Sometimes Tombstones Just Break Your Heart

Sometimes tombstones just break your heart, even if you do love a good cemetery.

Beautifully done and poignant tombstone for a child named Alexander Otis Eaton. This tombstone at Old Mission Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, California, is arresting enough for an entire cemetery visit.

If you do visit, the Old Mission Catholic Cemetery is located at 9 South Higuera Street in San Luis ObispoCalifornia. This cemetery is on the east side of Higuera Street. Do not confuse with the nearby I.O.O.F. – Lady Family – Sutcliffe Lawn Cemetery, now known as the San Luis Cemetery on the west side of Higuera Street.

This is the third cemetery location used by the Mission. The first was located inside the Mission quadrangle. The second location, after 1860, fronted on Higuera Street. Both Carmel and Pacific Streets dead-ended at the cemetery on the opposite side.

On July 1, 1877, a law was passed by the City Council prohibiting burials within the city limits. After several extensions were granted, the present cemetery opened December 1, 1877. Some tombstones indicate earlier burials. These were probably moved from the two prior locations.


About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”