From: The Oakland Daily News, 28 April 1874, p. 2.
Note: Transcribed from a transcription, located in the Oakland Cemeteries resource file, Oakland History Room, Main branch of the Oakland Public Library.


Some Account of early history in Oakland

If in years gone by, the people whose bones lie moldering in the old cemetery at the head of Lake Peralta, could have foreseen the desecration that has taken place, they would have preferred cremation to burial. When Oakland was a little village, the graveyard was located east of Oak street, between Seventh and Eleventh streets. That site was soon needed and a tract of land in the rear of the University grounds, on Twelfth street, was procured. At that time the property was remote from any dwelling house and it was supposed that the location was permanent. The bodies that had been interred east of Oak street were removed to the new cemetery, and for many years there was no other graveyard in this portion of the country. When Oakland's second growth began, a true conception of the city's future led to the establishment of the Mountain View Cemetery, located in the hills where it will be forever beyond the encroachments of the living. Franklin, Webster and Harrison streets have been extended through the old cemetery, cross roads have been opened and houses have been built in close proximity to each other, so that in some places tombstones can be seen in back yards. Very many bodies have been removed. As the streets were opened and graded, many were exhumed and in two-thirds of these instances there was nothing indicating the identity of the persons whose remains had been disinterred. The man who had charge of the old cemetery was unable to read or write, and there is no record to show the numbers of the lots or who are buried there. There are still hundreds of graves there, and there is no legal process by which they can be removed. A more revolting and unchristian spectacle cannot be found. Ornamental wooden fences had been almost entirely torn down, as if for fuel. Cattle are pastured there, numerous holes in the ground denote the places from which bodies have been removed, tombstones lay prostrate, the shrubbery that had been planted by the hands of loving friends is mutilated and trodden under foot. It is a disgrace to Oakland, and a stranger who might notice it would be excused if he should be uncharitable enough to declare that our people are heathens.