Lakeside Cemetery, Balaton, MN

Visit just about any cemetery in the USA and you’ll see the reach of its military might. You’ll find those who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and other far flung times and places. You’ll find people who served in the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps. Most will have a veteran’s marker. But it was in Balaton, MN, at Lakeside Cemetery, that I stumbled across my first Fire brigade marker. Read more

Golden Gate Cemetery, Sleepy Eye, MN

Smiling to myself at the thought of living in a town called Sleepy Eye, I had to stop by the roadside Golden Gate Cemetery for no other reason than the mental comparison I was making with the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was too ludicrous for words. Read more

Chisago City, MN: South Green Lake Cemetery

We stopped by South Green Lake Cemetery in Chisago City, MN, to pay our respects to a man I’d loved to have met. From all I’ve heard, Jerry Jacobs was quite the character, much loved and often spoken about. I’m not quite sure what, if anything, I was expecting, but I experienced a palpable sense of community and a narrative of strength and happiness. Read more

Greenwood Cemetery, Astoria, OR

Greenwood Cemetery in Astoria, Oregon, is home to early pioneers to this, the first American settlement west of the Rockies. It opened in the late 1800s, quite a number of years after the city of Astoria was founded. Sitting on a sloping hill looking out over Young’s Bay, it’s a beautiful spot to visit. Were I living locally, I think I’d be a fixture on the swing seat. Read more

Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI

There we were, in Forest Home Cemetery Milwaukee, all excited about seeing the Druid graves. I wanted to pay my respects to trade unionist Lucy Parsons and anarchist Emma Goldman. And maybe catch a few of the Roma monuments. We had the map, we knew we wanted Section N. We were all set.

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Calvary Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI

Although it didn’t start life as a Catholic cemetery, Calvary Cemetery in Milwaukee is now designated as the oldest Catholic cemetery in the city. Read more

Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

Graveyards and their gravestones offer some great history lessons and serve as prompts to explore more. At Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldier Memorial Cemetery, recently, I had three lessons worth mentioning. Read more

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery San Diego

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery San Diego

In my innocence, I thought the only requirement for burial in a cemetery was that you had to be dead. I thought anyone could buy a plot anywhere they fancied and be buried there. Granted, I had factored in that to be buried in say, a Jewish cemetery, I’d have to be Jewish. Or in a Catholic cemetery, I’d have to be Catholic. And after I sat and thought about it for a while, I went even further and reckoned that some cemeteries might even be reserved for residents of the parish or village, town, or city in which they sat. I’d simply assumed that to be buried in a military cemetery, I’d have to have served. But hey, I’ve been wrong before, as I learned on a trip to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

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El Campo Santo, San Diego

Given the history of Irish immigration to the USA, it shouldn’t have surprised me to find old graves of Irish immigrants in El Campo Santo, a tiny cemetery in the heart of San Diego’s Old Town. What did surprise me though was that they hailed from the lesser known counties of Cavan and Longford. I don’t think I ever met anyone from Cavan until I went to Alaska. Established back in 1849, this physical history book is a rarity in that beside some of the graves it gives a short bio of some of those interred.

Many moons ago, while in South Carolina, I visited Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant. It was where Patrick Swayze was filmed in the TV drama North and South. The tour guide pointed out all the old furniture, dating it back to the 1800s. I was less than impressed. My granny had similar stuff in her living room in Ireland. Old is a matter of perspective. I’ve lived in houses in Europe that have been older than cities I’ve lived in, in the USA. And yet here, at El Campo Santo cemetery in San Diego CA, the old world is still breathing in spirit.
El Campo Santo cemetery in San Diego CA
El Campo Santo cemetery in San Diego CA
Just as I wondered in Evergreen Memorial Park in LA, I paused for thought here, too, at how the Indian Babe wording might mistranslate into today’s lingo. The interpretive signs add so much to the cemetery and keep visitors there longer. Cemeteries like this are outdoor museums to times past. There are 477 bodies buried here. Not all are marked with crosses or gravestones and not all are buried within the confines of the walls. Some are outside, underneath the footpath and the street. The original 75 acres purchased by Walter P. Temple back in 1917 have been eaten up by progress and the residents scrunched into a much smaller space. That they’re preserved at all is a miracle in itself. Temple himself was related to the Workmans who have one of the oldest private cemeteries in the state, the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in City of Industry, California. It’s on my list.
2410 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110, USA

Weaver Pioneer Cemetery, Casa Grande, AZ

Driving down Peart Road in Casa Grande, we spotted a sign marking Weaver Pioneer Cemetery. It was surrounded by a wire fence, and the main gate was locked. Apparently, the local Historical Society has the key and is only too happy to loan it out, if you want to visit. But we weren’t organised. We made do with peeping through the chinks in the fence.

Weaver Pioneer Cemetery, Casa Grande, AZ

The old family cemetery was deeded to the city of Casa Grande by the Weaver family back in 2006 to make sure it was preserved. Each grave is numbered, and unlike larger cemeteries like Evergreen Memorial Park in LA, it is well mapped. That said, there’s only a handful of graves to navigate, so it was a much easier job.

Arthur Leslie Elliott was the first Anglo baby born in the city back in 1883. He lived to be 90 years old. Three-year-old Jessie D. Philips seems to be the longest resident. He died in 1896. Diane Loy has catalogued Weaver Pioneer Cemetery for the United States Cemetery Project.

Weaver Pioneer Cemetery, Casa Grande, AZ

Weaver Pioneer Cemetery, Casa Grande, AZ

Weaver Pioneer Cemetery, Casa Grande, AZ

Worth a visit if you’re in the area. I’ve forgiven the typo…

110 West Florence Boulevard, Casa Grande, Arizona 85122
Ph -520/836-2223
Email – [email protected]