February 22, 2009

I have driven by the cemetary in Land Park daily.  I was always curious, but had never visited…until today!  First, let me clarify.  What appears to be a single, very large cemetary on the corner of Riverside Boulevard and Broadway is actually 3.  The furthest south is the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetary. Then there is the Masonic Temple Cemetary.  And finally, the one furthest north that I could actually visit…the Sacramento Historic City Cemetary.  It might sound a bit odd, but it was very interesting.  Most of the people who died back in the 1800’s seemed to live to the ripe old age of 45ish.  There were too many babies.  Many headstones were so weathered that they really couldn’t be read anymore.  However, there were many that could be read, and I thought I would share a little of what they taught me.



John A. Sutter Jr. (1826-1897)
His father is famous in Sacramento history as the man who built Sutter’s Fort and established New Helvetia.  However, it was his son who, in 1848, planned and founded the City of Sacramento.  A disagreement between father and son over the development of Sacramento initiated John Jr. to leave and in 1897, he died in Acapulco, Mexico










Hardin Bigelow (1809 – 1850)
Bigelow arrived in San Francisco on the first ship to reach California from the East Coast.  This Mail Steamer brought with it miners to the Gold Fields.  Sacramento’s first levee system was built by Bigelow.  He also was Sacramento’s first elected mayor in 1850.





Newton Booth (1825-1892)
Booth was the ultimate statesman.  He was a lawyer, merchant and politician.  In 1862 he was elected State Senator, United States Senator in 1873.  Booth and Company was located on Front Street between J & K.










Old Wooden Headboard (Circa 1876)
Although wooden headboards numbered in the thousands, this is one of the very few that remain.  If you look closely, you can barely see the remains of carving.









Mark Hopkins (1815-1878)
Hopkins was a Forty-Niner, one of railroad’s legendary “big Four” and was the Treasurer of the Central Pacific Railroad.  This tomb dominates the cemetary, made with granite weighing 350 tons.  Hopkins died before this tomb was completed, so was buried in San Francisco in 1878 and then moved to this tomb in 1880.





Albert Maver Winn (1810 – 1883)
Winn was selected as President when he was elected to Sacramento’s first City Council in 1849.  In 1875 he founded the Native Sons of the Golden West.  This monument is the tallest in the cemetary.










William Stephen Hamilton (1797 – 1850)
William was the youngest son of Alexander Hamilton and the first Treasurer of the United States.  He came to California in 1849 and died here 1850.  Hamilton has the travel bug, dying in 1850, was exhumed in 1877 and again in 1889 and was buried three times in three different locations.










Captain Jamaes T. Homans USN (1805 – 1849)
Captain Homans was initially buried in Tier grounds in the front of the cemetary before being moved by his wife so his son and he could be close together.  This is the earliest known burial in the City Cemetary.  As you can see, it was broken in half at one time and has been repaired.










Historic Volunteer Firemen’s Plot and Bell
This memorial celebrates the fact that Sacramento has the honor of forming the first Volunteer Fire Company in California (1850).  These volunteers served until 1872, when a paid department was developed.  This bell you see here was cast in 1859 in Sheffield, England, came around the Horn and was placed in service in 1863.







Lastly, I found this memorial…a time capsule buried in 1988. I will let you know what is in it in 2088! Okay…maybe my grandchildren will let you know!


There are special places in this world that despite their age or maybe because of it, feel like home. Such is the atmosphere of College Cyclery in Sacramento’s Land Park.

This neighborhood icon has been calling Land Park and Curtis Park home since 1935.  The building was originally constructed as a Piggly Wiggly Market in 1921.  Safeway came into the picture, buying out Piggly Wiggly in 1927, continuing to operate it a a market until 1935.

Mr. Carol Melvin inspired the beginning of College Hardware and Cyclery in 1935.  A little after World War II, the hardware business was phased out to concentrate on the bicycle business, both in sales and repair.  Under Mr. Melvin’s ownership, College Cyclery had a great run until he finally retired in 1987.

Chuck and Lorene Meyer then took up the neighborhood shop and continued its great service and reputation until they sold it to their daughter and son-in-law, Allison and Terry Cox,  in 2006. 

College Cyclery has supported the enjoyment of cycling through several avenues.  They are working with  BIKESKILLS to promote and build cycling skills parks in the area. Through these efforts, they hope to give the community a place to practice biking in a safe environment.  In the same vein, they hold seminars on safe cycling and sponsor competitive youth BMX team racing at many American Bicycle Association events. 

From young to old, from experienced to the novice, College Cyclery has been our resource for many decades and we look forward to many more!


Some things have never changed, including the sputtering neon sign.  Bicycles have always been on display…the only changes are whatever is the current trend in cycling.






As you can see, there are plenty of display cases and bicycles EVERYWHERE!











Then there are a few attention getters…like this bicycle that took too long of rest between rides. A tree took a liking to it and grew completely around it! 

The photo below is of quite possibly the longest bicycle I have ever seen – do you see four seats and handlebars?








So, if you are ever in the Land Park or Curtis Park area, don’t miss this wonderful place.  If you want to learn more, their website is .