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The Broadway and Mt. Olive Cemeteries

Updated List on Both Cemeteries -- From City of Whittier

For those whose families were no longer living and were not abe to be located, the City of Whitter was not able to move the deceased's body and tombstone from the Mount Olive/Broadway Cemetery. Most of these tombstone which were not reclaimed were first moved to Pio Pico Mansion and then here to the Whittier Museum. The heavy tombstones are kept stacked, away from the public at the Museum. A complete inventory of the tombstones housed at the Museum does not exist. Due to the weight of each tombstone it is impossible to go through each one.

Facts About the Mt. Olive and Broadway Cemeteries

1881- Earliest burial, Matthew A Tyler 40 yrs Broadway Cemetery
1952- Letters began to circulate between city employees (city manager& city attorney) resulting in a few city ordinances.
1958- Last burial, Bethana B. Williams 86 yrs Mt. Olive Cemetery
1958- Cemetery declared nuisance further burials prohibited
1967- Citizens Cemetery Committee begins to contact relatives of persons interned
1968- Cemeteries completely cleared of stones and Founders Park is developed, stones are moved to city property adjacent to Pio Pico.
1974- City leases land from State @ 1 per yr for stones to be stored at Pio Pico
2001- Stones moved to Whittier Museum

* City Council Resolution No. 1197 made 7/21/1953 prohibits any further burials.
* City Council Resolution No. 1285 made 7/19/1955 allows burials of spouses to be buried in adjacent plots. This ordinance was only be active for 15 years.
* City Council Resolution No. 3182 made 11/11/1959 cemeteries declared nuisance absolutely no further burials allowed.
* City Council Resolution No. 4021  made 12/19/1967 required that markers (stones) be removed from park no later than 60 days from date of resolution and also be retained by city for a period of five years before any disposition could be made. During this five year period, family members could claim stones.

(Information taken from Whittier Daily News and Los Angeles Times articles, copies of actual city letters and lists of those interned.)

* 1974 Los Angeles times article states city will lease land from Pio Pico for stones to be stored there. Stones were moved from a city owned property (adjacent to Pio Pico), where they had been moved from cemeteries six years prior to article.
* 1974 East Whittier Review article states stones will be moved from city owned property adjacent to Pio Pico where they had been placed in 1968 (6 yrs) to Pio Pico Adobe.
* September 1978 Los Angeles times article “Interest revived in finding uses for old grave markers from Whittier cemeteries."

Mt. Olive Cemetery
The Mount Olive Cemetery is no longer known by that name but is now part of Founders Memorial Park located between 12100 and 12500 Broadway Street in the City of Whittier, California. Citrus Avenue divides the park which was opened 1977. The cemetery was covered with fill dirt and leveled. 365 burials took place here between 1888 and 1957. Most burials were from 1900 to 1937. The Whittier Park department contacted over 2000 next-of-kin regarding this cemetery and the broadway (formerly Clark) Cemetery just across Citrus Street.

Founders Park
It was decided that the property of both Mount olive and Broadway (clark) Cemetery be developed into a "quiet" park after having been declared a public nuisance in 1959. The remains of the unclaimed are still there and the names of the deceased are listed on a memorial at the park. The present park walkways follow the original cemetery paths.

Broadway (Clark) Cemetery)
The Broadway (formerly Clark) Cemetery is now a part of Founder's Park since it opened in 1977. It contained 926 burials - 68 percent of them prior to 1910. relatives were offered the headstones, but most felt their stones were too large, so the Park Department stored them. Records from the City of Whittier state that the Broadway Cemetery was opened in 1902, however many deceased listed were buried on site prior to 1902. It is unknown exactly when the Broadway Cemetery was opened.

 

 


 

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