Sacramento City CemeteryWelcome to Sacramento's Historic City Cemetery. Established in 1849, it fulfilled the needs of a rapidly growing city. It is located on some of the highest ground in the city to protect it from the annual flooding of the Sacramento and American Rivers.The internees in this cemetery provide a vivid view of the cross section of
people that immigrated to California for the Gold Rush starting in 1848. This public burial ground is non-denominational and multi-cultural. Politicians, business men and women, gamblers, fortune seekers and religious leaders all can be found here. You will find that adults often died in their thirties and forties. Babies died at high rates due to illness, and complications at birth. Everyone here was subject to death by accidents, illness and lawlessness. Adding on to this human drama are the victims of repeated fires and floods that left few parts of the community untouched. They tell the story of who and how this city was established and thrived, and show us just how difficult, and sometimes unforgiving, life could be in 19th century Sacramento.People of the CemeteryIn the 19th century, cemeteries were a sacred place that served as a repository of the history and memories of the local community. We only see the headstones, so it's easy to forget
that there is a human story behind each one. Here are a few you will pass by as you stroll through the cemetery grounds.1. Gustave Halgestein (1856-1900)A candy maker and member of the Turn Verein, a center for German tradition founded in 1854. Gustave is standing second from the right.
2. August Klein (1825-1890)Klein, a German immigrant, came to California as part of the Gold Rush. He would have a career as a saddle maker and saloon owner.
3. Hardin Bigelow (1801-1850) Sacramento's first elected mayor. Bigelow held office for only seven months, but was instrumental in the creation of the city's levee system.
4. 49ersThis mining view with sluice boxes shows 49ers from all over the world.
5. Margaret Crocker (1822-1901) A leading community leader and philanthropist. Margaret bestowed the Crocker family art collection and gallery to the City of Sacramento. 6. Newton Booth (1825-1892)Booth was a lawyer, writer, businessman, politician and orator. He served as a California state senator (1863) and governor (1871-1875), and United States senator (1875-1881).
7. John A. Sutter, Jr. (1826-1897) Son of Sutter's Fort founder John A.Sutter Sr. He arrived in Sacramento at age twenty-two in September of 1848 at which time his father signed his debt-ridden land holdings over to him. It was Sutter Jr.
who platted out the city beginning at the Sacramento Riverfront. 8. Victoria Charlotte Klees (1845-1929) Wife of John Klees, whose Sacramento company manufactured grain separators. 9. Lucinda Ray (1818-1908)
Lucinda's husband, Nathan, purchased her freedom as well as that of three of his children, and came to California in the early 1850s.10. Captain Frank Ruhstaller (1846-1907)A Swiss immigrant, Ruhstaller came to Sacramento at the age of twenty and worked at the City Brewery, which he eventually purchased. He would later merge his operations to become part of Buffalo Brewery in 1881. 11. James McClatchy (1824-1883) McClatchy, ari Irish immigrant, came to California in 1849 from New York. An outspoken participant in Sacramento's 1850 Squatters riot, he sided with the settlers. In 1857, he became the editor of the Sacramento Daily Bee.
12. John Bigler (1805-1871) Originally from Pennsylvania, Bigler was one of the original 49ers. He became California's third governor. 13. MinersTwo miners pose for the camera in 1850s California. 14. Nathan Ray (1838-1917) Charles Ray (1852-1925), c. 1890Sons of former slaves Nelson and Lucinda Ray. Charles Ray (on the right) raised houses in the Sacramento area. 15. Louise L. Heilbron (1878-1926)Louise is the daughter of August Heilbron,
an early Sacramento resident who made his money in the cattle business. She is seen here at age fourteen in her graduation portrait from Capital Grammar School. 16. Albert Maver Winn (1810-1883) Winn was instrumental in the establishment of the City of Sacramento and founded the fraternal organization Native Sons of the Golden West. 17. May Hollister Woolsey (1866-1879) May died of encephalitis just a few months shy of her 13th birthday. May's parent's, Luther and Mary, were grief-stricken after her death. Her mother gathered May's personal items and letters in a trunk and hid it in their home. The trunk was discovered in 1979 by the home's new owners in a false wall near the staircase. 18. George Ochs (1822-1878) Ochs and his staff at the Pacific Brewery, c. 1890. Images courtesy of the California State Library, Center for Sacramento History, Library of Congress, and Oakland Museum of California.