Amador City Cemetery

Amador cemeteryEstablished in 1851, Amador City Cemetery on Church Street is a historian’s treasure trove of 19th century inscriptions that tell their own stories of immigrants to the Golden State who—presumably with very high hopes—had traveled a very long distance to make a better life for themselves and their families. Maryland native William Porter, who had come as part of the gold rush in 1849-50, died of tuberculosis in 1863, leaving a wife and five children who had already returned to the family home in Indiana. Daniel Moon from Ohio, aged 38, was killed in 1875 while blasting logs.  Samuel Mugford, a native of Cornwall, England, was killed in a 100-foot fall in the shaft of the nearby Keystone mine in 1876. A sign at the gravesite of Irene Anna Woolfolk informs readers that she married a blacksmith who died in a fire in St. Louis in 1857, leaving Irene a widow with five small children, who somehow all made it to California in 1863-64. Another sad and fatal Keystone mining accident in 1880 took the life of Oliver Vance, about 34 years old, whose decease also left a widow and five children. Today there are many more graves than indicated by the headstones because the cemetery itself suffered misfortunes. Prior to the installation of a fence in 1915, soil would wash down from higher elevations, partially covering some of the headstones in the north-west section. All of the wooded markers dating back to 1850s interments are gone, destroyed when a worker, hired to clear the grounds of weeds and brush a century later in the 1950s, opted to clean-up the undergrowth by using fire instead of a hoe. 


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