Search billions of records on

Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA

(now a part of Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park, aka Pioneer Park;
aka Catholic Cemetery, aka Mission Hills Cemetery, aka Old Catholic Cemetery)
1501 Washington Place, San Diego, CA 92103

"Dedicated to the Memory of Those Interred Within This Park"


By Donna Bradley
Posted by permission, 2005

Bible Records
Contact Me
Guest Book
Search This Site
Stories to Tell

It's Halloween in the 1960s as we creep through the old cemetery.  Next door, at Grant school, is the annual carnival for all the elementary school kids and their families, but we are creeping through the broken headstones and unkept cemetery and waiting for somebody to take the dare to go through the cemetery on this "All Hallowed Eve."  We are waiting to jump out from behind one of the few still standing headstones to give them the appropriate scare for this perfect night.  This was going to be perfect.

Yes, I was one of the guilty ones that played in the cemetery years ago.  It was pretty innocent by today's standards, and we were not the vandals that were destructive, but we definitely played.  Halloween was the best time, but we went there regularly.  Sometimes, during the daylight hours, we would just walk around and look at what was there and the people's names.  It was quiet there, albeit dirty and musty.  Some thought it to be an "eyesore" and the wall around the cemetery prevented the local neighbors from chasing us out of the cemetery because they could not always see us.  Sometimes, in the evenings, you could catch glimpses of the "lover's lane" aspect of others also there, but not often.

I was fresh into my teens when we moved from Hillcrest to the Mission Hills section of San Diego.  My younger brothers attended the elementary school at that time, although I had attended Florence Elementary in Hillcrest when I was their age.  That was back when Florence was a 3 story brick building. Little did I know that later I would be walking through the cemetery (now a park) wishing that I could find all the headstones that I once played in.  I have no family there personally, but as a professional genealogist I have searched for many that were buried there.

Being a native of San Diego, I love doing research in my home town, especially the older research.  I wish there were more records kept of the place and who was buried there and where they were. Pictures would be nice too. When they moved the headstones over to the southeast corner and made a park out of it, genealogy did not seem to be a concern for many at the time. It is my understanding that some graves were moved, but the majority are still there, under the green grass, trees and playing children.  Yes, it is a nice park today, but it sure must have been a quietly majestic place in its prime.

Pages of this site may be freely linked to.  Information from this site may be used by individuals for personal, private, noncommercial use only.  The entire compilation and arrangement of information located on this web site or any major portion thereof or the HTML Code for any page or major portion thereof may not be duplicated without consent.  The copyrights of any contributor's material remain with the contributor.

Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA

Marna L. Clemons
(858) 486-6099

Created April 2004
Last Revision -
Wednesday, 04-Jan-2017 00:58:08 MST
© 2004-2017  Marna L. Clemons
All rights reserved.