hillside memorial cemetary tour

last week we took a historic tour of our town's cemetary.
it was absolutely fascinating!

hillside memorial park was established here in 1886.
great care was taken in developing the space into what it is today.

full of italian cypress trees. redwoods and streets lined with cut granite walls, it really is quite beautiful. 

edward judson and frank brown, co-founders of redlands are both buried here.
also, buried here is frank pierce morrison, the founder of southern california edison, charles nordoff, author of mutiny on the bounty and many, many others that had the foresight to make redlands the beautiful city that it is today.

i had mixed feelings about the tour.  i get a little freaked out being in cemetaries but i'm really glad i went b/c i kinda fell in love with the place.  it's so beautiful, it must bring such a sense of peace to the families that have loved ones buried here.

i hope you find it as peaceful as i did.

these matching graves belong to two sisters, olivia stokes and caroline stokes.
both were active in city beautification projects.
olivia donated the gorgeous gates to the cemetary and also caroline park, the city's 17 acre nature park, in memory of her sister.  

lots of folks from the east coast came to redlands around the turn of the century for the dry, mediterranean-like weather for health reasons.
sadly, the weather was not enough for this young boy.

i love this story...
in 1892 miss mary fackler, a school teacher at kingsbury elementary school in redlands, decided to have her 1st grade class begin each day by reciting the pledge of allegiance.  general joseph breckenridge heard about this and was so impressed he shared her story in washington dc.  congress adopted the pledge in 1924.
it is b/c of miss mary that school kids across america begin their day with the pledge of allegiance.
so cool.

this is the family that we purchased our home, the gardener's cottage, from.
they were the second owners of our house.

the most gorgeous stonework.
it's almost modern in style.

a close-up of the detailed carving.

the actress carol lombard's family is buried here, although she is not.

the morey's were prominent citizens of redlands.  they built the famous morey mansion with profits from citrus groves they owned.  
when his wife sarah died he was so distraught that he checked into the hotel del coronado in san diego and committed suicide.

what redwoods do to grave markers

the paupers burial area.
redlands provided free space for people who could not afford the $10 burial plot.

stunning curved granite walls line all the roads.

happy halloween you all.



  1. The coolest Hallowe'en post I've ever seen! Thanks for sharing the tour with such captivating photographs and narrative.

  2. I absolutely adore wandering around old graveyards and so joining you for a tour of your local cemetery has made me very happy indeed. How marvellous to find the stone that belonged to the former owners of your house. xxx

  3. How very beautiful! Such history too, wow. For many years we passed through Redlands on our way to drop our daughter off at a summer camp up in the mountains near Big Bear. She was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 10 and at the recommendation of her endocrinologist, she spent two weeks each summer of her childhood thereafter at Camp Conrad Chinnock, fully staffed with medical personnel and other little kids whose daily life included poking their finger for a blood sample and numerous shots in a day. Anyway, we didn't know that Redlands was so beautiful and so full of history. And coming from the coast of Santa Barbara, well, it is certainly beautiful here too but there's room for all kinds of beauty, right? Might be worth a trip, for old time's sake, back to Redlands! Happy Halloween to you too! Thanks for the graveyard tour!

  4. I love visiting graveyards, I find them to be very calming and utterly fascinating, I like reading the inscriptions and remembering that unknown person for a few minutes, perhaps that's all the after life really is, i certainly want to be buried and not cremated.

    1. i always thought i wanted to be cremated until this visit. it really was peaceful there.

    2. I just came to this same conclusion! We drove by a graveyard and my 7 year old daughter said "Oh, I just love graveyards! They are so so peaceful!" and I thought about it and realized, that yes, they are!

      I had always viewed cemeteries as so sad b/c growing up, we would go visit my mother's brother, who died as a little boy of 4. The children's area was called "babyland" and was shaped in a heart. My grandmother, even so many years later, would still be completely devastated.

      But my daughter has shown me a new perspective, and as a grown up, when I think of people and pets that I have loved and have died, I find myself thinking happy thoughts. And of course, that is how we would all like to be remembered, and so I've decided that if my children would prefer to have me in a cemetery, I will leave that decision to them. I would, however, still like to be cremated -- the two are not mutually exclusive...

  5. Cemeteries scare me. Heck, death scares me. But I know it's good to look things in their face.

  6. I love walking through Ross Bay Cemetery which is a stone's throw from our Humble Bungalow.
    It's serene and peaceful, has masses of heritage trees and like your Redlands Cemetery most of the prominent citizens are buried here.
    Artist Emily Carr's grave is there too.

    Happy Halloween Janet!

  7. What a great tour. Thanks for taking us on it today. (so appropriate).

  8. Thanks so much for the tour! I love touring cemeteries and have spent much time in them-- they possess a certain stillness that appeals to me. And this post conveyed some of that serenity. Happy Halloween to you.


  9. I love old cemeteries and this is a beautiful one. I also find them very peaceful, a wonderful place to spend some time reflecting on life's big problems and putting them into perspective.

    Memento mori!

  10. Old cemeteries can be so very beautiful. It's the old graves and trees, the quietness and birdsong. We have a very old one in Rotterdam as well, which looks like a park. I am glad the tour wasn't too bad.

    Wish you a happy Halloween

    Madelief x

  11. We have a several family members buried in a small town cemetery. I've always enjoyed walking around in it. Unfortunately, some old grave stones don't survive the years of wear from the weather. I'm always sad to see those nameless stones.

  12. I love bits of history. I don't find cemeteries scary places, it's whats outside the gates of them that can frightening.

  13. Love this! I adore graveyards! I am actually descended from a Sloan - was my grandmother's maiden name! Love these pictures!

  14. Janet,
    Perfect Halloween post! So much history...who knew about the Pledge of allegiance starting in your town? I love that! Very pretty photos!

  15. Ah, Janet, I'm so glad you overcame your aversion to cemeteries to get to know this one! Your photos show that it's obviously a gorgeous place. And how wonderful that you were able to learn so much about the history of the people there, and that you shared it this way. Makes me wish I could visit there, too. Thank you.

  16. What a wonderful way to celebrate Samhain. By visting the memorials of those that have passed, I bet it was full of history and a sense of stillness. It is a tradition to be cremated and thrown off a mountain in Wales where all my family before have been thrown off, but I am not sure my boys would travel all the way to do it... and I love that if you have a grave and a gravestone then strangers will mark your memory by just reading your inscription in years to come and wondering who you were and who the loved ones were.

    I find graveyards a great place for clearing your mind, as you are surrounding by calm and quietness that can't be found anywhere else...but I used to get bullied when I was younger for doing this and so haven't for many years... but reading your post as made me think that I should find my local ones and take a wander to gather my thoughts.

    Thankyou for this post, it has given us food for thought.

  17. I really enjoy your posts. You have been an inspiration to me in so many ways...wardrobe, home, places to visit and I thank you so much for sharing. I especially enjoyed the tour and the history of this beautiful cemetery.

  18. I'm a day late but so enjoyed this beautiful post! Cemetaries are beautiful but this one is spectacular. I guess it's Day of the Dead today so still fitting :)

  19. Small town cemeteries are the most beautiful...I still remember driving back east through some small towns in my 20's and noticing all these old cemeteries that were on the side of the road. I admit it did freak me out a little too!

    Have you heard of the ghost at the Hotel Del? Apparently a woman committed suicide there as well and her ghost remains. My girlfriend has seen a ghost in her house, and her daughter has seen it too! Crazy I know!


  20. Hi Janet, I was on the same tour and loved it too. I was just typing up the notes I had taken and researching a few things, when your blog popped up. You took better notes, so that helped remind me of what I couldn't read in my own notes :-) Redlands is so full of history, I love all the tours they offer. Hope to see you on the next one (I am the redhead).

    1. hi! how awesome that someone from redlands found my blog! haha.

      it was such a fascinating tour wasn't it? can't wait for the next one!


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