2011 Cemetery Tour Schedule

I volunteer at the Sacramento Historic Old City Cemetery. I figured that if I'm going to volunteer for something it's easiest to go to something in my neighborhood.

I go and help in the gardens with weeding, pruning, and planting. There are three specialty gardens. The Historic Rose Garden is known for it's roses that date back to the Gold Rush period. Many of the original starters came from Europe or China boat, train, and wagon train. In another section is the California Native Plant Garden where you can find California lilacs, sages, and more. Lastly is Hamilton Square, named after William Hamilton, the son of patriot Alexander Hamilton. It contains mostly perennials and is also being used for a native bee study by UC Davis.

Volunteers are needed for all sorts of things. There is gardening, tours, repair of headstones, photographing and documenting of plots for a registry they are working on, etc. If you have an interest in helping, contact Sharon Patrician at patricianone@att.net.

Cemetery Symbology - lambs indicate a child

I'll also occasionally help with the tours, usually the night lantern tours. They give tours by theme, which I think is pretty cool. Below is the schedule for 2011. Tours start at 10 a.m. and meet at the front gate. Day tours are free. Donations are requested for upkeep of the cemetery. For the latest updates, always check the website.

March 5  Pioneers in Petticoats
April 7 Survivors of Winter Storms
May 7 Symbology and Victorian Funerary
June 4  Police, Fire, Legal Lore
July 2 Patriots
August 6 Railroads
September 3 Fun with Family and Children
October 1 Medical Bag
November 12 Veterans Medal of Honor

Around the cemetery you can find plaques with resident stories.

Night tours happen a couple of times a year and are used as fundraisers for the cemetery. Volunteers dress up in costume to act out the person they represent from the grave. They research stories of cemetery residents to find the most interesting to portray. There are stories of murders, crimes, even grave robbing and being buried alive(?).

Night Tours - times to be announced
May 13 - Friday the 13th
Oct 28 & 29 - Halloween tours

What I love is that our cemetery has always been multicultural.

Garden tours will also be offered on March 20, April 16, May 21, June 18, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, and Nov. 19.

Finally, remember that Sacramento Free Museum Day is February 5th and includes the cemetery (although it's always free anyway).