|20th Street East, North of Avenue S|
Los Angeles County
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The old Palmdale Cemetery is one of the only reminders of the early Palmdale settlement known as “Palmenthal.” About 60 families of Swiss and German descent, predominantly from Nebraska and Illinois, settled in the area in 1886, and founded a Lutheran Church. The Jonas family, one of the pioneer families who settled in Palmenthal, donated twenty acres of land to the church for a cemetery. Other Palmenthal pioneer families found in the cemetery include: Nagel, Jones, Ritter, Munz, and Phillips. Locally familiar names such as Kimbrough, Leighter, Courson (the first honorary mayor of Palmdale), and Rogers can also be found amongst the graves.
By 1899, because of drought and land deed problems, all but one family had moved away from Palmenthal. The cemetery continued to be used by settlers, but gradually it fell into disrepair. It was closed in 1979 due to incomplete record keeping, and reopened in 1981, when the Palmdale Kiwanis accepted responsibility for keeping accurate records. Today, the cemetery is under new ownership and no longer accepts burials. Only 2.5 acres of the original cemetery remain and are fenced off. There are approximately 187 marked graves, and many more unmarked graves may be within the grounds and outside the fence.