Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Come and get your relatives

The following are excerpts from newspapers in Santa Cruz CA. regarding the moving of the Santa Cruz Mission Cemetery when the new Holy Cross church was built.In case you think this sort of thing only happened in the "old days"here is a link to Julie over at the Graveyard Rabbit of Chicagoland regarding the removal of a cemetery for a expansion of the O'Hare airport.

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.


Lori E said...

Shame, shame, shame. Hard to believe.

Gini said...

I love reading about Santa Cruz, I lived there for a few years, actually in Mt. Hermon in a little cabin, loved it. I grew up in Santa Clara, Los Gatos and Santa Cruz was a big part of my life. Thank you for sharing, I love learning more about a place I called home.