Wednesday, October 21, 2009

San Diego's Pioneer Park - not what it seems

“ 'There was supposedly a woman (ghost) who would rise up and walk around there,' Valerie Goodpaster told a group of Grant Elementary school kids who did an impressive research project on Pioneer Park in 2005 ..."

An article about Pioneer Park by Priscilla Lister appeared recently in the San Diego Uptown News and was put online on the San Diego News Room website on 20 October. It recounts the history of Calvary Cemetery in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego city. The tombstones in the cemetery were collected and put in a ravine at Mount Hope Cemetery some miles away, while the graves were undisturbed but covered over in 1970 and the place turned into Pioneer Park. Some of the tombstones were recovered and erected in a corner of the park many years later, but the tombstones were not placed over the appropriate graves.

I didn't know that my friend, Marna Clemons, current President of the San Diego Genealogical Society, had studied the history and residents of Calvary Cemetery. The article says:

"Marna Clemons, a professional genealogist and president of the San Diego Genealogy Society, spent more than two years full-time researching Calvary Cemetery.

"She was doing some research for her sister-in-law when she came upon a Bible on eBay that belonged to the John Stewart/Rosa Machado family — whose 1830s adobe home is today part of Old Town State Historic Park. While it wasn’t related to the research she was doing for her sister-in-law, she thought it held a lot of San Diego history, so she put together family information to give to the San Diego Historical Society.

“One thing led to another, which led me to learn about the history of Calvary Cemetery,” said Clemons. “There was no complete record of who was buried there. I had the time, I started researching, and it led to a Web site.” Her Web site, , is an invaluable resource for information on the historic cemetery."

Read the entire article - it is a decent summary of what happened to Calvary Cemetery. Just in time for Hallowe'en!

1 comment:

Xfaith said...

Thats pretty interesting, got to go read the full article.