|943 Interstate 19 Frontage Road|
Santa Cruz County
Postal Code: 85648
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Visita (satellite mission) of San Cayetano de Calabazas (Calabasas) was founded in 1756 by a German Jesuit missionary, Father Franz Bauer. Father Bauer relocated a band of Pima Indians to the site from a ranchería near Mission San José de Tumacácori. The chapel, houses and the granary were burned during an Apache attack in 1777 and the site was abandoned in 1786 due to continuing Apache depredation.
Between 1807 and 1830 the buildings were used as an estancia (farm) for Mission Tumacácori, except for the chapel, which was restored for worship. In 1830 the Apaches again attacked, setting fire to the buildings and carrying off sacred vessels and vestments. In 1837, the Mexicans established a Presidio at Calabasas. The property was sold to Sonoran Governor Manuel Gandará in 1848, who used the site as his ranch headquarters.
After the Gadsden Purchase the old chapel in 1856 served as the area's first U.S. customs house and post office. The 1st U.S. Dragoons occupied the site for several months, dubbing it "Camp Moore." During the Civil War California Volunteers returned to establish "Fort Mason" at Calabasas in August 1865 and converted the old chapel into bachelor officers' quarters. Many of the soldiers fell ill with malaria and died. The California Volunteers were relieved by U.S. regulars in May 1866, who renamed the post "Camp McKee" on September 1, 1866, but abandoned it just one month later on October 1. A total of 39 soldiers and one dependent child were buried in the Fort Mason post cemetery. After the army left, local residents continued to use the cemetery and it became known as the Calabasas Cemetery. In 1909 the Army returned and removed 30 of the 40 military remains for reburial in the San Francisco National Cemetery. Since the graves were no longer marked, the remains were reinterred in San Francisco as 'Unknowns.'