Early Cemeteries of Orange County

Hear the stories of Orange County’s early cemeteries from a panel of experts at the Orange County Historical Society General Meeting held on, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, 7:30 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange.

The Pioneer Monument (foreground) and the old entrance (background) at Anaheim Cemetery

Our panel discussion inculdes an amazing line-up: Yorba experts and “Cemetery Angels” Ann Nepsa and Melanie Goss will discuss Yorba Cemetery (1860). (Melanie also conducts tours of Yorba Cemetery as part of her job with OC Parks.) OCHS board member and historian Stephanie George will discuss Holy Cross Cemetery (1903). Historian and O.C. Cemetery District board member Cynthia Ward will discuss Anaheim Cemetery (1866). And Tim Deutsch, General Manager of the O.C. Cemetery District, and Julio Amarillas, Manager of the Santa Ana Cemetery, will discuss the Santa Ana (1870) and El Toro (1896) cemeteries.

Cemeteries are more than just a place to pay our respects to the departed. They are among our most valuable of historic resources. They teach us about settlement patterns, historic events, religions, lifestyles, and genealogy. For a historian, a walk among the headstones provides a sketch of a community’s past, reminders of half-forgotten tales, and often a list of worthwhile new questions to be researched and answered.

Due to a scheduling conflict, Capistrano Historical Alliance Committee president and Acjachemen tribal member Jerry Nieblas is unable to attend to discuss the Old Mission Cemetery in San Juan Capistrano, but we’re working with him to set up a tour of that historic site in the near future. It’s possible tours of one or two other cemeteries may also be made available. Keep an eye on our website, orangecountyhistory.org, for updates.

The meeting is open to the public, so bring your friends!