While at the California Preservation Foundation, I’ve seen my share of loss. Sometimes it seems that the demolished buildings outnumber the saved. We are a curious-seeming bunch, those of us interested in salvaging what little remains left of our shared cultural heritage. While the world around us tilts toward the future, we often obsess over the interminable passage of time.
Early cemeteries were more utilitarian, unorganized, and located on family farms or on church grounds. In the 1830’s the concept of rural cemeteries began, with Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts; rural cemeteries evolved into the lawn-park cemetery, and later the memorial park. In the late 1880’s, San Francisco was the financial center of the west and home to the rich and powerful. It had one of the largest populations in the nation and some 27 cemeteries that lacked perpetual care and subsequently fell into disrepair.
Across the northwest shores of Richmond, near historic Winehaven and the Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot sits National Register #71000138, the East Brother Light Station.