Cross, Grave, Cemetery

"Many have filled unknown graves, far from home and kindred, with no kind friends to drop a tear or plant a sprig over their unmarked graves..."  Pioneer Days in California, John Carr (1891)




Saving Graves Main Site 
California Saving Graves
Amador County Saving Graves 
Mission Statement


SB 341 - Public Cemetery District Law  - READ THIS!

EDC Ordinance Code
California Codes (see Health & Safety Code beginning at Sec. 7000)
CA  Health & Safety Code

CA  Business & Professions Code

Professional and Vocational Regulations

Penal Code Sec 594
Govt Code Sec 180-182 

Cemetery Tax Exemptions
Civil Code Sec. 1007

CA Judicial Opinions
Management and control of Gold Rush "pioneer" cemetery (a California Attorney General Opinion)

Legislative Counsel Opinion  re: lease of public county cemetery to private corporation

History of California Cemetery Laws
      Historic Cemetery Laws: 
1854, 1859, 1872 Political Code, 1899, 1909 Public Cemetery District, 1911-577, 1911-578, 1921-188, 1921Public Cemetery District, 1931 General Cemetery Act (under construction)

A Review. . .
Criminal Laws Relating to Cemeteries, Burial Grounds & Human Remains


EDC Pioneer Cemeteries Commission

2003-2004 Legislation

EDC Cemeteries
Cemetery Districts
Religious Cemeteries


Report An Endangered Cemetery
Update Previous Report



California State Website
Cemetery and Funeral Bureau
Assembly Home

Senate Home
Legislative Counsel Home

Coming soon..."The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly."


This site is not intended to assist you in your genealogy searches.  Please use the links listed below.


California GenWeb
EDC GenWeb
LDS FamilySearch
RootsWeb Home
Amador Co. GenWeb
Sacramento Co. GenWeb

Placer Co. GenWeb
Pre-1905 CA Deaths
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

(more to be added later)


     WHILE building a saw mill for Capt. John Sutter in the "Culloma Valley" in January of 1848, James Wilson Marshall stumbled upon a small piece of yellow metal that glinted up at him from the bottom of the saw mills' tailrace.  From that day California was never the same as the great Gold Rush thrust upon this land thousands of people from around the world who came hopeful to seek a fortune to take home with them.

     SOME did return home the better for their ventures.  Most did not.  They returned home after a disheartening experience that left them demoralized and humiliated.  Even they, however, were the fortunate ones.

    TWENTY percent of those who came  in the first five years died within six months of arriving in the new state.  The estimated migration is said to have been anywhere from 100,000 to 120,000 during that period, so that our 20% who died in those five years is a substantial number.

     COMPOUNDING  matters were the contagious disease epidemics that occurred between the years 1850 and 1853.  Cholera struck swiftly and unsparingly in the Fall of 1850.  The first case was diagnosed in Sacramento City on October 19.  By the end of December 1850, over 826 people in the city had died from the ravages of this disease, while thousands more fled Sacramento for the countryside.  They  unwittingly carried the disease with them, and infected others at the places to which they fled.

     In 1851,  Small Pox was the next illness to befall the new populace, also stealing the lives from the men in the mining camps and elsewhere.  Cholera struck again in the summer of 1852, and was followed shortly thereafter by yet another Small Pox epidemic in January and February of 1853.  It is doubtful the true number of dead were ever counted or will ever be known.

    MANY of the people who managed to survive after arriving, and neither became wealthy to return home nor lived to make California their new residence, met their end and fates in mining camps and towns that are today just a memory on the written pages of history.

    THE LAST HOMES of these unfortunate people - the historic cemeteries that dot the countryside where those towns and camps once existed - are the focus of the efforts of cemetery preservationists throughout California.

     PLEASE  join us in this effort to save these valuable historic and cultural resources for future California generations to come.

    El Dorado County Saving Graves  is designed to help disseminate information about the condition of the over 200 cemeteries in this county of Gold Discovery.  The information posted on this site will direct you to other sites with information to help you in your preservation efforts.  We hope you will share your concerns or experiences with us so that others may learn from them.

     My name is Sue (nee Herrick) Silver,  the County Coordinator of the El Dorado County Saving Graves web site.  My family came to California from Wisconsin in 1850, settling near Drytown, El Dorado County (now in Amador County.)  My great-great grandfather, Lanson Dexter Herrick,  lies in an unmarked grave in either the Plymouth City or Forest Home cemeteries.
      If you have any questions regarding this site, please feel free to contact me by clicking on my name above.  

"Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have."
Benjamin Franklin 
(1706 - 1790)

    Saving Graves  is dedicated to providing leadership, education and advocacy in preserving and restoring endangered and forgotten cemeteries worldwide."

    California, the Golden State
Copyright 2002-2003
Saving Graves All rights reserved.

Thank you  
for visiting El Dorado County
Saving Graves!
Last updated March 25, 2003

In Memory of
Patricia  Ann  Arner Herrick Braun