Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Night at Savannah

A few nights before Halloween Letty and I set out to visit the oldest cemetery in Southern California, Savannah Memorial Park.

Letty wore her Jack-O-Lantern socks.

 We had made reservations for the trip, and this included a bus ride to the cemetery.

We weren't expecting these additional visitors.

 But Letty can usually make friends with anyone.
      We wanted to visit the cemetery so we could learn a little bit about the people who lived here in the past. According to the Southern California Genealogical Society, "Savannah Pioneer Cemetery is very likely the first Protestant cemetery in Los Angeles County.  It is essentially the last remaining evidence of the area's rich pioneer legacy as the End of the Santa Fe Trail and those who lived to make it there."

 It's not a very big cemetery. Busy streets surround the quiet corner. People buzz by and take little notice of the lives gone by. I have driven by many times, but I always noticed the gate was locked. I heard they only open the cemetery once or twice a year.  But tonight I found out that the little slender gate facing south is always open...if you give it a push. 
 We filed in and while Letty held a place in the food line (yes they fed us) I walked around and snapped some pictures before the sun went down.
 You can see the tables and chairs they set up for us. We had scrumptious snack of meatballs and tasty ribs
 There were quite a few graves relating to circus people. Back then...the circus personnel would come and winter their performing animals in the warm California sunshine.
 The graves memorialize some of the Valley's founding members. Many of the streets in this area are named after them.
 There were graves of Civil War veterans, both Union and Confederate soldiers, and at least two veterans from the War of 1812. We saw graves of veterans of the Spanish American War.  We learned "Samuel King was killed on a Monday afternoon in a gunfight with Micajah Johnson." John Holt, one of the veterans of the War of 1812, was a Mormon who, with his two wives, fathered about 15 children over a span of about 50 years.
 We received complimentary flashlights. The tour guide in the red cap, a retired history teacher,  tells us stories that illuminate the past.
 Back on the bus—we enjoy a spooky snack.

 We had a great time!

P.S. I loved this little grave.

"God's Missionary"

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