What it really means to move a body at Mountainview Cemetery

Some of California's most important historical figures are buried at Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery.

Some of California's most important historical figures are buried at Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery.

At more than 226 acres, Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery is a final resting place for some of the Bay Area’s most notable figures. And docents there are uncovering new and interesting tombstones all the time, helping to piece together Oakland’s rich history. Madeleine Thomas has the story.

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Nice story. Never knew the place existed until stumbling onto it one day, and spent hours walking around, taking in the beauty. Some of the best views of the Bay, and so much history, well worth the trip if you have never been.

  2. CP

    Fascinating history! Where can we listen to the full interview with the docent?

  3. Brennan

    I live nearby and visit often. It’s a great place for a walk, and some people even picnic there. There are free, docent-led tours twice a month. Highly recommended. Check their website.

  4. My favorite cemetery in the whole USofA. So lucky it is just a mile away.

  5. Obediah’s “owner” paid to have Obediah take his place in service. Read more about Obediah Summers (and see a pic of the re-interment ceremony) at Oakland Wiki.

    I highly recommend the Mt. View tours. 2nd Saturdays are general tours, and 4th Saturdays are tours on different topics of interest to the docents: black history, women’s history, food, trees, etc.

  6. Frederick Law Olmsted also designed Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. He did not design the older Green-Wood Cemetery also in Brooklyn, that is an amazing place.

    Mountain View is the park we don’t have in North Oakland. Mosswood, Bushrod etc. have their value but don’t come close.

    Next time you see someone with their dog off leash at Mountain View, gently remind them that it’s still an operating cemetery where people come to grieve recently deceased. Not fond of dogs pissing on the graves of their relatives.

    • J

      That would be almost all of them – no one shows any decorum there. And yes, I’m not happy that my family is buried in what trashy people consider their neighborhood park. Definitely encourages me to go for cremation.

  7. Tim Meese

    Great story, the Cemeteries 150th Anniversary is coming up. The Cemetery was founded in December 1863 and Dedicated on Memorial Day in 1865. My Great/Great Grandfather, Herman Meese purchased the family plot in the 1880′s. Our family continues to work with General Manager, Jeff Lideman and staff of Mt. View Cemetery in helping to improve and promote the Cemetery.

    • I need to make several corrections to my previous comment. First, it is Jeff Lindeman who is the General Manager of Mt. View Cemetery. Two, the Cemetery was dedicated on May 25, 1865, which was not yet officially Memorial Day. Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868. In 1971 Congress officially designated the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

  8. J

    My grandparents are buried there, close to millionaire’s row, and I’d just like to thank all you local dog walkers for the giant dump I had to jump over in the road to get to the area where they’re interred. Yes, I know only ‘certain parts’ of Oakland are bad – those would be all of them. You hill folk are a bunch of sloppy, fat pigs.

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