“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Mark Hopkins Monument

Mark Hopkins Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, December 3, 2008
1. Mark Hopkins Monument Marker
Inscription.  Construction began on this splendid mausoleum in 1878 when the then very wealthy Mary Hopkins wished to provide a suitable resting place for her recently deceased husband Mark Hopkins.

Mark Hopkins had operated first a grocery store and then a hardware store in Sacramento in the 1850’s and became a founding partner of the Central Pacific Railroad, a visionary undertaking to build the first crossing of the continent by rail. One of the legendary Big Four, he served as Treasurer of the Central Pacific Railroad throughout its expansion until his death at sixty-five.

A full year and a half was required to erect this mausoleum, with workman constructing around the clock to finish it. A special spur rail line was laid to transport the tons of granite from the depot to the cemetery and along a cemetery pathway to the building site. A framework was erected with a moving hoist. The contractor was Griffith Company of Penryn, California, who traveled to the Rocky Mountains to mine the red granite. The Rhukala Co. of Sacramento later took over the project.

There are over 350 tons of Rocky Mountain Red Granite and many tons
Mark Hopkins Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, December 3, 2008
2. Mark Hopkins Monument
Marker is to the left of the left planter in front of the monument.
Marker at front center of photo is for a second Mark Hopkins marker.
of gray granite from a quarry near Donner Lake, the highest point of the Central Pacific Railroad’s construction in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The red stone came from a quarry near the highest point of the Union Pacific Railroad’s crossing of the Rocky Mountains. It was selected by Mrs. Hopkins because Mr. Hopkins had admired it on his first trip east on the transcontinental railroad. The walkway around the vault is comprised of three kinds of granite – red, gray and Penryn Black. The interior is said to be of polished white Italian marble. All together, there are probably well in excess of 900,000 pounds of stone in the structure, and there is a base of over six feet of solid concrete.

The tomb was built to accommodate sixteen caskets, there being eight marble grottos on either end of the building; however, there are only four internments recorded, and one of those is in question. Mark Hopkins and his brother Moses are on the west side, and his brother Ezra and nephew Samuel are on the east. Samuel died at sea on the way home from the Orient. Those who die at sea are usually buried at sea, but his name is carved into the door on the southeast side of the vault.
Erected 2008 by Sacramento Pioneer Association.
Topics. This historical marker monument is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites
Mark Hopkins Monument image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 2, 2019
3. Mark Hopkins Monument
The marker was previously just to the left of the monument but is currently missing. The marker's white post can be seen.
Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 38° 33.704′ N, 121° 30.172′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker and Monument are located at the Pioneer Grove Section of the Old Sacramento City Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Broadway, 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. Pioneer Cemetery Grove (a few steps from this marker); Mark Hopkins (a few steps from this marker); Rev. O.C. Wheeler D.D., L.L.D. (within shouting distance of this marker); General Albert Maver Winn (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Pioneer Cemetery Grove (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bennett Brothers (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Margaret Rhodes Crocker (about 400 feet away); James Logan Butler (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
Also see . . .
1. Transcontinental Railroad - People and Events: Mark Hopkins (1813 – 1878). (Submitted on December 4, 2008.)
2. Mark Hopkins Tomb. The Magnificent Mausoleum Completed - a Detailed Description,"
Mark Hopkins Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, May 30, 2006
4. Mark Hopkins Monument
"Sacramento Daily Union," Vol. 12, No. 33, Sept. 29 1880, pp. 1, on Calif. Digital Newspaper Collection. (Submitted on June 12, 2012, by Peggy B. Perazzo of Antioch, California.) 
Additional comments.
1. Mark Hopkins
Mark Hopkins was born on September 1, 1813, in Henderson, New York to a family of Puritan stock. In 1825, his family moved to St. Clair, Michigan. He started his business career as a clerk in a mercantile company at the age of 16, first in Niagra County, New York and then at Lockport as a leading partner in Hopkins & Hughes. He began studying law in 1837, but "sold out" and went to San Francisco in 1849. He opened a store in Placerville a few months later and hauled his own goods from Sacramento with an ox team. He opened a wholesale grocery business the next year with E. H. Miller, Jr. He entered into partnership with Collis P. Huntington in 1855 in Sacramento, and remained a member of that firm until his death. [Kraus 295]
When the Central Pacific Rail Road Company was organized, Hopkins became the treasurer. Every project the Big Four embarked on was submitted to Hopkins for his final approval. All had implicit faith in his judgment, honesty, and integrity. He was described as a "thoughtful, quiet man of rather slender build,
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who ... spoke with a slight lisp". Neither colorful nor dynamic, Hopkins was described by his associates as "one of the truest and best men that ever lived". Collis Huntington remarked that he "never thought anything finished until Hopkins looked at it, which is praise enough". [Kraus 295].
Hopkins died on March 29, 1878 at the age of 64 in Yuma Arizona.

Source: Biographies of the Leaders of the Central Pacific Railroad Company
    — Submitted December 4, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 4, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,736 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on May 14, 2011, by Peggy B. Perazzo of Antioch, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 4, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   3. submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4. submitted on December 4, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
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Feb. 27, 2021