Sunday, May 27, 2018

Early History of Stockton's Cemeteries

(Copyright - J'aime Rubio)

Early History of Stockton’s Cemeteries

According to “The History of Stockton” by George Henry Tinkham, Captain Weber deeded the land for the cemetery to "rural associates" who then brought in plants and trees to make the cemetery more like a park. When Captain Weber was still alive, he was often seen there in the cemetery spending a lot of his time working on the grounds. In his older years, he was more reserved and spent a lot of time gardening and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the cemetery as well as other gardens.

“The Illustrated History of San Joaquin County” states the very first cemetery in Stockton was located on Channel Street near San Joaquin Street, and later a second one (Citizen’s Cemetery) was started near Weber and Union Streets. Apparently, there was no fence surrounding the grounds, so livestock would run rampant through the cemetery, as well as vandals defacing the monuments and stealing vases. Because of this, that cemetery was also closed.

When the rural cemetery was finally planned, a huge parcel northeast of town is what was chosen. That land belonged to E.M. Howison, Captain Weber’s former clerk. It was after the city appointed six trustees to plan a newer cemetery, that Weber and the trustees purchased the seventy-five acres from Howison together to establish the rural cemetery. Weber paid $1,000.00, while the trustees appropriated the remaining $1,700.00, making the total cost for the land, $2,700.00.

Mr. Lowe was the very first landscape gardener for the cemetery. The land was broken down into 1,500 lots, both large and small, along with roadways, plots and lots of trees and bushes. The cemetery was established in 1861, and remains one of the only privately owned cemeteries in California operating under the State Act of 1859.

(Copyright 2018 - J'aime Rubio,

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