It is always said; death and tax are the only concrete things in a human being’s existence. But, this does not apply at least to death in California cemeteries. You would have no idea where you will be enjoying your eternal rest. For instance, there are just two cemeteries and five columbariums in San Francisco at present. The troubling fact is that there were more than 200,000 of them in the past. In fact, the law of the land forbids you from burying anyone on the ground. The Mission Dolores cemetery and the National cemetery in the region are the only exceptions available. This happened due to the gold rush in 1841 which brought crowds to settle down in the area. Land became the most valuable thing one can have. As a result, laws were passed to dig out graves and find alternatives to bury the dead.
Mission Dolores Cemetery
This is one among the oldest in California cemeteries. The grave got consecrated in the year 1776 immediately after the establishment of the mission. This remained the only graveyard for the Catholics in the region. People belonging to this denomination from almost all the countries in the world are buried here.
The 16th street extension
In the year 1889, bodies began to be removed as part of the 16th Street Extension. The disinterred bodies were placed in the nearby graves. Reports also say that besides this one, there were 5,515 more cemeteries assigned for the Indians residing in the mission. They were reallocated to a mass grave upon request.
A symbol of enduring faith
The area now remains abandoned. Still, this reminder of one among the oldest California cemeteries attracts more than 300,000 visitors in a year. Staff say that people spend time here praying for their ancestors. Some even try to find a connection with the ones taking rest in this age-old cemetery. In fact, this is an experience unique to this, the oldest in California cemeteries. The largest headstone here may look like a roadmap.
Tourists come here for a variety of reasons. While some are here due to strange ghost stories, some love its historical significance. Whatever is the reason, it ensures a constant source of funding for this ancient church and the cemetery.
If you are someone planning to visit the area in the near future, keep the following things in mind.
• Book well in advance: Know that this is an area which attracts visitors irrespective of seasons. Last-minute reservation is going to create trouble you may never expect. Besides, you should keep in mind; this is one among the oldest California cemeteries. You would never know the person who purchases this land would turn this into a library or anything similar.
• Know the time allowed: You can go for a self-tour or a guided one. Self-organized ones are available all through the week, from 9 AM to 4 PM.
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If you need more information’s about cemeteries in California Mission visit this website – for funeral planning visit Old Mission Cemetery at Oceanside, CA.
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