Monday, March 14, 2011


Outright, there are some curious aspects about this cemetery.

1) Quiet Haven Memorial Park is comprised of two sections joined together by a road. Bellview Cemetery itself seems to be divided in half, with a lawn section of mostly historical graves and a gravel section of markers from the 1960s and early 1970s. The gravel section in particular seems to be in exceptionally bad condition- full of holes, mounds of dirt and weeds hiding grave markers, ugly tree stumps (why were all the trees cut down, and when?) and some markers appear to have been moved like tiles as there is nothing anchoring them down. There also to be two graves here that may have been exhumed and re-interred as one is lined in slowly decomposing plastic and the other is surrounded by a short green flimsy plastic border.

2. Bethany Slavic Missionary Church acquired this land only in the late 1990's, before which it was apparently already mismanaged and subject to vandalism. It has been in use as a burial site since at least 1856. It is clear that it must have had been under different jurisdictions/owners over the century and a half of use.

3. Older references to this cemetery also note that it was called Arlington Cemetery.

4. All the recent Slavic burials are ornately decorated with silk and plastic flowers. The older graves (comprising the majority of the "population) are unadorned, and more often than not, in desperate condition. There are headstones laying along the fence (obviously not on graves) and markers that are covered in mounds of dirt and weeds (thus unreadable). Why the striking disparity? If this land is indeed owned by a church, why is it not their "Christian" duty to show the same respect for all interred here for eternity?

5. There are a lot of broken markers. This could be due to age, vandalism, "graveyard malpractice", or a combination.

6. There are a lot of markers with a "do it yourself" look to them. Were people buried here because they had limited means and this cemetery outside of the city limits offered cheaper burial services than most of the nicer cemeteries in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, and other nearby communities?

7. The monument left by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors notes that 800 people were laid to rest in Bellview Cemetery between 1961 and 1973. In the entire cemetery, including the historical markers, there are maybe 200 markers at most, and that's being generous. Where are the missing 600+?

1 comment:

  1. Do you have the right from that Church to post this online???
    If not then you have no right under the law to have this posted, because that is counted as private property.

    "A separate distinction is evident where the rights granted are insufficiently substantial to confer on the nonowner a definable interest or right in the thing. The clearest example of these rights is the license. In general, even if licenses are created by a binding contract, they do not give rise to property interests."