twelve acres of rolling hills just east of El Cajon, in
San Diego County, California, at 2080 Dehesa Road (at the junction of Dehesa Road and
Vista Grande Road – GPS: 32° 47’ 18.47”N, 116° 54’ 30.84”W). Once considered the
outskirts of town, it is now surrounded by homes and urban development. In 1990, the
cemetery faced closure due to lack of space. The El Cajon Cemetery Association
purchased an additional 5.25 adjoining acres, now referred to as the ‘new section,’ and
burials began there in April 1996. Approximately 250 burials per year take place at the
cemetery. There is an onsite office and a full-time staff."

This book is extremely well-done, and is a credit to the SDGS volunteers who worked for many hours to gather the information, organize it and publish it.

The one problem with using the book online is that the cemetery entries are published in landscape view, but my browser (Internet Explorer 7) does not permit rotation of the PDF web page. If you download the book to your computer, then open it in Adobe Reader (version 8), you can go to View > Rotate View > Clockwise and make it readable in landscape view.

25 November 2009

Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park Gravestones - Post 2

Here are four gravestones from the Priests section of the Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park in San Diego (see previous post for particulars of history and burial data).

20 November 2009

Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park in San Diego - Post 1

The story of Calvary Cemetery in the Mission Hills area of San Diego is complicated, sad and amazing. Several articles that tell the story and provide records are:

* Marna Clemons' Calvary Cemetery, San Diego web page, which has the most complete history of the cemetery and list of persons buried there. There is a Rootsweb WorldConnect database for the persons buried there with some vital record information for each person when it could be found. The site has ten plot maps of the graves here.

* The US GenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project article, listing about 800 names, by Michael Harris

* The San Diego Historical Society Finding Aid with about 700 black and white photos taken before the stones were removed from Calvary Cemetery.

Today, the Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park is an urban park with houses on city streets all around - the location is shown here (1501 Washington Place, San Diego CA 92103).

The memorial plaques and the recovered gravestones are in the southeast corner of the Park. Here is a view of the memorial plaque area with the gravestones in the background:

Note that only the gravestones were removed from the park, not the graves or their contents, in 1970. The persons are still there under the sod and trees. The gravestones in the park do not mark particular graves - they are just there as a testament to a few of the persons buried there.

There are six memorial plaques and each has about 300 names on them (I didn't count them all!). They are shown below from left to right:

In succeeding posts, I will show some of the gravestones that are standing in Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park today.

21 October 2009

Calvary Cemetery in San Diego

Marna Clemons has created a website devoted to Calvary Cemetery located in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego. The website is here.

"This web site is a comprehensive study and presentation of existing information about the historic Calvary Cemetery (now a part of Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park) at 1501 Washington Place in San Diego, California. It is devoted to honoring and preserving the memory of the people who are buried there."

On the website is information about:

* a detailed history of Calvary Cemetery,
* transcripts and images of many documents that pertain to the cemetery,
* information about the people buried in the cemetery,
* photographs of existing gravestones and ones that no longer exist,
* a variety of maps and descriptions of the cemetery location,
* cemetery plot maps,
* historical and current photographs of the cemetery,
* stories of the interesting and colorful people buried in the cemetery,
* Family Bible records of people interred at the cemetery,
* a special tribute to Calvary Cemetery's U.S. military veterans,
memories and perspectives of people who knew the old cemetery,
* a bibliography of references for further research,
a virtual tour of the park as it looks today, and
* The Recording of a Cemetery.

The information on the people buried in the cemetery is included in a Rootsweb WorldConnect database titled Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, submitted by Marna.

This is an excellent collection of information about this cemetery, and is a wonderful example of what can be done by volunteer Graveyard Rabbits and genealogy researchers. Beautiful job, Marna!

06 October 2009

San Diego Cemetery listings in California Genealogy and family History Archives

A collection of San Diego County cemetery tombstone transcriptions and photographs of some of the tombstones is available on the San Diego County page of the California Genealogy and Family History Archives web page.

This is part of a larger collection of California cemetery listings here.

27 September 2009

"The Lost and Forgotten Cemeteries of San Diego" program on 9/30

The Wednesday, 30 September program for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will start at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Library auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista). After a brief business meeting, the program speaker will be:

Dr. Seth Mallios on "The Lost and Forgotten Cemeteries of San Diego."

Here is Dr. Mallios's curriculum vitae and program description:

"San Diego County has a rich and unique cultural history that can be effectively told through the commemoration of its dead. Local cemeteries throughout the region reflect San Diego's multi-ethnic cultural dynamism and pinpoint marked shifts in power from Native American to Spanish to Mexican to U. S. American governance. They also reveal the current struggle for space in a burgeoning metropolis. Many graveyards have disappeared entirely, erasing the last vestiges of too many of the region's formative pioneers.

"Dr. Mallios will discuss his ongoing San Diego Gravestone Project and its primary goals to preserve local history and reconnect present San Diegans with the past.

"Dr. Seth Mallios is currently Professor and Chair of the Anthropology department at San Diego State University. He is also Director of the South Coastal and South East Information Center. Mallios received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993 and a Master's Degree and Doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1998.

"An anthropologist and an historical archaeologist, Dr. Mallios was Site Supervisor at the Jamestown Rediscovery project, specializing in the excavation of and research on the original 1607 James Fort at Jamestown Island, Virginia, the oldest permanent English settlement in the Americas. He continues to serve as editor of the journal he founded there, the peer-reviewed Journal of the Jamestown Rediscovery Center. His first book, The Deadly Politics of Giving, published by the University of Alabama Press, came out in August of 2006.

"Since his move to San Diego seven years ago, he has created the San Diego Gravestone Project, an endeavor that has included two books (Cemeteries of San Diego [2007] Arcadia Press; and Cemeteries of San Diego County [2008] Arcadia Press) and multiple scholarly articles. He developed a Geographic Information System that integrated every archaeological site in the county. Dr. Mallios began excavating at the Nate Harrison Site atop Palomar Mountain in 2004 and continues to dig there every summer. He has just finished his first three archaeological field seasons at the historic Whaley House in Old Town San Diego, having successfully located and excavated the original well."

Please attend this interesting talk about the cemeteries of San Diego. You are asked to enter the auditorium through the conference room on the east hallway of the library in order to sign in, pick up handouts and have a snack before settling into the cushy seats in the auditorium. There will be refreshments after the program in the conference room.

For more information, please contact Barbara Ibaibarriaga at (619) 477-4140 or email at baribai@cox.net.

11 June 2009

Homemade Memorial at La Vista Memorial Park

There are a number of homemade memorials at La Vista Memorial Park in the unendowed section of the cemetery. Here is one for Margaret E. Miller (no relation of mine):

There is a homemade cross with Margaret's name, birth date and death date, anchored by a concrete brick, at the head of the gravestone. The concrete gravestone presumably lies over the coffin, and has Margaret's name, birth date, death date and relationships on it, plus signatures of loved ones.

Unfortunately, the gravestone has already cracked in several places. I wonder which will last longer - the cross or the gravestone?

24 May 2009

Full military honors at Fort Rosecrans

Today's (24 May 2009) San Diego Union-Tribune has a wonderful front-page article titled "Full military honors" by staff writer Steve Liewer. The sub-heading is "A week of burials at Fort Rosecrans yields uniquely American stories." Some of the key paragraphs:

"Across the 77½ scenic acres of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma, the loss is made tangible in the names newly etched on white-marble stones. "

"The crowded cemetery has been closed to most casket burials for the past four decades. But Fort Rosecrans remains a busy place, its life extended by the construction of thousands of spaces for urns. Altogether, more than 96,000 veterans and their family members have been laid to rest there. "

Life stories of several of the recently interred veterans are shared in the article.

There is a video memorial for the 25 veterans laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery during the week of April 12-18, 2009. You can see it here. If you click on each name, you can read a short biographical sketch of each person on the video.

21 May 2009

The La Vista GAR Memorial and Civil War soldiers

There is a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial at La Vista Memorial Park, just east of the office building and just west of the entrance road. The memorial stone is:

I took this photo, and the one below, on 12 November 2008, just after Veterans Day. The photo below shows small flags placed on the stones in the GAR Bivouac area:

I went back to La Vista and took photographs of each of the stones in this area. They are:

F.H. Reckel
Co. K.
113 Ill. Inf.

John C. Darville
11 Ill. Cav.

J.W. Heath
Co. E.
10 Minn. Inf.


Julius N.



Pvt. 1 Cl., 17 Inf.

October 23, 1913



Francis T. Moore

Co. L.

2 Ill. Cav.


Johnston Winters

Co. B

102 Ohio Inf.

There is an upright stone in this area with a Civil War veteran:

Rev. T.R. Palmer, D.D.
Lt. Col. 13th Mich. Vol. Inf.
Dec. 6, 1829
July 2, 1920

05 May 2009

No-shows in the cemetery

An article titled "San Diego undertakes a search for the no-shows at Mt. Hope" by Steven Schmidt, staff writer, was published on page B-2 of the San Diego Union newspaper dated Sunday, 17 June 1990. The article read:


Waldo Waterman, wherever you are, there's a patch of earth in San Diego with your name on it.

This week, the city of San Diego embarked on a hunt for Waterman, Oliver Wetherby, Lottie Lightbody and hundreds of others who have failed to hold up their end of a once-in-a lifetime business deal.

They are the Mount Hope no-shows, the 2,212 people who bought cemetery plots between 1869 and 1929 at the city's historic graveyard and have yet to cash in.

But it's never too late, city officials say. On Monday, the city ran an advertisement in The San Diego Union declaring the 2,212 empty plots abandoned unless reclaimed by their owners no later than the middle of next year.

On Thursday, operators of Mount Hope Cemetery in Southeast San Diego managed to cross at least one name off the no-show list. San Diegan Goddard DuBois said his family intends to use six plots willed to him by his aunt Alice Goddard, who bought the gravesites for $40 in 1898.

"It was the funniest thing" DuBois said of the ad, "I was just looking at the list and the name jumped out."

Cemetery managers expect DuBois to be the exception. They believe that most on the list died years ago, and that somewhere else was chosen as their final rest stop. Others probably moved out of town, or have simply forgotten their longstanding appointments with their 7-foot-by-3-foot-by-6-foot chunk of ground.

"People bought them and have never used them, for whatever reason," said Rhea Kuhlman, the city's assistant property director. "They just forgot about them."

The city is running the advertisement, which will also appear the next two Mondays, to free more plots in the more wooded, more desirable parts of the cemetery. Established in 1869, the cemetery includes the graves of Alonzo Horton, Kate Sessions and other San Diego bigwigs.

In some cases, prospective plot owners have asked for a spot next to a deceased relative, only to find that there's no more room available.

"If we can't find the owner, we'd like to give others the chance to buy the grave," Kuhlman said.

Buy the grave, that is, at 1990 prices. Some of the plots originally were sold for as little as $2. Starting July 1, the city will charge $395 to $795 a plot.

But money, the city says, is not their chief motive here. "This is really to accommodate families that want to be near their loved ones," said one official.

Freeing the unclaimed, highly-desirable plots is also expected to improve Mount Hope's sales pitch to those shopping around San Diego for a final resting place.


I guess the big question is - who were the other 2,219 people on the list? The San Diego Union for Monday, 18 June can probable tell us - I'll have to look for it! Maybe some of my family names are on the list!

And the next question is - where are Waldo Waterman, Oliver Wetherby and Lottie Lightbody buried?

I copied this article at the San Diego Public Library in the vertical file for San Diego Cemeteries in the file cabinets in the California Room.

27 April 2009

Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nestor

One of the smallest cemeteries in South San Diego County is Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nestor, located at 7141 Iris Avenue. This private cemetery was established in 1899 by Hollis M. Peavey. The Mount Olivet Cemetery Association was incorporated by the Peavey Foundation in 1954. The gate to the cemetery is locked and many stones have been damaged or destroyed by vandals. There is more information about the cemetery, including some photographs, in the book Cemeteries of San Diego by Seth Mallios and David M. Caterino, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2007.

Tombstone inscriptions are online at http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/sandiego/cemeteries/mount-olivet.txt courtesy of Michael Harris. Michael has posted photographs at http://www.usgwarchives.net/ca/sandiego/photos/tombstones/mountolivet/.

I am unsure if the tombstone inscriptions and photographs are complete. My guess is that all of the identifiable persons in this cemetery are included.

KUSI reporter Michael Turko recently broadcast a video of the cleanup of this cemetery by volunteers. You can view the Video at http://www.kusi.com/features/turko/43324402.html (click on the "Video" link).

08 April 2009

La Vista Memorial Park video

The homeless and indigent in San Diego County have a new burial place - at La Vista Memorial Park in National City, one of the oldest cemeteries in San Diego County.

Watch a 3 minute video here. This was shown on the NBC-TV news outlet in San diego on 7 April 2009.

La Vista contracted with the county to bury indigent persons, many of whom have no known next-of-kin. The County previously buried indigents at Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego.

Thank you to reader Netito for the link.

13 March 2009

Some La Vista grave sites

The grave stones and monuments in the Unendowed section at La Vista Memorial Park in National City are unique. There is no uniformity in them. Some are very simple, like this one - a simple cross with an inscription:

Some are quite full of artificial flowers and other things to remember their loved one:

This one sort of haunts me - a simple post with a pillow for the living to come and sit with their loved one. Note the small shrine:

We all grieve for our loved ones (and never known too!) in different ways. It is especially hard to grieve for those taken too soon from us.

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