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HACIENDA
CEMETERY

The Hacienda Cemetery in New Almaden was purchased at a tax sale by Pioneer member Gene Vennum and donated to the Santa Clara County Pioneers in 1974. The Pioneers, with the help of other Historical organizations and a boyscout or two, have since been the caretakers of the National Historic Monument.

The cemetery is best discribed by Jeanne Lewis, a Staff Writer for the Almaden Times Weekly. On December 11, 2003 she wrote:


" On a serene hillside road nestled in a charming residential area of old summer cottages and new construction, a white picket fence surrounds the Hacienda Cemetery in New Almaden. Located on the east bank of the Arroyo de Los Alamitos Creek, it provides the final resting place of the New Almaden Quicksilver miners and their families who lived in the hills northeast of the cemetery in Cornish and Spanish Towns from the early 1850s to the 1920s.
 

Once through the picket gate, the walkways are lined with a carpet of rich green myrtle, mature laurels and oaks, which create a shadowy presence above the fenced grave cribs, some marked with rare Italian marble headstones, others with aged wood markers. Flowers adorn a number of the plots.

Some of the loving tributes to the miners and their families that lived, worked and died in New Almaden include:


Final Resting Place of the Maternal Grandparents of Lawrence Bulmore.

Jenny Danielson, December 7, 1886 - July 27, 1888, She was Blue Eyed and Very Beautiful.

Ellen Keenan, April 10, 1864, Age 24 years

In memory of Eslinda Selaya, December 4, 1866-Died July 12, 1898.

Also in this reverent setting, one headstone produces a surprised smile to visitors;




Richard Bertram 'Bert' Barrett, His Arm Lies Here.


Besides being the namesake of the road and a son of a quicksilver miner, he became the Chief of Sanitation for the Santa Clara County Health Department. In 1898 at age 13, he lost his arm in a hunting accident. The law at the time stated that a limb must be given a proper burial. Bert lived a long life after the mishap and the rest of his remains are at Oak Hill Cemetery where he was interred in 1959.

The cemetery remained in use through the 1920s until Ben Black, a musician best known for writing the song, "Moonlight and Roses," bought all of the property east of Los Alamitos Creek from the Quicksilver Mining Company and planned to subdivide it-even the old cemetery. One night in the spring of 1928, he cut a road through the center of the tract, across the cemetery and over a number of


unknown graves. Outraged, the residents of New Almaden filed a lawsuit against Black who then could not sell the lots and stopped paying taxes. The  property went to tax sale and was purchased by California Pioneer member Gene Vennum. On June 6, 1974 Vennum quitclaimed the cemetery to the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County.

The California Pioneers remain the custodians of the property and are responsible for the restoration and maintenance of the property. Under their guidance, an accurate survey for the County Recorder's Office resulted in the Hacienda Cemetery designation on the National Register of Historic Places and a California Registered Point of Historical Interest. The cemetery remains divided by Bertram Road. To this day it is unknown the identities or number of graves covered."  



Dedicated October 10, 1981
Native Sons of the Golden West, San Jose
Parlor No.22; California Pioneers of Santa
Clara County, and Mountain Charlie
Chapter No. 1850, E. Clampus Vitus

Grave Consequences
From the October 26-November 1, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

"Sometimes developed and vandalized, or just left to the weeds ... but not all of them ...

The Pioneers, along with a variety of volunteers ranging from Boy Scouts to local fraternities, have managed to get the cemetery [Hacienda] into perhaps its best shape of the last hundred years.

The preservation work has really been twofold: not only have the physical grounds--the fauna, the gravestones, the fencing, etc.--been


cleaned. rebuilt and maintained, but the narrative history has also been saved. The property is small but not cramped, without landscaping or adornment, and the bottom half slopes down to the creek's edge. Footpaths wind in and around myrtle, oaks and laurels, and there is even some poison oak.

FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

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