Stockton State Hospital Cemetery

Photo added by Margie Campbell

Stockton State Hospital Cemetery

California State University Stanislaus-Stockton Center
Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, USA
Memorials 2,481 added (2% photographed)


The original cemetery was located behind the Women's Facility, at what is now 510 E. Magnolia St. The lake and fountain are where the cemetery was located. The cemetery was used from about 1854 until January 1875, when the site on California Street was purchased.

Nothing of this site remains. There were 4,467 known burials at this location. Only 1,619 were removed to the new site located on N. California Street before March 1875.

Stockton General Hospital Cemetery 1851
Stockton Insane Asylum Cemetery - May 1852 - 1921
Stockton State Hospital Cemetery - 1921 - 1986
Stockton Development Center 1986 - 1996 (no burials)

The California Gold Rush began on Jan. 24, 1848 bringing thousands of people into the California Territory. California became a state on Sept. 9, 1850. A year later state lawmakers worked to create Stockton General Hospital that would provide general care to the tremendous number of residents that had recently moved into the northern regions of the state. The State Legislature ordered Stockton General Hospital to specifically care for the state's mental health patients, in addition to the general patients already under the hospital's care. The earliest patients to stay at this Hospital were often born outside of California and outside of the United States.
The California State Insane Asylum and Cemetery first opened its doors in May 1852 and remained a functioning state hospital until 1995. In May 1852 and the California State Legislature ordered all mental patients in the State to be transferred to this Stockton Insane Asylum. The name was changed in 1921 with the cemetery still in use.
The 1st cemetery was full by 1875 and 14 acres was purchased next to the Rural Cemetery for the 2nd cemetery.
There were no burials for Stockton Development Center.
Record keeping was sparse for all new businesses, in a new state, until it was decided what information was necessary to log and keep. There was no law for any cemetery to have a plot map, or add information about the person being buried. Patients were buried in what is today known as the California State University Stanislaus-Stockton Center and were moved numerous times to new locations.
Mass graves were and are common for cremations even today. Any record the 4 or 5 informants give is what they think is correct, and there is no way to verify the information. Patients were buried in marked graves and their deaths recorded in a ledger, no clear records exist about the location of these graves. These cemeteries no longer exist. It appears that not all the bodies were removed to other cemeteries. Some may have been given to family members for re-burial.
The remaining records are held at the California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California; Dept. of Finance Records; Dept. of Mental Hygiene Records; Dept. of Public Works Records; Dept. of Developmental Services Records; Stockton Rural Cemetery.
California Death Records became mandatory in 1905. Many records reveal a patient's full name, nationality and home address at the time of institutionalization.


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GPS Coordinates: 37.9663110, -121.2846850

  • Added: 12 Sep 2003
  • Find a Grave Cemetery: #1969913