Today, all across the world, thousands of small cemeteries on private property are in danger of being bulldozed off, and the land used for crops, grazing, or new development. Left unprotected, many cemeteries fall prey to real estate developers or others who are seeking short term economic or personal goals. These unfeeling people destroy many of these old cemeteries, showing no respect for the dead or their families. They do not appreciate or understand the importance of human burial sites as visible, tangible links to the people who made our history. The inscriptions on their monuments tell us not only their names and dates, but often where they lived, their occupations and affiliations, the manner of their death, personal traits that survivors held dear, and names of relatives. These inscriptions provide us with invaluable data regarding local, medical, and material history, cultural geography, historical archaeology, folklore, genealogy, and much more. Data that in many cases may be found nowhere else.
California Saving Graves is strongly committed to the protection of human burial sites from unauthorized and unwarranted disturbance, by man or nature. We believe that the willful desecration or destruction of human burial sites is unacceptable in a civilized society. It is our objective to highlight their importance and promote an attitude or reverence and respect, while encouraging further preservation of these unique historical resources.
We are not asking private land owners to do anything for the maintenance of the cemetery, nor are we suggesting unrestricted access to their private land. We are only asking private property owners to allow access at 'reasonable times' to legitimate groups to do the repairs and upkeep that is necessary, and to allow descendants and other interested parties the opportunity to visit the graves.
Some of the serious problems that we are facing today in various states include:
COVER LETTER (from
Please read, copy and down load this letter. It is the central theme of our position on the preservation of small and family cemeteries on private land.