San Diego in San Diego County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Gravedigger of Old Town
—(In Memory of) —
Legend has it that this hoary old Mexican man made a murderous attack upon his good wife. His penance was to ring the church bells whenever the occasion demanded. Rafael worked industriously chopping wood, hauling, digging wells, or cleaning them out, but his most noble work, was to dig graves every time the Angel of Death came to Old Town.
This weather beaten old man was a devotee who came to be seen trundling his wheelbarrow down the road daily.
Never did he miss a church service. With abject humility and self-abasement, he would bow beside the basin of the chapel and cross himself with the Holy water. He’d gaze at the alter then edge toward it in rapt devotion, before sinking to his knees in prayer.
From the notes of Miss Lilian Whaley, she writes, “It was the most vivid impression upon me as he (Don Rafael) knelt one day in the little south wing of the old church, which was filled with saints and holy images. Near the door of the little confessional
Erected 1995 by The Friends of El Campo Santo Cemetery.
Location. 32° 45.1′ N, 117° 11.606′ W. Marker is in San Diego, California, in San Diego County. Touch for map. Marker is located at the El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town, Sacramento. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2400 Block of San Diego Avenue, San Diego CA 92110, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. El Campo Santo (The Holy Field) (within shouting distance of this marker); Adobe Chapel of The Immaculate Conception (within shouting distance of this marker); The Whaley House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lt. George H. Derby (about 600 feet away); Old Ballast Point Lighthouse, San Diego (about 600 feet away); Lloyd T. Lowrey Plaza (about 800 feet away); Adobe Construction (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Town San Diego (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Diego.
Also see . . . The History of San Diego by William E. Smyth. (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Notable Events • Notable Persons • Notable Places • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 19, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,259 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 19, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.