Archive for December, 2008


My headstone of the week is in Arlington National Cemetery.  It lies within view of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and belongs to the grandfather I never knew, William Francis Sherman.  He died in Washington DC when he was only 57 years old.  Regretfully, his service records were among those in St. Louis that are “no longer available.”

Merry Christmas, Grandpa.

Linda’s Headstone of the week, Week #10

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. . . and I do mean brief!  I had to photograph this cemetery through a chain-link fence!


This Pioneer Cemetery is now, as the sign says, A Branch of the San Bernardino County Museum, and as such keeps “Museum hours!”  I was there about 8:45 one Saturday morning early in December.  They were closed and I didn’t have the time (or place to go!) to wait around for them to open.  

I stuck my camera through one of the holes in the chain link fence and took as many good pictures as I could . . .  TWO!


This is a view of the Museum building and the driveway leading up to it.  I think it would have been interesting to see what was inside. . . . 


. . .and this is the scope of the cemetery itself!  Looks like a large one, doesn’t it?

I hereby bequeath the exploration of this cemetery to our Graveyard Rabbit close by, Diane!

Go get ’em! and let me know what I missed!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I used to live in Tehachapi.  The area has four cemeteries that I know of, and I’ve seen them all ~ Eastside Cemetery, Westside Cemetery, The Old Tehachapi Cemetery and the Fickert Family Cemetery.  Eastside and Westside Cemeteries are very descriptive in title.  One is on the east side of town and the other on the west side of town and is also known as “The Catholic Cemetery.”  They still bury in both of them today.  The Fickert Family cemetery is in a gated community and sits on private property.  I did not visit it on my recent trip.  I did, however, visit the The Old Tehachapi Cemetery, and this blog will cover that visit.

Entrance to the Old Tehachapi Cemetery

Entrance to the Old Tehachapi Cemetery 2008

As I pulled up at the Cemetery, something looked different and I couldn’t put my finger on it. . . until I got home and went through my photos from when we lived in the area,  We moved 8 years ago, and I’m sure the next picture was taken at least 10 years ago.  Notice the difference?


Today the cemtery sits in the middle of a neighborhood.  The trees have grown, grass has been planted and there is now  a sign with all known burials. There is even a covered swing to sit and relax in.  The cemetery, it turns out, was an Eagle Scout project of a young man named Jonathan Anderson in 2000,  and what a great job he has done!  He has replaced headstones with wooden ones, outlined grave sites with rocks and generally cleaned up the cemetery.  I was impressed. He was responsible for the sign and it tells the story.


Some of the more interesting burials are:


C. North died in 1877 during a gunfight in Greenwich.  Greenwich is an old name for Tehachapi proper.


S. Alexander, a native of Prussia, died 16 Oct 1884 at the age of 58.  The site is outlined with old utility pole crossarms and they protect the original headstone.


This headstone is impossible to read, but what impressed me is the fact that somebody probably had planted a tree years ago.  The tree matured and protected the site and now has died and is a stump.  The headstone outlived it’s protector.  If you look at this stump, you can see how the wind howls up on this mountaintop!  . . . and when it snows and howls at the same time, the wind chill factor is beyond belief!  I know from experience!


The original, broken, headstone has been saved, and transcribed onto a new marker.


Not only do we know Mr. Goodwin’s name, date he died and the fact he was a father, but we know who killed him!  . . . interesting


It appears the entire Hale family is buried together.


. . .and I picked this one for my final grave marker.  I like the simplicity of it and the fact that it looks like something the old Pioneers would have marked a grave with.

Tehachapi is not the sleeply little mountain town we moved to many years ago, but a thriving mountain community today. If you ever get the chance to explore this town, you will see that it is truly an old Pioneer town and proud of it’s heritage.

There are a lot of little “secrets” like this cemetery in Anytown, USA.  It is up to us to take a sidetrip to find them!

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Hensel Site, Woodward Hill Cemetery

Hensel Site, Woodward Hill Cemetery

My headstone of the week is actually a site.  It is located in Woodward Hill Cemetery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, right across from James Buchanan’s site.  I’m assuming this is the “Hensel” site, since the two remaining headstones I can read are for Hensel family members.  I love the figures guarding and/or protecting the site.  They didn’t, it appears, keep vandals out. . . .

Wm. U. and Emily Flinn Hensel

William Uhler Hensel, Dec. 4, 1851 – Feb. 27, 1915
Emily Flinn Hensel, Mar. 18, 1849 – May 7, 1882

John A. and Elizabeth Hensel Nauman

John Atlee Nauman, Oct. 4, 1876 – July 14, 1924
Elizabeth Hensel Nauman, Sept. 24, 1880 – Mar. 17, 1924

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #9

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Hermosa Cemetery, Colton, California

Hermosa Cemetery, Colton, California

Week #8’s headstone of the week is a simple one, and could probably be found in any cemetery throughout the world.  I have no idea who  “PAPA” is or who loved him so much that his given name was simply unnecessary.  I know nothing else about him except for the fact that he is buried in Hermosa Cemetery in Colton, California.

Linda’s Headstone of the Week, Week #8

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Continuing on with my California trip, I finally visited a grave I knew had existed for a long time.  I just never knew the whole story.  Why was Morgan Earp killed in Tombstone, Arizona but buried in Colton, California?  It took a trip to Hermosa Cemetery in Colton and then to the Library in the same town, but I found the answer!

Hermosa Cemetery, Colton, California

Hermosa Cemetery, Colton, California

I used to pass this Cemetery on my way to work, years ago.  I had heard the rumor that “one of the Earp Brothers was buried here.”  It just didn’t interest me 35 years ago.  I had other interests ~ my job and two children to raise as a single mother.

Since I’m visiting my son in the area, I mentioned my desire to see this. . . and would you believe it, he’d been there and knew exactly where it was!  Thursday we loaded my grandson in the car and took off to pay our respects to Morgan S. Earp.

Morgan S. Earp's Final Resting Place

Morgan S. Earp's Final Resting Place

First a little background about the Earp Brothers.

We’ve all heard about the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona and know that the Earp Brothers were involved.  We hear the most about Wyatt.  There were no Earps killed in that famous event in October of 1881, however, a vendetta assassination did take Morgan’s life.  They missed Wyatt who was also a target in March of 1882.

Morgan’s wife was in Colton, California at the time, and Morgan’s body, dressed in Doc Holliday’s suit, was placed in a casket, loaded on a train and accompanied by his older brother, Virgil, was carried to Colton for burial.  He was first buried in the old cemetery west of Colton.  In 1892 he was reinterred in the Hermosa Cemetery, where the body remains today.

Virgil stayed in Colton and was the first Marshall of the city when it was incorporated in 1887.  He held the position until he resigned in 1889.  He traveled north and is buried in Portland, Oregon.  Wyatt is buried in San Mateo, California and the oldest Earp brother, James, is buried in San Bernardino, California.

Morgan S. Earp

Morgan Seth Earp's Headstone, Hermosa Cemetery, Colton, California

I am enjoying these “Old West” Cemeteries I’m finding as I travel from family member to family member! Tomorrow I head to Escondido in the North County area of San Diego County.

Mother’s expecting me, so I can’t visit too many of them. . . .

  • Alfred Henry Lewis.  The Sunset Trail, New York: A.L. Burt Company, Publishers, Fourth printing 1906, pages  352-353.
  • Hazel E. Olson. “As The Sand Shifts” in Colton, California, Rialto, California, The Taylor Print Shop, 1989, page 169.
  • Larry Sheffield. Images of America, Colton, Charleston, S.C., Arcadia Publishing, 2004, pages 29-40.

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Westside Cemetery Entrance

Tehachapi?  Isn’t that in California?  Aren’t you the “Lancaster, Pennsylvania” Graveyard Rabbit?  All those questions probably come to your mind, don’t they?  Well, the answer is YES, Tehachapi is in California and YES, I’m the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Graveyard Rabbit. However, I used to live in Tehachapi and I am visiting family here this week, so I decided to do a little “Cemetery hopping” while in California!

Avelino Martinez's grave marker

Avelino Martinez

The day was beautiful, blue skies, (yes, the skies were this blue!) temperatures in the 70’s, a typical December day up in this mountain community.  I dropped my granddaughter off at work and headed on a mission.


Avelino Martinez is buried in Westside Cemetery, with his site facing north and south, not east and west like all of the other stones in the cemetery.  Reason for this?  Don’t know, but it’s a fact!  . . . and just who is Avelino Martinez?  I knew because I had been into town and read one of the beautiful murals painted on the buildings in town, and now you can know, too!

Side of the H.R. Block Building in Tehachapi, CA

Side of the H.R. Block Building in Tehachapi, CA

Isn’t this great?  Not only do we have a picture of this 112 year old man on horseback, but we have his biography, too?  Don’t you wish he was one of your ancestors?


Since I have one more week in California, I plan on hopping by a couple more cemeteries in obscure places.  Expect another story or two, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Graveyard Rabbit!

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"Faithful to the End"

While driving through Harrisburg Cemetery earlier in the month, I came across Miss Jane Long’s headstone.

JULY 26, 1837
MAR. 8, 1918

The neat thing about this is my great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah M. Carvell, was a Pastor at the 4th Street Church of God in Harrisburg.  Miss Jane Long must have known him!!

Linda’s Headstone of the Week, Week #7

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