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Evergreen Cemetery Tour

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 6th, 2009
2009
Oct 6

LOS ANGELES CEMETERIES

Evergreen Cemetery

 

Evergreen Cemetery

 

 

 By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Last Saturday I attended a tour of Evergreen Cemetery sponsored by the Studio for Southern California History. Led by Steve Goldstein, Joe Walker and Christian Lainez, the tour covered important historical figures at one of Los Angeles oldest cemeteries. Founded on August 23, 1877, Evergreen is also one of the cities largest with 67 acres and more than 300,000 graves.

 

 

evergreen-guides

Saturdays tour guides were (l-r), Christian Lainez, Steve Goldstein and Joe Walker

 

Many historical and prominent figures are interred at Evergreen with such  family names as Bixby, Hollenbeck, Lankershim, Van Nuys and Ralphs. Many former Mayors of Los Angeles are also here as are local African American pioneers.

 

Hollywood personalities interred at Evergreen, though not in large numbers, include: Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Louise Beavers, and Matthew “Stymie” Beard.

 

 What follows are some of the more well-known historical figures covered on the tour:

 

 

May Chandler

 

Magdalena “May” Chandler, the first wife of Los Angeles Times executive, Harry Chandler. After May’s death, Chandler married the daughter of Times owner, Harrison Gray Otis and is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

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Jesse Belvin

 

Jesse Belvin (1932-1960), singer-songwriter who co-wrote the song, ”Earth Angel,” one of the biggest hits of the 1950s for the group, The Penguins.

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Van Nuys-Lankershim

 

Isaac Lankershim (1818-1882) and Isaac Newton Van Nuys (1835-1912), real estate developers and founders of  the cities of North Hollywood (once called Lankershim) and Van Nuys.

 ____

 

Sam Hasins

 

Sam Haskins (1846-1895), the first black Los Angeles Fire Department member killed in the line of duty.

 ____

 

George A. Ralphs

 

George A. Ralphs (1850-1914), founder of the Ralphs supermarket chain.

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Earl Rogers

 

Earl Rogers (1869-1922), famed Los Angeles attorney is reportedly the model for the fictional character, Perry Mason. Rogers is the father of journalist Adela Rogers St. Johns.

 ____

 

 Cameron E. Thom

 

Cameron Erskine Thom (1825-1915), 24th mayor of Los Angeles and co-founder of the city of Glendale.

 ____

 

William J. Seymour

 

William J. Seymour (1870-1922), African American religious leader, founder of the Pentecostal movement and the Azusa Street Revival.

 ____

 

Bridget "Biddy" Mason

 

Bridget “Biddy” Mason (1818-1891), former slave, nurse, real estate entrepreneur and co-founder of First African American Episcopal Church. Her grave was originally unmarked until 1989 when Mayor Tom Bradley and members of her church laid the existing tombstone.

 

Evergreen Cemetery is located at 204 N. Evergreen Avenue

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