2012 Northern California Autumn Cemetery Tours & Events

The Graves family monument, Cypress Lawn

Many cemeteries host tours or fundraisers in the autumn to increase awareness and raise funds for the upkeep of these fragile community treasures. I hope this list inspires you to check around your own area to see what’s being offered. If you find anything intriguing, please post the link in the comments below.

Also, if you find misinformation or broken links in my list below, would you let me know? While I’ve done my best to be accurate, I cut and pasted from a number of sources. Something may have gotten garbled in translation.

Here’s the list:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
First Wednesday presents: Preserving San Jose’s Cemeteries, Honoring Our Past
San Jose’s official City Historian, Judge Paul Bernal, will present highlights of his activities with the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County’s In Grave Danger Gang, which locates lost headstones, restores markers, maintains a historic cemetery, and honors those who came before us. Judge Bernal will also discuss the recent rediscovery of a cemetery on the grounds of the county hospital.
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 550 Schiro Program Room 5th floor, San Jose
Phone: (408) 808-2137
Admission: Free
Event link: http://library.sjsu.edu/events/first-wednesday-presents-preserving-san-jose-s-cemeteries-honoring-our-past

Thursday, September 6, 2012 (repeated September 22 & October 27)
10 a.m. – Noon
National Cemetery Walk
Hear about Medal of Honor recipients, a Union spy, an Indian scout, Buffalo Soldiers, and others buried here at the San Francisco National Cemetery. This one-mile walk has a steep uphill climb. Dress warmly. Rain cancels.
Location: San Francisco National Cemetery, Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco Meet docent Galen Dillman at the cemetery entrance gate, corner of Lincoln Boulevard. and Sheridan Avenue.
Reservations required! Phone: (415) 561-4323.
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/park-interp/national-cemetery-walk-3.html

Saturday, September 8, 2012
10 a.m. – Noon. Tour begins promptly at 10 a.m.
Tomb Walk
Please join Professor Michael Svanevik for an all-new walking tour of Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. You will see amazing monuments and grand tombs and hear fascinating tales. Michael Svanevik, a specialist in cemetery lore, is a longtime professor of history at College of San Mateo. Please park inside the cemetery gate and meet in front of the office. Comfortable shoes strongly recommended.
Location: Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma
Reservations required! Phone: (650) 522-7490
Admission: $25 per person, payable to the San Mateo Senior Center.
Event link: http://www.holycrosscemeteries.com/blog/?cat=8

Saturday, September 8, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Exploring Mountain View Cemetery
This docent-led tour by Jane Leroe will highlight the people, architecture, beauty and history of the cemetery.
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, 2012
Tours begin every 20 minutes between 7:30 p.m. and 9:50 p.m.
Lamplight Tours of Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery
Walk at night through Santa Rosa’s oldest cemetery to see and hear all new dramatic portrayals of some of our city’s early settlers. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a flashlight. Tours leave from the McDonald Gate.
Location: Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, Santa Rosa
Reservations required! Phone: (707) 543-3292.
Admission: $30 per person.
Event link: http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/recreationandparks/parks/cityparks/cemetery/Pages/events.aspx

Saturday, September 15, 2012
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Beyond the Pale Cemetery Tour
Enjoy an evening of dinner, dessert, tours, entertainment, silent auction, historical re-enactments, and a complimentary glass of wine while raising funds for the Plumas Museum.
Location: Quincy Cemetery, Cemetery Hill, Quincy, CA 95971
Reservations required! Phone: (530) 283-6320
Admission: $65 per person.
Event link: http://plumasmuseum.org/events.html

Saturday, September 22, 2012
10 a.m.
Redwood City: Union Cemetery tour
During a docent-led tour, learn how the redwood industry helped the famous people buried in 19th-century Union Cemetery build Redwood City.
Location: Union Cemetery, Woodside Road and El Camino Real, Redwood City.
Phone: (650) 593-1793
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.historysmc.org/walkingtours.html

Saturday, September 22, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Design, Architects, and Architecture
Following the ‘father’ of Landscape Architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, Mountain View Cemetery began in 1864 an interaction with a wide variety of architects and designers, both quick and deceased, which continues to this day. Come see their work and hear their stories. Docent Stafford Buckley is a garden professional and long-time Mountain View Cemetery docent.
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, 2012
Tours at 5:30, 6:15, 7, and 7:45 p.m.
10th Annual Barbara Bull Memorial Cemetery Walk
Sebastopol women’s stories come to life with Cemetery Walk. This year’s vignettes feature stories of a woman aviator, our first librarian, a mayor’s daughter from 1906, Sebastopol’s woman city clerk, a woman who witnessed Queen Victoria’s coronation, and a woman journalist. The event includes dinner, cemetery walk with six performances of historical vignettes, and dessert and coffee at the historic Luther Burbank Experiment Farm Cottage adjacent to Sebastopol Memorial Lawn Cemetery.
Location: Sebastopol Memorial Lawn Cemetery
Phone: (707) 823-0884 or (707) 829-1757
Admission: $25 for the 5:30 p.m. tours. $30 for the 6:15 p.m., 7 p.m., and 7:45 p.m. tours.
Event link: http://www.wschsgrf.org/

Saturday, October 13, 2012
1:30
Gargoyles, Foo Dogs and More: Interesting And Unusual Monuments at Cypress Lawn
Join other cemetery enthusiasts and lovers of history, art, and nature in discovering the cultural treasures of our beautiful organic outdoor museum and arboretum. Cypress Lawn has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural heritage since its founding in 1892. It is a 200-acre living museum of magnificent funeral art, architecture, and horticulture unlike any other museum in the world, full of the life stories of the men and women whose visions and dreams have shaped the Golden State of California.
Location: Tours start at the Noble Chapel located on the East Gardens of Cypress Lawn left past Cypress Lawn’s 120 year old Archway. Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma.
Phone: (650) 550-8810
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.cypresslawnheritagefoundation.com/events.html#walking

Saturday, October 13, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Exploring Mountain View Cemetery
This docent-led tour by Ruby Long will highlight the people, architecture, beauty and history of the cemetery.
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

Saturday, October 13, 2012
10 a.m.
Children’s Tour of Sacramento’s Old City Cemetery
Docent-led tour.
Location: Old City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
Phone: (916) 448-0811
Admission: free
Event link: http://www.oldcitycemetery.com/calendar.htm

Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20, 2012
Four tours per night after dark
Lantern Tours of Sacramento’s Old City Cemetery
Costumed actors speak for those in the graves at your feet.
Location: Old City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
Phone: (800) 839-3006
Admission: $30 + handling fee
Event link: http://www.oldcitycemetery.com/Flyers/Lantern%20Tour_2012_SEPT.pdf

Sunday, October 21, 2012
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Douglas Keister presents Stories in Stone: New York
Location: Cypress Lawn’s Reception Center, 2nd Floor of the Administration Building, 1370 El Camino Real, Colma, California
Phone: (650) 550-8811
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.cypresslawnheritagefoundation.com/events.html#walking

Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27, 2012
Four tours per night after dark
Lantern Tours of Sacramento’s Old City Cemetery
Costumed actors speak for those in the graves at your feet.
Location: Old City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
Phone: (800) 839-3006
Admission: $30 + handling fee
Event link: http://www.oldcitycemetery.com/Flyers/Lantern%20Tour_2012_SEPT.pdf

Saturday, October 27, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
UC Berkeley’s Blue and Gold
Docent-led tour by Ron Bachman and Jane Leroe. Come explore the history of UC Berkeley at Mountain View Cemetery. Meet famous founders, faculty, and alums. Go Bears!
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

Saturday, October 27, 2012
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Spooky Tales at Evergreen Cemetery
Get ready for Halloween with this spook-tacular journey through the cemetery. Docents will tell ghost stories from those buried at Evergreen (Don’t worry, it’s nothing too scary), teach you how to make a tombstone rubbing, send you on a spooky tour through the cemetery and much more. Be sure to wear your costume!
Location: Evergreen Cemetery, Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Phone: (831) 429-1964 x 7020
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.santacruzmah.org/event/spooky-tales-at-evergreen-cemetery/

Saturday, October 27, 2012
Noon – 3 p.m.
7th Annual Pumpkin Festival
Celebrate Halloween at our fun-filled pumpkin patch meadow with free pumpkins, activities, and treats for the kids!
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

Saturday, October 27, 2012
1:30 p.m.
The Only in October Tomb Walk with Michael Svanevik
Join other cemetery enthusiasts and lovers of history, art, and nature in discovering the cultural treasures of our beautiful organic outdoor museum and arboretum. Cypress Lawn has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural heritage since its founding in 1892. It is a 200-acre living museum of magnificent funeral art, architecture and horticulture unlike any other museum in the world: a place full of the life stories of the men and women whose visions and dreams have shaped the Golden State of California.
Location: Tours start at the Noble Chapel located on the East Gardens of Cypress Lawn left past Cypress Lawn’s 120 year old Archway. Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma.
Phone: (650) 550-8810
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.cypresslawnheritagefoundation.com/events.html#walking

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Noon
Halloween Tour of Colma’s Cemeteries
We meet at the Colma BART station at noon, then take a spirited bike tour of several massive cemeteries where famous San Franciscans are buried. We’ll visit Woodlawn, Home of Peace and Hills of Eternity, Cypress Lawn, and Holy Cross.
Location: meet at the COLMA BART STATION at 12 noon
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.chriscarlsson.com/events/event/halloween-tour-of-colmas-cemeteries/

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
5 p.m.
Halloween Walking Tour of the Redding Cemetery
Cemeteries are “history books” that give insight regarding important changes that have occurred in the local area and in society as a whole. The Redding Cemetery is the oldest remaining cemetery in Redding and is the last resting place for many important, famous, and notorious people who lived in or traveled through the area. The walks focuses on the history of cemeteries in the U.S.; symbolism found in cemetery traditions and headstones; and the inter-relationship between people buried here. Actually, history at the cemeteries’ site goes back before there was a town of Redding.
Location: Meet at the Corner of Eureka Way and Continental Street.
Admission: Free
Event link: http://shastahistorical.org/events/

Saturday, November 3, 2012
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Walking Tour of Old St. Mary Cemetery
Join the Historical Society for a walking tour.
Location: Meet at St. Joseph Family Center, 7950 Church Street, Gilroy.
Phone: (408) 846-0446 to RSVP.
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.cityofgilroy.org/cityofgilroy/community/community_calendar/calendar_details.aspx?date=11/3/2012&type=0&typeindex=0

Saturday, November 10, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Exploring Mountain View Cemetery
This docent-led tour by Stafford Buckley will highlight the people, architecture, beauty and history of the cemetery.
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

Saturday, November 24, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Symbolism in the Cemetery
This docent-led tour by Sandy Rauch will highlight the architecture and symbolism of the cemetery.
Location: Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 658-2588
Admission: Free
Event link: http://www.mountainviewcemetery.org/calendar.html

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. My science fiction trilogy begins with The Dangerous Type in 2015. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
This entry was posted in Cemetery event and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 2012 Northern California Autumn Cemetery Tours & Events

  1. coastalcrone says:

    Thanks for posting these! Husband and I will be in San Francisco and northern California soon and may be able to check some of these out.

  2. Pingback: 2012 Northern California Autumn Cemetery Tours & Events | TravelSquare

  3. Loren Rhoads says:

    Another cemetery tour for the list:

    Saturday, October 27, 2012
    10 a.m.
    Alamo Cemetery tour
    Trained docents reveal stories of pioneer families during a special walk-through the cemetery.
    Location: 130 El Portal, Danville
    Phone: For reservations, call Betty Joyce at (925) 314-9612.
    Admission: A donation of $3 is requested.
    Event Link: http://www.museumsrv.org/srvm_ex_walk.html

  4. Pingback: Colma parks | Premiervirtual

What would you like to add?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s