Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Sacramento City Cemetery / People of the Cemetery
Sacramento City Cemetery
Welcome 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
In 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.
This 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)
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.
Two miners pose for the camera in 1850s California.
14. Nathan Ray (1838-1917)
Charles Ray (1852-1925), c. 1890
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1848.
Location. 38° 33.812′ N, 121° 30.048′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway and 10th Street, on the right when traveling east on Broadway. The marker is to the left a few steps upon entering the Sacramento City Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sacramento CA 95818, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. General George Wright (a few steps from this marker); Newton Booth (a few steps from this marker); John A. Sutter, Jr. (a few steps from this marker); In Memory of the Old Tier Grounds (a few steps from this marker); City Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Sacramento City Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Hardin Bigelow (a few steps from this marker); The 17 Doctors of the 1850 Sacramento Cholera Epidemic (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 158 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.