Our goal is to preserve history….
HISTORIC UNION CEMETERY ASSOCIATION
Our goals are to protect, restore and promote Union Cemetery. We work to maintain the Cemetery, replace and repair damage following appropriate guidelines and the California State Office of Historic Preservation. Through written, verbal and online communication we promote public awareness of the Cemetery’s value as a historic resource, maintaining this important landmark now, and for future generations.
History of HUCA
In November of 1992, the Historic Union Cemetery Association was formed as a non-profit corporation. The original board consisted of Jean Cloud, John Edmonds, Francis Hutchinson and Helen Graves. The board worked with the City Manager and assured him that members were going to do everything possible to improve the Cemetery and that they would work with the city’s Park and Recreation Department to accomplish that goal.
The organization was approved and the park and recreation department assigned a liaison to serve on the Board of Directors. The board began holding public meetings and soon a number of people joined and helped raise a membership list. Enough people joined and paid the $10 annual dues that the board was finally developing a financial foundation.
The first goal was to document the condition of the Cemetery; noting damage from weathering and vandalism. Planning for restoration and repair involved contacting V. Fontana & Co. in Colma, a century-old headstone maker who helped tremendously in restoring dozens of stone markers. Eagle Scouts also provided large amounts of support and labor, putting in gravel paths, rose bushes and drip irrigation. Recordkeeping, photos, and documentation were compiled onto a wonderful website done by Ellen Crawford over a 12 year time span.
Current and Ongoing Projects
Since the installation of our kiosk in April of 2019, we have endeavored to post informative displays about people buried in Union Cemetery. Additionally, we keep self guided tour brochures available for visitors who want to walk around the Cemetery.
Starting in Fall of 2021, we will be offering monthly tours of the Cemetery to the public in addition to some private tours that various groups have requested.
We have installed about 24 QR code readers at significant graves so that users can be directed to the Union Cemetery website and learn about the person in the grave. Look for the sign on Woodside Road for tour days. For a private group tour (service club, school group etc.) contact Kklebe@historicunioncemetery.org
Because she was such a remarkable and important historical figure, we installed a headstone for suffragist Sarah Wallis, her husband, and son. We also encourage families to consider headstone installation if their loved one’s marker is missing or irreparably damaged. You can search the database of everyone buried in the Cemetery on this page.
In addition to needing repairs or restoration, some of the headstones are covered with grit and lichen and are difficult to read. Recently we have begun cleaning specific headstones following the National Park Service procedures to keep them from further damage and to enhance their relevance to history.
Since 1886 there has been a Memorial Day commemoration at Union Cemetery. HUCA organizes and hosts this community event every year.
We publish a newsletter for our members. Here are the most recent newsletters with more details about our activities.
HUCA Board of Directors
The current volunteer Historic Union Cemetery Association Board of Directors (aka “HUCA Board”)
- Barry Kuhl
- Bridget Cottrell – Secretary
- Deanna Liotta
- Don Bach
- Don Tomatis
- Ellery Dake
- Janet Lawson – Vice President
- Joyce James
- Jean Tomatis – Treasurer
- Kathy Klebe – President
- Nancy Radcliffe
- Maggie Coleman – Membership
- Roy Klebe – Eagle Scout Restoration Projects
- Lucas Wilder — Parks & Rec Dept.
- Tim Lawson