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Inside Evergreen Memorial Park and Crematorium, L.A.'s Oldest (and Creepiest) Cemetery


Shekels grave marker from 1903I'm not saying that Edward Clements is a zombieI'm not saying that Edward Clements is a zombieI'm not saying that Edward Clements is a zombieI'm not saying that Edward Clements is a zombieI'm not saying that Edward Clements is a zombiehe returned to California to learn that he had lost his propertyhis career and his wife (not sure about his dogs). After a pardon by President JohnsonThom became a co-founder of the city of GlendaleThom became a co-founder of the city of Glendalesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravesuch as the Shaw/Weber gravethe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companythe Coulter Dry Goods Companybut still his grave is tended.Shekels grave marker from 1903Shekels grave marker from 1903Shekels grave marker from 1903Shekels grave marker from 1903Shekels grave marker from 1903Shekels grave marker from 1903Coyotes live in Evergreen Cemetery.Coyotes live in Evergreen CemeteryCoyotes live in Evergreen Cemetery.Dr. John Hollingsworth died in 1905. Only three members of the family are buried hereDr. John Hollingsworth died in 1905. Only three members of the family are buried hereDr. John Hollingsworth died in 1905. Only three members of the family are buried herea disgruntled former employee. His daughterwas the wife of Spanish-born silent film star Antonio "Tony" Moreno.This memorial is reverently placed here by the Japanese American Communityin memory of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who foughtJustice and Equal Opportunity in the Pursuit of Happiness might come to all democratic and peace-loving people everywhere regardless of racecolor or national origin. Dedicated: May 30color or national origin. Dedicated: May 30color or national origin. Dedicated: May 30color or national origin. Dedicated: May 30color or national origin. Dedicated: May 30Milam CountyMilam Countywhich has since been looted from the graveyard.Thousands of unclaimed bodies were burned each year at the original crematorium of Evergreen Cemetery before being placed into one massive paupers plot.Robert FrenchHerbert TenHerbert TenHerbert TenHerbert TenHerbert TenHerbert TenHerbert TenHerbert Tenwe saw.WoodmenLife (officially Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society) is a fraternal benefit society based in Omahawhich operates a large privately held insurance company for its members. The tree stump grave marker was abandoned in 1920 as being too costly.For some reason this headstone for Harriet McMann makes us so sad.Part of the children's section of Evergreen CemeteryPart of the children's section of Evergreen CemeteryPart of the children's section of Evergreen CemeteryPart of the children's section of Evergreen CemeteryMany headstones at Evergreen are bilingual.This grave isn't even listed in the search for graves at Evergreen.This grave isn't even listed in the search for graves at Evergreen.This grave isn't even listed in the search for graves at Evergreen.William Lacy was vice president and for many years was a director of the Farmers & Merchants National Bank of Los Angelespresident of the Pacific Clay Products Companypresident of the Pacific Clay Products Company1st Batallion Heavy Artillery California. in 1898 at the age of 19.1st Batallion Heavy Artillery California. in 1898 at the age of 19.Bloomer was a wagonmaster and brought three wagon trains to California across the Oregon Trail.The first part of a "husband" marker at EvergreenThe first part of a "husband" marker at EvergreenThe first part of a "husband" marker at EvergreenM. Mercy Dexter died at just 20 years oldM. Mercy Dexter died at just 20 years oldM. Mercy Dexter died at just 20 years oldM. Mercy Dexter died at just 20 years oldM. Mercy Dexter died at just 20 years oldM. Mercy Dexter died at just 20 years oldin 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014in 2014immigrants from Hiroshimahave several members buried here.The Nishikawa familyJapanJapanJapanJapanJapanJapanJapan

As recently as two years ago, Evergreen Memorial Park was sliding ever so gently into disrepair. The past two years haven't been kind to the historic cemetery. With zombie sinkholes, wild coyotes, abandoned shopping carts and angel monuments missing arms and even heads, Evergreen has become a symbol of L.A.'s inability or unwillingness to preserve its history. But even with the decay, the cemetery is worth touring on foot, if for no other reason than that every time you visit the 60-acre, 300,000-plot cemetery, you'll discover something new and wonderful.

Located in Boyle Heights and established in 1877, Evergreen Memorial Park and Crematory is Los Angeles’ oldest cemetery. It is the final resting place for not just the “founding fathers” of Los Angeles, and also was the only cemetery in California where Chinese immigrants could bury their dead (until the 1920s). While that sounds great, the Chinese immigrants were buried in the local potter's field, and in the 1950s a wall was placed over their shrines; it was only rediscovered during the building of the Gold Line. The unearthed remains were then reburied in Evergreen. 
Evergreen is the only cemetery in Los Angeles to never ban African-American burials, so many of the black actors of the 1920s and ’30s are buried in the North Hill section of the park.
Most famously, Evergreen has an entire section for the Japanese-Americans of the 442 Regimental Combat Unit, who fought for the United States in World War II. Thanks to their progeny, this section of the cemetery — where many of the tombstones have Japanese characters on one side and English on the other — is the best maintained. 
Other notable things to look for are the children's graveyard from the late 1800s; the 400 carnies — including the actual fat lady Emily Bailey — who are buried here; and the first Los Angeles potter's field, which houses thousands of cremated bodies, each one marked only with the mass grave marker that was the year of their death. 
Oh, and someone left the door to the first crematorium in Los Angeles open, so we may have snapped a few photos of the crematorium, including a fallen chandelier and gurneys for the dead.