Savannah Memorial Park (aka El Monte Cemetery and Savannah Pioneer Cemetery) was founded about 1850. Burials may exist back into the 1840s. Henry Dalton, owner of Rancho San Francisquito, was riding his property in about 1846, as the story goes, and came upon two graves protected by a cactus hedge. Choosing to respect the site, he set aside approximately two acres for a cemetery. That was the beginning of Savannah Memorial Park. This particular spot was suitable for a cemetery, having a lower water table than the surrounding area. Originally the cemetery was within the boundary of the city of El Monte, which was the first American settlement in Southern California (California Landmark No. 975) and the end of the Santa Fe Trail, but with changing boundaries, is now in the city of Rosemead.
Savannah is privately owned, operated and maintained by El Monte Cemetery Association. The Association is made up of volunteers who, for the most part, are descended from or related to the early pioneers of the area. Many notable pioneers and their descendents are buried at Savannah.
All documented burials are listed here. It is believed that there are probably many burials that were not documented when family members simply came and buried their loved ones before the cemetery was formally organized. Unfortunately, we will never know of most of these burials without finding evidence written in family journals, Bibles, correspondence, newspaper articles, etc. If you have such evidence, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at email@example.com.
Please visit the Burials Listing page of our website where you will find a map of the cemetery to help in locating graves.
We are happy to transfer pages to direct family members as long as they are not also related to any legacy members of the Board of Directors. Please use the Edit Tab and "Suggest a Correction" link to request transfer, and be sure to specify your relationship.
In fairness to those who may be more closely related, transfer requests for pages that are outside FAQ Guidelines for required transfers will be considered on an individual basis. Please be specific about your relationship on any transfer requests.
In March 2012, Savannah was recognized by the State of California as a Historical Landmark (No. 1046) - the oldest public cemetery in Southern California.
PLEASE NOTE: Every visible monument and headstone has been photographed and posted here. We do, from time to time, unearth stones that have sunk or become buried over time. We then photograph the stone and post the picture here. If you don't see a photo of the headstone here, it is NOT visible. If you have reason to believe there should be a headstone that is not shown here, please contact us and we will do our best to probe to see if we can locate a buried stone.