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Chinese Cemetery
Bakersfield
Kern County
California  USA

Cemetery notes and/or description:
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This Chinese burial ground was established in the 1870's and removed in the late 1950's. Other than an occasional head stone or bone fragment found in pool or septic excavations, there is no trace left of this cemetery.

The Kern County Gazette dated 5 January 1878 described the land: "The Bakersfield burying place is a high, barren, dry, forbidding knoll of ground, the elevated position of which can never be irrigated in the midst of low surrounding."

There were attempts to remove some of the burial remains and ship them back to China via Wells Fargo in the early 1900's. A rather racist and graphic account, common to this time, appeared in The Bakersfield Californian on 12 September 1907.

By the 1930's it is said that the Cemetery had "few grave markers and two masonry burners." Arthur A. Moore III, who grew up close by, remembers seeing "a few dozens scattered grave markers in the mid 1950's with Chinese markings but most of the little burial area had gone back to nature."

On 1 October 1956 the Kern County Planning Commission approved a tract map for 11 new residential lots arranged around Ramona Court (later renamed: Brookhaven Drive). Within a year or so, remains were removed to Union Cemetery where there is a memorial per the posted photos to the right.

As many remains as could be located were removed to Union Cemetery (East 6th and Tulare Streets). "Some 150 graves have already been opened and more than 150 are still to be moved. Some of the graves were so old that remains had completely disintegrated. But the Chinese have a remarkable method of preserving identity of their dead. Into each grave went a bottle with a cloth marked in Chinese with the name and age of the occupant. The work of identification is being done by Jack Chow Wong, 77...who is re-inscribing the names in a book of Chinese." (Bakersfield Californian - Aug 25, 1956 p 13)

New homes were built on this excavated knoll. Reports of remains being found, via normal excavations for improvements, have been observed in the local paper as late as 1993.

ORIGIONAL LOCATION ON MAP BELOW....
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Chinese Cemetery
Added by: Oakblossom
 
Chinese Cemetery
Added by: Oakblossom
 
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