For over a century beginning in 1971 Placerville Union Cemetery was the largest burial park in the Placerville community. Originally developed in 1871 by the F. & A. Masons, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Independent Order of Red Men, and the California Grove of United Ancient Order of Druids, it was laid out on 2.45 acres on the south side of Bee Street. In 1895 the Knights of Pythias acquired 1.54 acres adjacent to the original cemetery at the lower end and in 1931 the Native Sons of the Golden West acquired 0.381 acres on the south side of the Druid section. At the same time the Fraternal Order of Foresters No. 889 acquired 0.38 acres next to them. From 1951 to 1964 the cemetery was operated by the Masonic Lodge until the Grand Lodge of California ordered the Masons to get out of the cemetery business. In 1965 a non-profit corporation took over the cemetery operation. The cemetery was cleaned up and united. Between 1968 and 1979 crypts and niches were added in order to generate income for the cemetery and accommodate more burials. In 1991 another set of crypts and .niches were built on the west side of the cemetery. In 1998 the management of the cemetery was changed to a local group of citizens.
Prior to 2005, the cemetery was operated by a private corporation. It had become difficult for this group to maintain the cemetery because of restrictions on the use of the Endowment Care Fund. The State of California Cemetery Board made a request to the City of Placerville and to the County of El Dorado for one of these two public agencies to assume control and care of the cemetery; otherwise, the State warned, it would be shut down, the gates would be locked and there would be no further burials. Although the cemetery is located inside the City and is a valuable community asset, it was fiscally infeasible for the City to assume maintenance responsibilities at that time. Therefore, the only viable alternative was for the County to assume responsibility. In 2005, the City and the County of El Dorado reached an agreement whereby the County would accept responsibility for grounds and maintenance, plus the sale of plots and interments, and the City would pay for the water and public safety. The land was deeded to the County in October 2006.
The Placerville Union Cemetery encompasses 4.75 acres and includes over 6,000 ground plots. Approximately 95% of the plots are used or have been purchased for future use; however, a field survey and inventory is necessary to determine the exact number and if there might be any plots available for sale in the future. There are a few individuals who wish to sell their plots. For information on these please call the cemetery administration office. There are a few small plots available for cremated remains in the Sequoia Urn Garden. The Placerville Union Cemetery also has five separate public structures, which house crypts and niches for above ground burial. Currently, there are 39 crypts (18 of these are tandem crypts which means two coffins per unit) and 2 niches for sale in the newer “Sierra View” mausoleum There are also 13 crypts and 38 niches available in the older “Garden Crypts and Niches” mausoleum.
Placerville Union Cemetery Photos of the 2006 Clean Up Effort.
See the full panoramic view of the Placerville Union Cemetery:
[Photo Courtesy of Jill Naumann]
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650 Bee Street
Placerville, CA 95667
Placerville Union Layout
Cemetery Administration Office only