Tour resurrects history of lost cemeteries of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- What was once lost and buried deep in the sprawling city of angels is now being resurrected, thanks to a group of local historians.

"'Lost cemeteries of Los Angeles tour', is a tour in which we focus on the original cemeteries of the city of Los Angeles," Shmuel Gonzales, historian and co-founder of Boyle Heights history tour, said.

The Boyle Heights history tour group started this tour about 2 years ago, which focuses on the original four cemeteries.

"Over many years they were forgotten and, in most cases built over," Gonzales said.

The first cemetery of the tour stops at the Campo Santo at the Placita Church in downtown.

"This burial site being forgotten, is that they started digging up in this area in order to make a little plaza and a fountain in here and they found the remains of the people who were buried here," Gonzales said.

The second burial site is at Fort Moore Hill.

"This land would be used into a fort until the 1850s, and after that time it would actually begin to be used as the first protestant burial site," Gonzales said. "Eventually by 1890s this would become the location of Los Angeles high
school."

The third cemetery is at the Chavez Ravine near Dodger Stadium.

"It's the location of the original-old Jewish cemetery," Gonzales said. "We do know that one person was left behind here that they weren't able to find."

The final burial and original site of Los Angeles is at Cathedral high school.

"We are standing here on what is the location of the second catholic cemetery for the city of Los Angeles," Gonzales said. "The archdioceses of the catholic church, in order to claim the land from being taken away by the city they built a new institution on top of it."

Only some of the remains of all four cemeteries were relocated, most of them were reburied at cemeteries in East Los Angeles.

"We have a very diverse history here," Gonzales said. "A lot of it has been forgotten and needs to be reclaimed, reclaimed by this generation."

Click here for information on the tours.
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