As the new State Coordinator, I have recently been working on updating the California
Saving Graves website. We hope you will visit the site and take a look at what
information is available there. The URL is http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state/
The ENDANGERED CEMETERY REPORTS have been updated to include two new cemetery reports -
PACHECO CEMETERY (Contra Costa County) and HOPETON CEMETERY (Merced County).
Of particular interest are the events surrounding the Pacheco Cemetery. This pathetic
historic cemetery has been bounced around under private ownership since it was
"shed" by the IOOF in the early 1970s. Since 1998, when the owner at that time
was ordered out of the cemetery business by the State of California, this cemetery has
been left abandoned by the County and the State.
The Friends of Pacheco Cemetery performed outstanding research that we believe proves the
public acquired legal title to this cemetery through operation of law (former Political
Code section 3105). Despite this, the board of supervisors of Contra Costa County has
chosen to default in their duty to the public by refusing to claim the public's legal
title to this cemetery. This will be an interesting case to follow.
Be sure to check the link, More about Pacheco Cemetery. We would like you to let Contra
Costa County know that California will be watching as they stand by and let this cemetery
fall into yet another set of private hands.
There are many lessons to be learned through this one cemetery alone. Please contact
Christine Williams, spokesperson for Friends of Pacheco Cemetery if you have family or
friends interred in this cemetery. Her email address is Kiwimama8(a)cs.com.
For the Hopeton Cemetery in Merced County, we included some history on the area. I have
already contacted the supervisor of the district where it is located. Supervisor Deidre
Kelsey forwarded my inquiry to the Snelling Cemetery District, but I have heard nothing
from the district or the supervisor's office since my original inquiry. It may be
that the district has not yet met to take up my request for information about the Hopeton
In the days and weeks to come I hope to continue adding to this website. There is a lot
of information that will help those interested in historic cemetery protection and
preservation and it will take some time to add it all. Please visit the site often to
check on it's progress.
If you should have any questions about the website, about California Saving Graves or
about becoming a County Coordinator for your county, please feel free to contact me.
I would also like to thank all the people who have expressed appreciation for my efforts
on behalf of our state's historic cemeteries. As I have said to them personally, this
is not something I do alone. Your support and response has been extremely helpful and
Together we, as Californian's, CAN make a difference in how the old grave yards and
cemeteries of our ancestors are treated. They are irreplaceable historical and cultural
resources. They must be protected and preserved for the generations to come.
Sue Silver, State Coordinator
California Saving Graves