Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Old Downey Cemetery

The quote at the bottom of this tomb stone says "Always in our hearts." It is one of many infant graves in the Old Downey Cemetery.

Ranging from a baby who died a few days old to a woman who lived 115 years, the cemetery at Lakewood and Gardendale is definitely a historical landmark for Downey. It started as a family plot but was sold to the Masons a few decades later and then given to the Los Angeles County who now owns it. One headstone reads, "Indian Joe- A good Indian while he lived. He belonged to the Kaweahs and lived in Downey for 22 years. Died Nov. 2nd 1895."

The cemetery holds roughly 7,000 "residents" and still has 400 more open plots. The most interesting thing about the cemetery is that every grave site is still hand-dug, a job that died out years ago almost everywhere else.

Click here for an interview with the current "sexton".

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