LIVE VIDEO: News10 special coverage    Watch
 

An unmarked gravesite in Sacramento's East Lawn Memorial Park bugs viewer concerned about grandfather's grave

10:28 AM, Nov 23, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

SACRAMENTO, CA -- East Lawn Memorial Park on Folsom Boulevard in East Sacramento is the final resting place for more than 100,000 people. And while most graves at the cemetery are marked, there is one section with no headstones in sight.

Section S is in the middle of the cemetery, tucked behind a wall of oleander trees and the Palm Court Crypts. There are 700 people buried in this section, which is overgrown with weeds and looks more like an unkept yard than a graveyard.

"I don't think a person should have to be in a mess like this, with overgrown weeds. The least they could do is come in here and mow it down once in a while," says Arlene Bayne whose grandfather, Thomas Warren Anderson, was buried in Section S in 1935.

Bayne got in touch with News10's Kate Larsen because she's concerned and upset about the poor shape of the space. "I was wondering why it's so desecrated when every other cemetery in town looks so nice."

"It has not had the same attention as the rest of the cemetery," explains Lisa West who helps run East Lawn. Turns out from 1932 to 1955, Section S was used by Sacramento County to bury people who could not afford a burial. "They were poor, it was the depression era," adds West.

Graves that are paid for include an endowment fee, and that money is used over the years for upkeep. Since no one paid for the graves in Section S, the cemetery did not keep up the care of the space.

But now, after 55 years, East Lawn, is grading the land to install a sprinkler system so they can plant grass next spring. "Legally we don't have an obligation, but morally we feel it is our obligation to take care of this," says West.

Bayne says she'll believe it when she's sees it but is hopeful about the future of her grandfather's final resting place. "I think it'll be great when they take down all these oleanders and we can see it from the other side of the road... maybe with your help they'll get it done a little faster."

News10's Kate Larsen will continue to check on the progress of Section S and hopes to see green grass next year.

If there's something bugging you in your community, then bug Kate! You can email her at bugkate@news10.net

News10/KXTV

Most Watched Videos