With all the recent publicity about the Burr Oak Cemetery in Illinois and the terrible things done for profit there I thought I would share the following article.Grave robbing is nothing new but it is the scope of the crime at Burr Oak that has appalled so many people-and maybe the idea that we should be better than that by now. These articles are in the January 13 and 16,1903 San Francisco Call newspaper GRAVE ROBBERS' NEFARIOUS DEED IN LOS ANGELES Grave robbers broke into the tomb of Donna Maria Pico, wife of Pio Pico, the last Spanish (actually,Mexican)Governor of California a few days ago and removed the remains, which had beers buried for nearly fifty years. The well preserved skeleton was found by a boy this afternoon in old CalvaryCemetery, fifty feet from the Pico family vault. All the flesh had fallen from the bones, but on the hands, which were folded over the breast, was found a pair of gloves, and shoes and stockings encased the feet. It is supposed that the vandals expected to find valuable jewels on the body, as the Picos were wealthy at the time of the death of Donna Maria in Santa Barbara in 1854,but if they obtained anything there is no evidence of the fact. The body rested In a niche in the vault, protected by a marble slab, on which were inscribed her maiden name, Maria Ignacia Alvarado, wife of Pio Pico, and a verse in Spanish. Inside of a hermetically sealed box rested the coffin, richly trimmed with gold and silver fringe and lined with silk, while the body was clad in rich laces, velvets and satin, all in a good state of preservation. The remains had been embalmed, which accounts for- the good condition of the skeleton. OldCalvaryCemetery has been abandoned for many years and is in a state of dilapidation. Many of the early Spanish families used it as a burial ground but a large portion of the bodies have been removed. Don Pio Pico's body, which rested be side that of his wife,was not molested
I am a 8th generation native of California.I have a lifelong interest in old photos,family history and story's,cemeteries,with a focus on my early California Spanish/Mexican ancestors.I hope my blogs can help me organize research,help others in their searches and memorialize those who are a forgotten chapter in California's history.
My mom's southern family are a part of this mix too!
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