City takes look at Palmdale Cemetery

first_imgAccording to records, there could be as many as 203 burials, although there appears to be only 187 marked graves within the fenced area. The last burial of record was Jan. 17, 2001, city officials said. The cemetery no longer accepts burials, because no one knows where all the graves are. The city has acquired 14 acres adjacent to the cemetery with the idea of establishing a historical park there. The community’s first school – a one-room schoolhouse built in the 1880s and now located at McAdam Park – might be moved to the proposed historical park, where there also could be exhibits detailing the railroad’s impact on Palmdale’s development. The cemetery could be a good fit with the park, city officials said. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsMayor Jim Ledford said he would like to see, at a minimum, the city securing the site. “This is apple pie stuff – this is the history of our community,” Ledford said. “The city needs to step in quickly for security and basic upkeep and maintenance.” The cemetery is a legacy from the early settlement known as Palmenthal, founded in the 1880s by German and Swiss immigrants from Nebraska and Illinois. City officials said a record search indicates that the Jonas family, one of the pioneer families that settled in Palmenthal, donated 20 acres of land to the church for a cemetery. For decades the cemetery was treated as ownerless, but in 1998 a Los Angeles County investigation showed that its rightful owner was Tehachapi resident Don Jones, who inherited it when his father died years before. He has said he wants the city or some other entity to take it over. One of the issues potentially facing the city is ensuring that all burial sites are accounted for. Only 2.5 acres of the original cemetery are fenced off and appear to have been used for burials, but there is a possibility a search might yield burial sites outside the fenced area, city officials said. PALMDALE – City officials are taking a long look at whether they should step in to preserve the Palmdale Cemetery, a piece of the community’s history that has fallen on hard times and is a frequent target of vandalism. City officials are considering their options for the 120-year-old cemetery at 20th Street East and Avenue S that was started by the community’s first settlers. City officials would like to see it secured and cleaned up, but haven’t decided whether the city should be involved and, if so, to what extent. “From what I’ve seen, it will be very expensive to take it over and do the most modest work because it’s so run-down,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mike Dispenza. “We want it to look good. We want to protect it, but we need to really know what we’re getting into.” The City Council will discuss the cemetery at its meeting at 7 p.m. today in council chambers, 38300 Sierra Highway, Suite B. No action is scheduled to be taken at the meeting other than giving the city staff direction on what the next steps should be. last_img

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