Memorial Day at Historical Union Cemetery in Redwood City, CA c.1859

Posted on: May 22nd, 2019 | By Cliff Keith | Blog, Redwood City History, Thursday Historical Information |

Memorial Day at Historical Union Cemetery in Redwood City, CA c.1859

Memorial Day at Historical Union Cemetery in Redwood City, CA c.1859
Water tower

Historical Union Cemetery in Redwood City, CA  c.1859. If you would like to read more about Union Cemetery click this link. 

Redwood City, CA: Every Memorial Day the Archives Committee of the Redwood City Library celebrate memories of Redwood City pioneers and soldiers. Better known as their Memorial Day ceremony at Union Cemetery. It is their annual event held on Woodside Road. The celebration is every Memorial Day and starts at 10:00 AM.


Who Are The Archives and the Union Cemetery Committees?

The Archives Committee and the Union Cemetery Committee have worked on this celebration for many years. They are continuously trying to make it an experience enjoyed by all. The efforts over the years were constant cleaning and clearing debris. They didn’t stop there because they repaired graves, burial crypts, fencing, and rebuild broken items like the windmill. The bronze Union Soldier Statue was refurbished by them.

They have worked hand and hand with City commissions like the Historical Resources Advisory Committee, HRAC. Together they help improve the landscaping, the lighting, and assisted with establishing patrolled security. It was a combined effort by all to preserve Redwood City history for future generations.

In the 1970’s Union Cemetery was a favorite site for vandals. There was extensive damage to the site. Vandalism to the cemetery ran rampant. For example, homeless people were making Union Cemetery their camp site. Around Halloween people entered into the cemetery and perform some witch-craft rituals. They did grave etchings, they built fires and performed satanic rituals on make-shift alters. Damages to the gravesides was not uncommon. The grounds became an embarrassment to the community. 

What damage was done?

Memorial Day at Historical Union Cemetery in Redwood City, CA c.1859
Union Soldier statue

Stopping the ongoing damage became top priority for concerned citizens. These citizens took it upon themselves to reclaim Union Cemetery to its intended state.  They started doing so by removing the bronze Union Soldier Statue. They hired and paid for out of their own pockets for repairs and restoration of the Statue. 

The concerned citizens took it upon themselves to repaired damaged grave sites. They fixed broken wooden crosses, head stones, and metal fencing. They found opened concrete burial crypts too. Those crypts were re-sealed and secured by them.

Everyone helped

The Archives Committee and the Union Cemetery Committee brought in the City Arborist to grade and inspect all the trees. He purposed in his findings a method to protect the Victorian Roses in the Cemetery. Those Victorian Roses are the ones you see climbing the fencing in the Spring.

Their commitment to the preservation of Union Cementer caused many residents to see what a great job the Archives and Union Cemetery Committees had done. Their work created a sense of community pride.

The City of Redwood City was instrumental too with their ongoing resources, support and encouragement. The City Council along with various Commissions and Committees gave their support too.

Where can I read more about Union Cemetery?

If you would like to know more about Union Cemetery go to the Downtown Main Library located at 1044 Middlefield Road. Go to the second floor and look in the Archives Room. Because hours are limited please plan ahead.  There’s a wealth of information about Redwood City history in that room.

You can look around this blog for other information on other historical aspects of Redwood City. Including other facts about Redwood City history. There are great books available on the history of Redwood City. They can be purchased at the Main Library Downtown Redwood City. 

As a side note you’ll discover from reading these various publication the Redwood City had the FIRST public library in the State of California. Pretty impressive!

If you look around this website you’ll find more posts on the history of Redwood City. Our town has a fascinating history.  If you look around this real estate site you may find something that interest you.

Enjoy your Memorial Day.

Please remember who we are honoring on Memorial Day. The ultimate sacrifice has been given by some for you.

#unioncemetery #redwoodcity #historicallandmark #memorialday

Memorial Day at Historical Union Cemetery in Redwood City, CA c.1859
Union Cemetery
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