Jews of the Gold Rush: Sonora Hebrew Cemetery
Founded in 1853, the Sonora Hebrew Cemetery was the first cemetery in the Gold Rush Region. The first burial dates from 1853, and the last was in 1977. On January 13, 1974, it was rededicated as a historic site.

The cemetery includes 43 visible gravestones, and two possible burial mounts.

Records indicate that a mortuary building may have existed on the cemetery grounds, although no evidence of such a structure exists. The cemetery is enclosed by a stone wall built in the 1850's, and is surrounded by Italian cypress trees.

The gate is kept locked. For information and access arrangements, visit

The photographs of the gravestones presented here are part of Collection WJHC 1968.36 of the Magnes.

This online presentation is part of the "Jewish Digital Narratives" curated by Francesco Spagnolo, PhD, Head of Research at the Magnes in Berkeley, California. For more information go to

The "Jewish Digital Narratives" are part of the Jews in the Golden State program, which is supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund and by an Anonymous gift. The Magnes is a beneficiary of the Esther and Jacques Reutlinger Foundation, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay.

[WJHC 1968-036-so-002_001]
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