Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seeing the World From Here: Lone Mountain Cemetery

The University of San Francisco boasts the tagline: changing the world from here. At Arader Galleries, our collection of historically significant maps provides the opportunity to see the changing world from right here: 432 & 435 Jackson Street.
One of our many views of San Francisco, shares insight into the history of Lone Mountain, the name today recognized as the Upper Campus of the University of San Francisco. From 1854 to 1862 the name “Lone Mountain” referred to a 170 acre tract of land approximately 2.25 miles west of Montgomery Street and three fourths of a mile south of the Golden Gate Bridge; it was the chief burial site for the city of San Francisco.
Lone Mountain existed as a single cemetery for several years, a article published in Daily Alta California, 6 January 1858 refers to Bush Street, just a stone’s throw away from Arader Galleries, as the “Cemetery Road”.  By the early 1860’s the cemetery was subdivided into four cemeteries known as the “Big Four”: Laurel Hill, Calvary, Masonic, and Odd Fellows Cemeteries, this shift in landscape can be seen in most maps of San Francisco at Arader Galleries that were produced after the year 1860.
Lone Mountain Cemetery Duotone Lithograph. Drawn from Nature on Stone by Kuchel & Kamp; Dresel. Printed by Britton Rey. 10¾x18½ on sheet 15½x21¼.
 Beginning with John Orr, interred on June 10, 1854, the cemeteries grew until the 1880’s. As the first interred in these cemeteries, John Orr’s tombstone was inscribed: "To the Memory of the First Inhabitant of this Silent City." The silent city was populated by many California pioneers including U.S. senator David Broderick, Major James Van Ness; and Andrew Smith Hallidie, the inventor of the cable car. These famous residents of the “silent city” were eventually moved to a new cemetery in Colma.
By the 1880’s property owners in the area surrounding the cemeteries grew concerned that the cemeteries discouraged development nearby and began to demand that the cemeteries be relocated. According to the San Francisco Historical Society, “The grounds of the cemeteries deteriorated and became a haven for pranksters, juvenile delinquents, and ghouls. By 1900, most of the graveyards had been filled. In 1902, the Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance prohibiting further burials within the city and outlawing the sale of cemetery lots in the "Big Four."”.  The relocation was met by much opposition including the Catholic archdiocese which identified the land at Calvary cemetery as hallowed. It took nearly 40 years and two articles of state legislation to permit the relocation of all four cemeteries, including over 66,000 bodies in various states of decay to Colma, California where new cemeteries were constructed.
The collection of views and maps at Arader Galleries provide a unique perspective on San Francisco’s rich history. Please contact Arader Galleries for more information regarding these and other printed works.
AL Bancroft & Co Official Guide Map of San Francisco 1882    

Detail,AL Bancroft & Co Official Guide Map of City 1882    

Proctor, William A., Department of City Planning, City and County of San Francisco. Location, Regulation, and Removal of Cemeteries in the City and County of San Francisco. San Francisco Archives, Public Library.
Lockwood, Charles, "The Victorian Way of Death," California Living (August 12, 1979).
Carroll, Luke M., Holy Cross Parish and Lone Mountain District of San
, published in Honor of Golden Jubilee, October 1937.

"Spotlight on Rehab; Neptune Society Restores Columbarium," Heritage
Newsletter, vol. XVI, no. 2.

Kastler, Deanna. San Francisco Museum and       Historical Society, 2003.
Liston, Frances, A Self-guided Tour of Colma  Cemeteries.
McGloin, John Fr., "The Living History of St. Ignatius," San Francisco
Foghorn, February 14, 1986.

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