Monday, February 18, 2013

Mountain View Cemetery: Plot 36

On Friday I made yet another trip to Mountain View Cemetery, because I'd heard that the grave marker for Royal Towns had been located and lifted back to the surface. While there's tons still unknown, the Oakland Wiki entry for Royal Towns is starting to paint a picture of his life. But finding the grave a second time was easy, so I had lots of time after. So I did some exploring in Plot 36, in part to locate the grave of John W. McClymonds which McClymonds High School in West Oakland is named for.

Plot 36 is very different than plot 54. It's older for one thing, but there's a lot more variety in the graves. They range from flat markers like the ones in plot 54 up to one of the more well-known graves, the pyramid-shaped mausoleum of William McKendree Gwin and his family. He (along with John C. Fremont) were the first two senators from the new state of California in 1850.

But there are tons of other interesting markers in plot 36, like the Hoffman/Hollo monument, topped by a lyre and a clarinet. Or the marker for Frank W. Haines (1858-1923), his wife Josephine M. (1867-1933) and Edward E. Haines (1879-1903). The tree-shaped marker with a dove, an ax, and "Dum Tacet Clamat" ("Though silent, he speaks") indicates he was a member of Woodmen of the World, an insurance company that dates back to 1890. There are numerous newer graves, too, like the one for Reginald A. Hayden (1979-2001) who was shot to death at 71st Avenue and Spencer on the 4th of July. Along a picture of Reginald, it reads "beloved son, brother, father, uncle and friend."

There were also some familiar names, like Casebolt Daikin. I've heard that name as the architect of Cielto Lindo, a beautiful Moorish-Spanish style apartment building we saw on the Cleveland Heights and "Borax" Smith urban paths walk. This marker was for Virginia Casebolt Daikin (1836-1926) next to a monument for Frederick H. Daikin (1855-1917). Was there any connection between the architect and these Daikins? It's an unusual name. And back to an earlier question: was there ever a grave marker for John W. McClymonds? Was he even buried there?

There are thousands of more rabbit trails through Oakland history like those that I wish I had time to explore. You can help, by contributing information to the Oakland Wiki.

Lots more pictures from plot 36:

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