to the establishment of the City Cemetery in 1849,
burials were conducted in an area not far from Sutter's
Fort, but its lower elevation and closeness to the
American River caused it to flood frequently. These old
grounds, however, continued as a privately operated
cemetery, named New Helvetia, for some twenty-five years
before reverting to the city. Over the years,
tombstones and monuments were removed, vandalized and
even stolen. Eventually, in the 1950s, the city
authorized the construction of Sutter Junior High School
(now Sutter Middle School) on the site
Boulevard to 32nd Street, I to J Streets. A historical
marker can be found at the edge of the sidewalk along
Alhambra Boulevard. Unclaimed remains were re-interred
in special plots at both the City Cemetery and East
Lawn Memorial Park on Folsom Boulevard.
The Sacramento City Cemetery was established in 1849
with a donation of 10 acres by Captain John Sutter. The cemetery
follows the Victorian Garden style, popular throughout
the mid and late 1800's.
the first interments in the City Cemetery were over 600
victims of the
Cholera Epidemic. Today, the Old City Cemetery
is the final resting place of more than 25,000 pioneers,
immigrants, their families and descendants. Among the
more notable are
Captain John A. Sutter, Jr., Sacramento city founder;
lawyer and art collector E. B. Crocker; storekeeper
turned railroad mogul Mark Hopkins;
William Stephen Hamilton, the son of Alexander
Hamilton; three California governors and many of
Sacramento's earliest mayors.
changes have taken place over the last 150 years.
The cemetery continued to expand through 1880 when
Margaret Crocker donated the final acreage on the hill,
bringing the cemetery's land holdings to nearly 60
acres. At one time, a greenhouse built by Mrs.
Bell Conservatory, overlooked the cemetery along
what is now Broadway. Today the cemetery covers
approximately 44 acres and is the final resting place of
over 25,000 individuals.
Thousands of early settlers are buried in the Historic
City Cemetery. They represent the historical and
cultural diversity of Sacramento. The monuments are
symbolic of Victorian funeral customs. Numerous group
plots honor members of the Pioneer Association, Masons,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Volunteer
Firemen, the Improved Order of Red Men, the state government,
Donner Party survivors, Civil War and other military veterans.
Docent-guided walking tours are offered
on some Saturdays (see
calendar). Self-guided tours are encouraged at all
cemetery hours, during all seasons.
Walking Tour of Medical Pioneer Grave Sites,
are available at the
Archives Mortuary Chapel.
Archives Photo Gallery