Strolling through Santa Clara’s historic cemeteries, you will find architectural treasures, thoughtful or cryptic verses carved in stone, and monuments everywhere that resist and challenge the ceaseless waves of time and change. Santa Clara Mission Cemetery and Mission City Memorial Park were both founded before the city itself. Santa Clara Mission Cemetery was established by the Jesuit fathers along with Santa Clara College in 1851. Many pioneers are interred here, and beneath the Varsi Chapel floor lies what may be the oldest mausoleum in the valley. Mission City Memorial Park, known simply as the graveyard when it was founded in 1850, once doubled as a dump and a refuge for stray farm animals. It is now a beautifully landscaped, 30-acre cemetery memorializing valley residents of the past 150 years.
About the Author
Author Bea Lichtenstein is a regional historian and preservationist who also wrote the Images of America volume Santa Clara. Using historic and contemporary images, she leads us through these peaceful pathways, recalling the faces, important events, lives, loves, tragedies, and joys that went into making Santa Clara the modern metropolis it is today.