(Established ca. 1857)
Pacheco, Contra Costa County
Also known as:
Pacheco I.O.O.F Cemetery, Pacheco Pioneer Cemetery,
Hidden Valley Memorial Park, and Seasons-A Cemetery
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If you have family buried at the Pacheco Cemetery (or any of the above names under which it has been known), you may want to contact The Friends of Pacheco Cemetery (FPC). They need YOUR HELP!
This cemetery has experienced many problems over the past thirty years which the FPC have undertaken to help resolve. In their effort they have discovered the public may have acquired legal title to this cemetery that has been privately operated since 1903!!
All efforts to convince the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County to claim the public's legal title have failed to recover the cemetery to public hands.
Please contact FPC spokesperson, Christine Williams,
for further information.
UPDATE, April 13, 2003:
On April 11, 2003, this historic public
cemetery was once
again sold by one private "owner" to another. After reviewing
the "facts" of the public's use of this cemetery, last November the
California Attorney General concluded that if the "facts" were
true and accurate, the public had acquired legal title to the cemetery
through operation of former Political Code Section 3105 prior to 1900.
The cemetery was operated by the Pacheco Lodge No. 117 I.O.O.F. from 1903 through 1972. Since that time this public cemetery has been handed off from one private cemetery authority to the next. While the I.O.O.F. obtained a deed to the cemetery, the Attorney General has concluded that deeds transferring ownership of this cemetery after 1900 are of no effect as against the legal title acquired by the public prior to 1900.
Since July of 2002, the FPC have requested the board of supervisors of Contra Costa County to acknowledge the public's title to this cemetery in order to protect it from yet another disastrous private "ownership." The supervisors refused to act on behalf of the public. The latest plea to the supervisors was sent on Monday, April 7, 2003, just 4 days before the KNOWN date of this latest "sale" of the public's cemetery.
Because the board of supervisors is the legal government entity, only the supervisors may assert the public's title. No individual or group of individuals may do this. Because the supervisors failed to protect the public's interest in this historic California cemetery, California Saving Graves maintains they have defaulted in their duty to uphold the public trust.
A report on this history of the efforts of the Friends of Pacheco Cemetery will soon be posted to this website. An historical perspective of the history of the town of Pacheco and the ground the citizen's selected as their community burial ground, is also scheduled to be added to this website.
Please visit this page in the next few weeks to read the saga of this publicly neglected historic cemetery of Contra Costa County.
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(Courtesy of the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society)