A return visit to my first cemetery (Shingle Springs, CA)

This morning I took my dog on a walk through my hometown of Shingle Springs, CA. While Ghost Towns lists it as “semi-ghost” I assure, it is not! Though most of the goldrush towns in this area did fall by the wayside when the goldmining ran dry, Shingle Springs survived because it diversified. You see, because there was no boom there was no bust!

This 1848 settlement “took its name from a horse drawn shingle machine operated by the Bartlett brothers capable of producing 16,000 shingles a day,” (El Dorado County). The goldmining wasn’t all that great here but it was a useful stopping point for pioneers, miners, and merchants on the way to Sacramento.

This little cemetery here is fascinating (aren’t they all?). Known as the Shingle Springs Cemetery, its use began in 1864 to handle the rapid population growth when the the Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad came through town. Seemingly overnight this village “became a bustling freighting and transportation center in the mountains.” The local Planters House cemetery (earliest recorded burial: 1850) couldn’t keep up with the demand.

What makes this cemetery intriguing is that it’s quite mysterious. While it’s listed as being founded in 1874, the first recorded burial was in 1864 (Genealogy Trails).

Spookiest of all is all the spare room in this cemetery. Turns out, while there are 38 recorded burials on file, ground penetrating radar found a total of 94 gravesites!

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