MS 176 Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association Calvary Cemetery / Pioneer Park Collection
Table of Contents
- San Diego History Center Document Collection
- Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association.
- Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association Calvary Cemetery / Pioneer Park Collection
- MS 176
- Date [bulk]
- Bulk, 1969-1970
- Date [inclusive]
- 0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
- This collection contains information on the history and inhabitants of Calvary Cemetery and its transformation into Pioneer Park, compiled by the Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association.
Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association Calvary Cemetery / Pioneer Park Collection, MS 176, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.
Biographical / Historical Notes
In 1874, the city of San Diego purchased land with the intended purpose of creating a cemetery, half of which to be designated for a Catholic cemetery and half for a Protestant cemetery. The Protestant half was never utilized, while the first Catholic burial took place in 1875. Burials took place at a regular rate up until 1919 when the Holy Cross Cemetery was opened and became the more popular location. Without much church or city attention, the cemetery fell into disrepair. In 1931 the idea of turning the place into a park was floated and the debate began between preserving the cemetery and protecting those entombed, and re-developing the cemetery and protecting the neighborhood from the eyesore the cemetery had become.
In 1938 the city of San Diego sponsored a rehabilitation project to restore the cemetery. They petitioned and won federal aid for the project in the form of WPA funds and workers. In 1939 the cemetery was rededicated and a new marker was unveiled dedicating the site to San Diego pioneers and officially naming the place Calvary Cemetery (it was previously referred to as the new Catholic cemetery, until 1919, and then the old Catholic cemetery).
A caretaker was employed by the city from 1941 to 1949, but the job proved too large and the cemetery slowly began to fall back into disrepair. The last burial took place in 1960, and in 1961 the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department submitted a request for a development project to be scheduled for 1966-1967 to transform the site into a park. This first official project was deferred as other projects were considered more urgent. It was at this point that the Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association became actively involved with the project.
The Association formed to advise the City of San Diego with regard to the retention of the monuments and headstones within the park at Calvary Cemetery. In the two years that followed (1969-1970) debate continued between city officials, association members, and the community at large as to the development plan for the transformation. The Improvement Association researched the history of the cemetery as well as the current state of the headstones and the stories of those mentioned on the headstones. The research was very influential towards the eventual compromise that led to the final development plan for the park. In the end some headstones were restored and left in the park, others were moved within the park to a designated area and still others were removed to Mount Hope Cemetery or to city storage.
The park itself was officially dedicated as Pioneer Park in 1977.
Scope and Content
This collection contains information on the history and inhabitants of Calvary Cemetery and its transformation into Pioneer Park, compiled by the Hillcrest-Mission Hills Improvement Association. This includes newspaper and magazine articles, correspondence and records compiled by the Association during official discussions of whether to convert the cemetery into a park, and plans, blueprints, and official bids from contractors. Additional research includes headstone counts, lot maps, and copies from mortuary records, as well as biographical reports written by college students about the individuals on certain headstones.
This collection is arranged in two series:
Series I: Calvary Cemetery History;
Series II: Pioneer Park Development.
San Diego History Center Document Collection January 18, 2017
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
Collection processed by M. Johnson in June 2009 and Samantha Mills in January 2017.
Controlled Access Headings
- Calvary Cemetery (San Diego, Calif.).
- Catholic Cemetery..
- Johnson, Saum & Noble Mortuary.
- Pioneer Park (San Diego, Calif.).
- San Diego County (Calif.). Parks and Recreation Dept..
- Mission Hills (San Diego, Calif.)
- San Diego (Calif.)
- Cemeteries — California — San Diego
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
There are a few original letters, the original city contract plan and bid packet. Most of the collection contains photocopies on acid-free paper.
Research reports on a few of the deceased are included in the collection. The reports were done by Sister McShane’s History 188 class and the University of San Diego in Spring of 1970.
Reports were originally grouped by student, but the reports have been deconstructed and placed in alphabetical order by name of deceased. The inventory file contains a complete list of students and who they researched, as well as copies of their title pages and bibliographies, in case any discrepancies arise in footnote citations within the individual reports.
NAMES OF DECEASED WITH INDIVIDUAL REPORTS: (see folders 3-6)
Alvarado O. De Alvarado (Rudecinda Osuna De Alvarado)
Matilda (Kerren) Anderson)
Maria De Arenas
Luz (Maria de la Luz Osuna) Arguello
Rev. Henry J. Baert
Jeremiah (Jerry) Barrett
Mary Jane Barry
Fannie Bouley Berrie
Leo P. Bogan
Enriqueta C. Boullet
Anna Catherine Bouvier
Peter S. Brajkovich
Claudia Losa Brown
Mary H. Colton
Harriet (Vandergrift) Connors
Paul S. Connors
Jose Maria Contreres
John C. Conway
Mrs. Rufina Cota
Cave Johnson Couts Jr.
Refugio A. Couts
Charles J. Crammer
John Benjamin Dorval
Mary T. Eagan
Col. Manuel Ferrer
William C. Flint
Mary J. Golden
William Charles Greenleaf
James Richard Hanrahan
William T. Hanrahan Garrett
Gertrudis Arguello Hubbard
Gladys Gooch Irwin
John W. Kerren
Mary Jane Kerren
William M. Kerren
Mrs. James Grennan Kincade
Paul Mere Laderoot
Rev. Joseph M. LeCerf
Dolores Vidal (Marron) de Lamas
Mary Jesus Machado
Rose Kenniston Manasse
Fred Edgar Manning
Isabella H. McCann (McGann)
John (Jeremiah) McNamara
Senovia Melendres (Meledrez)
Juana M. Montes
Elvira De Montijo
Julia F. Morgan
Dorcas Cott Moss
Francis D. Murtha
Anna Louise Nerney
Mary Elizabeth Nerney
Margareta Agness Nevius
Thomas Walter O’Brien
Maria de Ochoa
Andrew P. O’Connor
Carlos D. Olvera
John P. O’Neill
Rev. Luciano Osuna
Katherine (Catherine) Purcell
Mary W. Rooney
Lily Bell Schrader
James J. Serrano
Luis A. Serrano
William Brayant Spohn
Serafina Stewart Serrano
Angelo Joseph Smith
Dr. Thomas Kerrins Smith
Henry W. Spencer
Frank Javial Stewart
J. B. Stewart
J. M. Stewart
John C. (Jack) Stewart
Mary J. E. Stewart
John, Nellie, Clara Summers
Michael J. Tracy
Maria de Verdusco
Francis P. Walsh
Mary E. Wallace
Ellen D. Warnock
Wilhemine (Mary Ann) and Ida Flora Winter
Wyan E. Woolery
Series I: Calvary Cemetery History
|Johnson, Saum and Knobel Mortuary: Burial Reports, 1869-1888||1:1|
|Johnson, Saum and Knobel Mortuary: Lot Sales, 1894-1915||1:2|
|USD Student Research: Biographies of Deceased A-C, 1970||1:3|
|USD Student Research: Biographies of Deceased D-K, 1970||1:4|
|USD Student Research: Biographies of Deceased L-P, 1970||1:5|
|USD Student Research: Biographies of Deceased R-W, 1970||1:6|
|HMHIA Research: Lists of headstones prior to park construction, 1970|
Numbered list of headstones; headstones listed by numbered sections, children’s section, and priest’s plot; notes on how survey was conducted; and maps of headstones and burial sites (maps in Oversize Collections D8).
|HMHIA Research: Lists of significant headstones, 1970||1:8|
Series II: Pioneer Park Development
|HMHIA: Records and Correspondence, 1969-1970||1:9|
|Correspondence: Residents and Homeowners, 1969-1970||1:10|
|Suggested Plans: Headstone Removal and Park Construction, 1969-1970|
Scope and Contents:
Some sketches in Oversize Collections D8.
|City Contract, Blueprint, and Bid Packet, 1969-1970||1:12|
|Pioneer Park Dedication Materials, 1977|
Scope and Contents:
Event poster in Oversize Collections D8.
|Miscellaneous Articles, 1931-1970||1:14|
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