Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Family health issues have kept me away of late.I hope to begin posting again regularly after new-years.Dead man Talking had asked for a close-up of the sheriffs headstone at San Juan.I apologize for the quality of the photo and wish I had taken a picture of the back as well as it had more info. on it.Next time. Deez over at Cemetery Explorers,thank you for the award and I will post up soon!I am jonesing for cemetery time!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I like the contrast of the timeless hills, aged grave markers and new asphalt.One of the oldest parts of the San Juan Bautista Cemetery.There may be upwards of several hundred unmarked burials in this cemetery.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
If you have preconceived notions of lush lawns and orderly rows in a cemetery then the San Juan Bautista cemetery is going to disappoint you.California gets no rain for 6 months or more of the year and even though all around the hill this cemetery rests on are irrigated fields and some of the best farmland in the world there are no sprinklers here.I think it makes perfect sense.And if you are offended by gaudy,unconventional displays of affection and love in a cemetery-prepare to be offended.What you will also see here is some of Californians rich,early history and family's that still care for the graves of relatives dead a hundred years.The dead do have the best view in town.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Presilliana's marker is first on the left.She is buried above the plot.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This is one of the neatest "tree style" gravestones I have seen yet.I really like the way they made the hole in the tree for flowers!Unfortunately,the concrete had flaked off were the name and dates were,though I thought I could see died in January?It's very possible the historical society has a record of who is buried here.I just found it very cool.This one was in the Protestant part of San Juan Bautista Cemetery.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
My road trip started Friday 9/4.I was going to drive down from the Sacramento area(about 3 hours) to San Juan to visit the cemetery's and attend a meeting of the historical society on Saturday.The president of the historical society,Shelia Prader,who is a professional genealogist also, had told me about my Great-Great Grandmother,Presiliana de Jesus Arroyo being buried in a MARKED grave at San Juan.She also informed me that some of Prisiliana's other decendents would be attending and they would like to meet me!Are sweeter words ever heard by someone doing genealogy?I think not. I have visited the cemetery at San Juan several times both knowing and not knowing I have family there.It is a wonderful place.but this would be the first time I would get to go there and the Mission on my own and spend my time as I liked.My limits this time would be myself.I started driving Friday after working my 8 hour graveyard shift so I arrived about one.It was warm but not the over 100 of the day Since this is my cemetery Blogg I will try to keep to the subject on here.I will have more about the Mission and my genealogy on my other Blogg http://ca-highway99.blogspot.com/ The cemetery is at the right side of the church facing the front.You can only enter through the side door from the inside of the church.And you are only allowed to view the cemetery not walk around in it. The wavy lines carved in the door are found throughout the Mission and represent The River Of Life.The plaster has been removed around the door some so you can see the adobe bricks beneath. The Mission was founded in 1797 and the cornerstone for the present church was set in 1803 with work continuing till 1817.There were over 4000 burials in this tiny cemetery.Indians,Spanish colonists and a few early white settlers.Ascencion Solorzano de Cervantes,the last full blooded Mutsune Indian is buried here.There are no other marked graves visible.The cemetery rests in the deep shade of ancient Olive trees and looks out over the valley.Running under the back wall of the cemetery is the San Andres Fault.Below that runs remnants of the El Camino Real,the kings road, that tied the missions together and was the first main highway in California,this is one of the few places you can see the original road. The next day at the historical society meeting the speaker was Dr. Ruben Mendoza,a archaeologist who has been working at Mission San Juan for 14 years.He was a great speaker,a man truly doing what he was born to do.During his talk he brought up a very interesting tidbit about the mission cemetery.He had interviewed a lady a few years ago who is a lifelong resident of San Juan and was in her 90's.She remembered going to the Mission in the 1920'30's when it was pretty much in ruins.How spooky it was with the sidewalls collapsed.The Mission is the only 3 aisle church of the 21 California Mission churches.The side walls collapsed during the 1906 earthquake.She remembered the ruble and piles of human bones next to the church! Dr. Mendoza belives this may explain how so many burials could take place in such a small space.Old graves may have had the bones removed and place in Ossuarys.There are examples of this practice in Mexico,Latin America and I believe the American southwest.It is a idea I have never heard put forth before and I think bears some investigation.So many of the customs of the Californianos have been lost or glossed over it was exciting to hear something new.Dr. Mendoza also said he would like to know what happened to those bones!If anyone knows he would like to be contacted and so would I! By this time it was around 3 and I was getting tired so I thought I would head over to the cemetery on the hill,snap a few photos of my GreatGrandmothers grave and maybe some others before I went to eat and drove to my motel in Hollister about 10 miles away.I mean, I had a description of where her grave was,that she was buried in the Vaca-Rosa family plot and the cemetery's not that big so no problem,right?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The detail work on this headstone is amazing.I need to go back for better pictures.Many of the earliest graves in this small cemetery in Rocklin Ca. are of natives of Finland.It is interesting the variety and number of immigrants in the early burials in foothill cemetery's.
Friday, August 14, 2009
That's one reason I was looking forward to this day I planned.I was going to spend the day driving around the gold country,visiting old graveyards,taking pictures..Get out of the city,away from responsibilities,get something new to share on here.No deadlines,no company that did not want to be doing what I was doing.
But sometimes life and the living that we love change our plans.Instead I spent the day helping my helpmate through the Kaiser hospital system.A leg pain that was at first ignored turned out to be something you don't want to ignore-a blood clot.He is home with meds and under my watchful eye.I'm glad I was here and not up in the hills or down valley,maybe the ancestors whispered in my ear,"stay home,we will be here,waiting".The living first,the dead will wait for me.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Jared Sheldon was granted the Mexican land grant for Rancho Omochumney inJanuary1844.The land grant was surveyed for the Mexican government by a young surveyor living in Monterey,William Tecumseh Sherman.He split the grant with his friend William Daylor and together they build successful Ranches on the Consumnes river.Before Sheldon could apply for a land grand he had to convert to Catholicism,take a Mexican name,become a Mexican citizen and find the land.Then improvements had to be made on the land within a year.Jared Dixon Sheldon,a native of Vermont,was killed by miners in a dispute over the flooding of mining claims.He rests in the historic Sloughhouse cemetery in Sloughhouse California.It is hard to believe these huge millstones were brought all the way from Mexico but they were.
Monday, August 3, 2009
That is the title of the this article in the Sept.28 1885 edition of the Santa Cruz Daily Surf.I don't know that I have heard the word "promiscuous" used in relation to a cemetery before!
The article further says that the excavation for the walls of the new church "revel a subsoil composed of about equal parts of adobe,decayed coffins, and dead Indians"."A promiscuous lot of "remains" of Spanish and Indian origin,buried in the most heterogeneous manner possible to imagine".Big words for the time and place wouldn't you say?That there were over 3 thousand documented burials in a area of less than a quarter of acre.It was a crowed place no doubt!
The article further states"some of the redwood coffins are in a astonishingly good state of preservation,but the mortality contained therein has resolved itself to brown mold and a few detached bones."I have to wonder why would you open a coffin that is in a good state of preservation?And why would the church allow such a disturbance of the dead?
"Some of the coffins are of very creditable workmanship and adorned with crosses formed of silver headed nails."
It talks of a mass grave of 15 buried without coffins that was supposed to be from a smallpox epidemic.Then goes on to mention several Indian burials;"Two stalwart skeletons in possession of aborigines of some dignity and importance in their day.Their skulls are of capacity sufficient to protect a liberal supply of brain matter, and they carried to the grave with them long strings of beads and shells and there are indications that pipes and other articles now impossible to identify were also deposited with them."
A very different time and place.All of them,native Indian,Spanish settlers,Mexican immigrants,Irish loggers and those first white men who "jumped ship" and stayed, were scooped up and hauled to the new cemetery,six wagon loads.Reburied together in what is now the Old Holy Cross cemetery
There they rest in a little open meadow.Unmarked and mostly forgotten by everyone.I was glad I found out about this place and I really enjoyed visiting a learning about it.I can't wait to go back.Maybe I will take some flowers,and say the names I know out loud,to remember.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I could not read the dates myself on this.A transcription on Findagrave list the last name as Wade on both markers and a date of 1879 born and died ,Tena Wade,on the only legible one to them.This was in the Sloughhouse Pioneer Cemetery,Sloughhouse CA.I would say a third or more of the legible stones in this cemetery are for children.Very interesting place.Crazed commuters,tourists and logging trucks zipping by on a two lane road a few hundred yards to one side.On the other side farm land,cattle lowing in the fields, a farm cat running down the dirt road with a gopher in his mouth, a huge Swallowtail butterfly drifting by my head several times as I took photos.Pyramid Peak and the Sierras vanishing in the heat haze to the east as the temp. crept towards a hundred plus.Past and present together.Summer in the valley.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
These articles are in the January 13 and 16,1903 San Francisco Call newspaper
GRAVE ROBBERS' NEFARIOUS DEED IN LOS ANGELES
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This is in Old Holy Cross,Santa Cruz CA To me it appears that a older stone that was broken has been set in concrete?I don't really understand the way the grave is covered with a tunnel though.I can see sealing the grave site with concrete to stop vandals, and this cemetery has a history of vandalism, but why the tunnel?If anyone else has seen this or has any ideas about it let me know!Maybe they were going to guarantee she rested in peace!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
http://www.37days.com/2009/07/live-an-irresistible-obituary.html I included both links because online obits don't stay for long and I could use a reread of this one now and then.And the blog 37 days looks interesting too!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This is a case were "making the memorial about the persons life,not death" Could get a bit-difficult.Though from the article this woman seems to have overcame a difficult life to become a advocate for a group women who are often voiceless. This again points out the importance of putting your wishes about how you want to be remembered down in writing and letting the people in your life know.If she wanted the pink boulders-I say let her have them!It's just boobs!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This is the grave of Rina Picchi.she was born in Roseville CA. in 1915 and died in 1936.It is in the Roseville Cemetery in Roseville in Placer County.This is a lovely cemetery with a number of nice stones.Rinas is the most elaborate one.I love the way the marble has mottled so it looks like real skin.I was surprised to see so many Italian and Greek names on the early headstones.This was a railroad town,that and ranching were the economy for many years in this area.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I find it interesting that there seems to be the absence of controversy about the presence of these memorials in Ireland.Some even seem"official" or done with the approval of authorities.Considering all the controversy they seem to bring up here what with banning them in some places or with them having to be approved and erected by the local road authorities. We really have become a nation of "only by the book,and only what the book allows".I realize some safety issues have been raised about these memorials but again I would think that could also apply to some of the new digital billboards that are blinding me while I drive!
The older Memorials are particularly intersting!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Interesting that the lead study author Caroline Arcini states that"shaming of the dead is most likely a deep rooted behavior in humankind."It mentions the practice occurring up into the first World War.Most likely with prisoners I would imagine?Information of this sort fascinates me.The why we are and the way we are and how many things are the same all over the world.
Here is a link to the original article in Current Archaeology http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/buried-face-down-prone-burials.htm customs
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Old Holy Cross Cemetery -Santa Cruz CA. Jose Brijido Rodriguez is one of the early Californianos,he was baptized at Mission San Antonio de Padua,his father was a soldier.I believe this lady,Francisca R. Escamilla, in the same plot is his wife but that he was not her first husband as I found a record of her marriage to one of the Castro's.She was baptized at Mission San Francisco de Asisi,her father a soldier of the Presido there.Her parents originally came from Guadalajara.
This family plot is in a sad state but at least they have headstones,very few early Spanish/Mexican Californians do.
Sources- The Huntington Library, Early California Population Project Database, 2006. Photos are my personal property.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Remember not just Indians and Spaniards were buried here.Many of the American pioneer family's of the area were laid to rest in this cemetery as well.California had only been a state 35 years but these people were already forgotten and in the way.One has to wonder at the lack of over site by the church in this matter.They seem curiously absent,other than the mention previously of the Father calling for removal of family at the Sunday service, no mention in any of the articles I have read about the church overseeing or involved in the relocation of the people who first celebrated the Catholic faith here.I have one more article to share about this that says volumes about what happened here.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
and Dead Man Talking over on Blogging a Dead Horse,were he talks about how the modern funeral business has set up their own demise,http://bloggingadeadhorse-dmt.blogspot.com/2009/06/little-history.htm
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
July 14,1885 The Santa Cruz Sentinel "Sunday morning Father McNamee requested those having friends or relatives buried in the lot adjoining the old adobe to have them removed within two weeks."
So Sunday morning in church the father tells you to come and get your dead relatives within two weeks.I wonder how that worked out?I mean ,did you go dig them up yourself?Did you automatically get space in the new cemetery?By this time(1885),many,if not most,of the original settlers family's,both Spanish/Mexican and others, had moved away,this being one of the most mobile periods in history. I can not even begin to comment on the Indian burials and the remainders of their family's.Many of the family's in the cemetery would still not have English as their primary language so a newspaper announcement would be useless.
The most telling part of this article is the statement"buried in the lot".This sacred place was no longer Holy ground in the eyes of the powers that be.No longer a cemetery,but a lot to be developed anew.That this "lot" belonged to the church itself,that the people buried in this so called "lot" were the very people who had brought the faith of this church to this land and the peoples who lived here was no longer important.That would be the prevailing mindset in dealing with the California Mission cemetery's and the early settlers who were buried there all over northern and central California in the years to come.
I have some news articles dealing with the mass body removal I will post later.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Both Ynes and her husband Jose Saturnino Trinidad Castro are listed as buried at Old Holy Cross.As both of their death dates precede the date I have for that cemetery being consecrated I will assume they made the move from the mission cemetery.I need to ask some more questions about the sources for the records the society has and confirm the founding date for Old Holy Cross.They apparently have a compiled records of interments for this cemetery.Now I really need to get back to Santa Cruz and visit the Genealogy room at the main library!The Genealogical society maintains a wonderful collection there and if you have research to do in the area I highly recommend it.
They also were able to send me some of the local news paper stories about the removal of the body's and I will share those in another post.It makes for some eye opening reading.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I can't always get over to the coast or down valley to explore were my own family rests so sometimes I go visiting in my local cemetery's.I am close to the gold country of N.Cal with its rich history.This headstone is in the little cemetery of St. John the Baptist in Folsom CA. I have been photographing there lately.I had to fight my way into the Oleander bush to get this one.I have to go back so I can get how old he is and what it says on the bottom! Darn leaf!
Monday, June 1, 2009
The lives and history of the early Spanish settlers of California have been pretty much forgotten,ignored or romanticized to somewhere between just silly and downright racist.Sadly, I have found there is as little left of their deaths, as of their lives.
Marie Eugenia Ynes Robles was a infant when her parents sailed into Monterey Bay on the schooner Conception on May 12,1797.Her father was one of the founders of the Villa de Branciforte which would be incorporated into the modern city of Santa Cruz CA.
Inez(the Americano spelling) would marry Jose Saturnino Trinidad Castro,one of the sons of Mariano Castro who walked as a boy from what is now Sinaloa Mexico to then Alta California.
Inez lived her life at Branciforte and at the early California Missions and Presidios with her husband and children.She died in Branciforte June 1,1867 and was buried in the Mission Santa Cruz cemetery.
But she did not stay there.I don't know from my research at this time if she ever had a marker,I may never know.If she did I did not find it on my visit to her final resting place so it may or may not have made the move.Because in 1885 in order to build the new Holy Cross church in Santa Cruz the cemetery for Mission Santa Cruz was dug up and 6 wagon loads of remains were reburied in a unmarked mass grave at what today is Old Holy Cross Cemetery.Some of the markers were moved and some left behind,my photo taken behind the church shows broken headstones that were left(taken in 2009).
The other picture shows the open meadow at Old Holy Cross cemetery that is the grave site.Where she may or may not rest.Because 6 wagon loads isn't very big.The existing death records for Mission Santa Cruz(there are records missing for this mission) indicate over 200 deaths before 1850,the majority would have been buried at the mission cemetery.How many burials after 1850 is not available easily so I have no idea.That some got left behind is pretty much a given. I kind of hope one of them was my great,great,great Grandmother Maria Eugenia Ynes Robles Castro.Because we do have photo copies of her last will and testament and in them she states she wants to be buried"in the holy Catholic cemetery under the care of the Franciscan monks".
Not that Old Holy Cross cemetery is such bad spot really.I thought it was pretty,much nicer than the new cemetery.The only sadness was the vandalism and some needed repairs.This article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel talks about it http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_11322754%20-.My visit there in April 2009 showed signs of people trying to clean and repair some of the damage and I did not find it as bad as the article states.I'm a sucker for cemetery's that are not sterile.No one wants to see vandalism or neglect but who wants to visit dead people in identical cubicles?I was in contact with a nice lady who forward my name on to some people who are trying to organize to help Old Holy Cross get the help it needs,I hope they get back to me.I really want to go back and spend some more time there exploring and taking pictures.
Sources for information.
Inez Robles Castro Will -part of the Leon Rowland collection,U.C. Santa Cruz http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/rowland/
The Huntington Library, Early California Population Project Database, 2006.http://www.huntington.org/Information/ECPPmain.htm
Friday, May 29, 2009
Spousal support units and graveyards. It’s a delicate thing. “Can we stop at this cemetery since were going to be in the area”? “Okay, who’s there that you’re related to?” “Um, no body I know of.” “So now we just go to any old cemetery and look at any old dead people, not just yours!?!” “Well it looks like a very interesting place! And the art! Think of the art! (Thank god art covers just about anything you can think of these days!)”
Actually, he’s very understanding about my weird ways and obsessions.
Our vacation in April included a 30 mile detour to Old Holy Cross cemetery in Santa Cruz CA.
A bribe of lunch at Gail's deli and bakery in Capitola helped sweeten the deal.And I pointed out how crowded it was at the deli so we had lunch at the cemetery.
He got a nap in the car after lunch and I got to make a visit to a old,often neglected cemetery full of the history of early California.A sad example of how the first settlers have been treated and to photograph the-likely-final resting place of my 3rd great grandmother. Maria Eugenia Ynes Robles de Castro, a woman who's life was lived under the flags of 3 nations.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Campo Santo-holy ground.A good name I thought for a blog about cemeteries and the dead.Especially as I want to focus on my early California Spanish/Mexican ancestors.I am a eighth generation native daughter of Alta California on my fathers side.I have always been interested in family and cemeteries but lately they have been calling for more of my attention it seems. I think it started with the sadness I feel about how few graves there are to visit in my family.Poverty,time and a lack of respect for the early settlers of California have left few tombstones to see.I want to draw some attention to to that.
I know I will venture into other areas though.I like to visit graveyards for many reasons.I have become involved with the website findagrave.com and have become a contributor there.I hope I might be able to include some of my mothers side of my family even though I live far from were any of them are buried.The holiday Dia de muertos has been a major celebration for me for the last 10 years.So I have many areas of interest in holy ground.