I have driven by the cemetery in Land Park daily. I was always curious, but had never visited…until today! First, let me clarify. What appears to be a single, very large cemetery on the corner of Riverside Boulevard and Broadway is actually 3. The furthest south is the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery. Then there is the Masonic Temple Cemetery. And finally, the one furthest north that I could actually visit…the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery. It might sound a bit odd, but it was very interesting. Most of the people who died back in the 1800’s seemed to live to the ripe old age of 45ish. There were too many babies. Many headstones were so weathered that they really couldn’t be read anymore. However, there were many that could be read, and I thought I would share a little of what they taught me.
John A. Sutter Jr. (1826-1897)His father is famous in Sacramento history as the man who built Sutter’s Fort and established New Helvetia. However, it was his son who, in 1848, planned and founded the City of Sacramento. A disagreement between father and son over the development of Sacramento initiated John Jr. to leave and in 1897, he died in Acapulco, Mexico
Hardin Bigelow (1809 – 1850)Bigelow arrived in San Francisco on the first ship to reach California from the East Coast. This Mail Steamer brought with it miners to the Gold Fields. Sacramento’s first levee system was built by Bigelow. He also was Sacramento’s first elected mayor in 1850.
Newton Booth (1825-1892)Booth was the ultimate statesman. He was a lawyer, merchant and politician. In 1862 he was elected State Senator, United States Senator in 1873. Booth and Company was located on Front Street between J & K.
Mark Hopkins (1815-1878)Hopkins was a Forty-Niner, one of railroad’s legendary “big Four” and was the Treasurer of the Central Pacific Railroad. This tomb dominates the cemetary, made with granite weighing 350 tons. Hopkins died before this tomb was completed, so was buried in San Francisco in 1878 and then moved to this tomb in 1880.
Albert Maver Winn (1810 – 1883)Winn was selected as President when he was elected to Sacramento’s first City Council in 1849. In 1875 he founded the Native Sons of the Golden West. This monument is the tallest in the cemetary.
William Stephen Hamilton (1797 – 1850)William was the youngest son of Alexander Hamilton and the first Treasurer of the United States. He came to California in 1849 and died here 1850. Hamilton has the travel bug, dying in 1850, was exhumed in 1877 and again in 1889 and was buried three times in three different locations.
Captain Jamaes T. Homans USN (1805 – 1849)Captain Homans was initially buried in Tier grounds in the front of the cemetary before being moved by his wife so his son and he could be close together. This is the earliest known burial in the City Cemetary. As you can see, it was broken in half at one time and has been repaired.
Historic Volunteer Firemen’s Plot and BellThis memorial celebrates the fact that Sacramento has the honor of forming the first Volunteer Fire Company in California (1850). These volunteers served until 1872, when a paid department was developed. This bell you see here was cast in 1859 in Sheffield, England, came around the Horn and was placed in service in 1863.