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Yolo County Cemeteries – Past and Present Page
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(Please Note: The following section on Yolo County cemeteries was researched, photographed, and contributed by Peggy B. Perazzo.)

(Go directly to the list of Yolo County cemeteries.)

Yolo County has many cemeteries within its boundaries. Some of these still exist, and some may be lost forever. According to records I have found, there are no existing cemeteries in Clarksburg, Dunnigan, Madison, West Sacramento, or Zamora. On this page I would like to present to you as many cemeteries and old grave yards as I can locate in Yolo County.

Below you will find two lists of Yolo County Cemeteries. The first list is of cemeteries that are in existence today. Clicking on the cemetery name will take you to information about the history, location, and hours that each cemetery is open to the public (if known) and the records held in the Yolo County Archives (as of July 1999) and other repositories. The next list is of those cemeteries that we have some, or very little, knowledge of from the past. In most cases, there is nothing left of these cemeteries. Many of these old cemetery locations are on private land, so please obtain permission before attempting to access these old cemetery sites.

To access lists of those buried in the cemeteries, you can contact the cemeteries to see if they have the lists. Another good source to check is the Yolo County Archives, as they have several cemetery burial lists in the archives and offer research assistance by their volunteers.

Sometimes people were not buried in their own county of residence, but were buried in adjacent counties. For that reason you will find a listing of links below the Yolo County cemetery lists with information on cemeteries in counties adjacent to Yolo County.

Yolo County Cemeteries - Online Resources:

Cemetery Stones & Monuments,” a section of the Stone Quarries & Beyond web site (cemetery monuments, mausoleums, and accessories), including a section on: “From Quarry to Cemetery Monuments,” which presents the progression in pictures of the stone from the quarry to the old monuments found in California cemeteries.

Below are some web sites that include Yolo County cemetery transcriptions, photographs, and lookup offers.

California Historical California Stone Carvers, Stone Cutters, & Monument Dealers on Stone Quarries and Beyond. (Includes photographs of some cemetery stones in Yolo County. Use the alphabetical list to find local Yolo County carvers and companies.)

Find-a-Grave - Yolo County

Political Graveyard - Yolo County

Yolo County California Cemeteries Project

Yolo County Transcriptions on internment.net

USGenweb Tombstone Transcription Project - Yolo County

Cemetery Stone Carvers and Monument Companies Represented in Yolo County Cemeteries:

Another element you will find about the history of each cemetery, when it is known, is information on the stone carvers or monument companies who signed some of the marble stones in the cemeteries during the last half of the 1800s and early 1900s. I am researching these carvers, so I have added this information to that of the cemetery histories.

You will find further information on Yolo County stone carvers and companies on the following web site:

California Historical California Stone Carvers, Stone Cutters, & Monument Dealers on Stone Quarries and Beyond. (Includes photographs of some cemetery stones in Yolo County. Use the alphabetical list to find local Yolo County carvers and companies, although other carvers and companies signed cemetery stones located in Yolo County cemeteries.)

You might also be interested in reading the the following brochures about stone carvers and stone quarries (PDF): (1) Some Stone Carvers & Monument Companies that Produced the Yolo County Cemetery Stones in the late 1800s-early 1900s, by Peggy B. Perazzo, & (2) Some California Stone Quarries, by Peggy B. Perazzo. These brochures were used in a display for David Wilkinson’s “Stones of Woodland” tour during the annual Stroll Through History in September in Woodland, Yolo County, California.

If you wish more information on these stone carvers or monument companies, please feel free to contact me. Also, if you have information on these carvers and companies, please contact Peggy B. Perazzo.


YOLO COUNTY CEMETERIES OF THE PRESENT:


YOLO COUNTY CEMETERIES OF THE PAST:


CEMETERY LISTINGS IN COUNTIES ADJACENT TO YOLO COUNTY:


SOURCES:

The following sources can be found either at the Yolo County Archives or the Yolo County Library in Woodland. Some of these books are available at the Yolo County Historical Society.

Capay Valley - The Land - The People, 1846 - 1900,
By Ada Merhoff, printed by Roger C. Frank, Woodland, CA, 1986.
Cemeteries in Yolo County,
A paper prepared by Shipley Walters, October 1989, Yolo County Archives.
Davisville '68: The History and Heritage of The City of Davis, Yolo County, California,
Compiled By Joann Leach Larkey, Research Chairman, Davis Historical Landmarks Commission, Davis, California 1989.
Knight's Landing - The River, the Land, and the People,
by Shipley Walters with Tom Anderson, Yolo County Historical Society, Woodland, California, 1992.
Reflections of Woodland and Yolo County,
The Democrat, Woodland, CA, 1995.
Woodland - City of Trees - A History,
By Shipley Walters, Yolo County Historical Society, 1995.
Yolo County Historical Resources Survey,
1986.
Yolo County: Land of Changing Patterns
By Joann I. Larkey and Shipley Walters, Windsor Publications, Inc., 1987.

Yolo County Archives Cemetery Folders:

Davis Cemetery
Hyatt-North Cemetery
Woodland's Jewish Cemetery
St. Louis Family Cemetery
Winters Cemetery
Woodland Cemetery
Yolo Cemetery/Knight Ranch
Cottonwood Cemetery
St. Joseph's Cemetery
Mary's Chapel and Cemetery

Yolo County Cemeteries of the Present

Capay Cemetery

The Capay Cemetery is located in the Capay Valley in the northwestern corner of Yolo County along the south bank of the slough running through Lamb Valley on County Road 22 near Road 85B one and one-half miles west of Esparto, California.

Address inquiries to: Capay Cemetery District, 24727 County Road 22, Esparto, CA 95627

The Capay Cemetery was established by the Order of Odd Fellows in 1876. The cemetery started with six acres of land. In 1924 the Capay Lodge No. 230 IOOF sold the cemetery property to the Capay Cemetery District.

The Yolo County Archive folder contains: plot map with some names but no dates and papers relating to the establishment of the cemetery.

Mark Riley of Capay, California, wrote a very interesting, informative article on the Capay Cemetery and other local cemeteries in an entitled, "History of the Capay Cemetery District, with a Note on the Older Cemeteries of Capay Valley," which is located on the Capay Valley Community Web Site. The article includes photographs of some of the cemeteries.

Capay Cemetery Transcription: Fred Kemmerle has transcribed the names in the Capay Cemetery. You will find his transcription on the Interment.net Cemetery Transcription Library web site.

(The following photographs were taken by Peggy B. Perazzo, used with permission )

Capay Cemetery Photograph #1

Capay Cemetery Photograph #2

Capay Cemetery Photograph #3

Capay Cemetery Photograph #4

Capay Cemetery Photograph #5

Capay Cemetery Photograph #6


  • Description of Capay Cemetery:

    I made a visit to the Capay Cemetery in July, 1999, very early in the morning. The Capay Cemetery is a jewel of a cemetery. The cemetery presently covers about 13 acres. Many people refer to the Capay Cemetery as the “Esparto Cemetery.” This is probably as it lies close to Esparto, which does not have its own cemetery. The Capay Cemetery is a part of the Cache Creek Cemetery District, which also includes Capay Valley, Lamb Valley, Hungry Hollow, and Esparto areas.

    The appearance of the Capay Cemetery is unique among the cemeteries I have visited. It is shaped in a long, narrow rectangle divided into many various-sized rectangles interspersed with roads. Although located along the winding country Road 22, for the most part of that length you cannot see the road from the cemetery, which helps create the atmosphere of privacy. The cemetery land rises gently uphill from the entrance to the back of the cemetery. The back of the cemetery is against bushes and dry hills, and the other side of the cemetery has fields nearby, although the trees and bushes block the view of them. The cemetery is not covered in grass, although it is covered with a type of ground cover and appears green in many spots. People have planted trees and bushes near their relatives' graves adding to the beauty and color. The trees in the cemetery include oak, myrtle, pine, silk (or mimosa); and the bushes include toyon, redbud, juniper, roses, manzanita, and several shades of tall oleander bushes of white, pink, and dark pink. There were other trees and bushes I was not able to identify.

    This area in Capay Valley is known for its excellent bird watching. During my time in the cemetery, I saw many different varieties of birds including a vulture sitting on a fence post at the back of the cemetery high up on the hill. The vulture sat on the post holding his large, outspread wings to the sun. The caretaker told me they do that frequently in the early morning. I also saw a colorful peacock that lives there and a rabbit running around the cemetery that is also a usual inhabitant. He also told me you can see wild turkeys about the cemetery at times. Unfortunately, western Yolo County is known to have many rattlesnakes, so be cautious.

    The caretaker mentioned they had experienced vandalism over the years, and unfortunately, this continues. He said at one time all of the stones had been pushed over and some were broken, but a local group helped to repair and place them upright again.

    The oldest stone in the cemetery belongs to Silvanus Arnold, who died in 1867. Of the many old cemetery monuments, there were several marble cemetery stones from the last half of the 1800s and early 1900s that were signed by the stone carvers and companies who created them. These signed stones came from Woodland and Sacramento. (You will find a list of these carvers below.) There were also several interesting old monuments made of sandstone and some of metal. Amongst the old cemetery stones, there are also some unique modern graves. Also, amongst the graves are many colorful flowers and twirly things of many colors moving in the breeze.

    After about an hour after I arrived, a beautiful breeze started coming up from the entrance of the cemetery where the cemetery monument sits. The monument states:

    Capay Cemetery

    These grounds hold the graves of pioneer settlers in the Capay Valley and Lamb Valley and those of Esparto's early families. Established in 1876 by the Trustees of Capay Lodge No. 230 Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It was the first public cemetery serving Capay Valley.

    In 1893, the cemetery grew when Bill and Doc Duncan sold five acres to the trustees, enlarging the original six-acre site purchased from Jessie Aldrich and B.F. Cross. In 1894, two and two-thirds acres of Maria Hoppin land rounded out the cemetery.

    Placed by the Capay Cemetery District Board of Trustees and the Yolo County Historical Society.

  • Stone Carvers & Company Names Found on Signed Marble Cemetery Stones in the Capay Cemetery:

    H.P. Martin, Woodland
    Shafer & Barnes, Woodland
    Hebener, Woodland
    U.G. Rogers, Woodland
    Rogers, Woodland
    Wm. Boyne & Co., Sacramento

 

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