Cemetery notes and/or description: For the largest portion of his estate, James Lick instructed his trustees: "To expend the sum of seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) for the purpose of purchasing land, and constructing and putting up on such land.... a powerful telescope, superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made; ... and also a suitable observatory connected therewith." Lick further stipulated that the entire observatory be consigned to "the corporation known as the Regents of the University of California; ... and shall be made useful in promoting science; and the said telescope and observatory are to be known as the Lick Astronomical Department of the University of California."
He picked Mount Hamilton in 1875 on the condition that Santa Clara County build a road to the summit. The County agreed and the hand built road was finished in the fall of 1876. The observatory was completed by the summer of 1888.
James Lick died on October 1, 1876 at the age of 80 and in January 1887 his remains were placed at the base of the telescope with a bronze marker that says, "Here lies the body of James Lick."