San Lorenzo Pioneer Memorial Park
This is a sad little cemetery on what's now a busy street next to a freeway. Most of the markers are in good shape (I took a picture of an obelisk that still has a metal urn on top, which I haven't seen before) but many of its trees have been cut down, and it's filled with weeds. I took these pictures through the fence and would love to get inside some day.

"San Lorenzo Cemetery is located at the corner of Hesperian Blvd. and College Street. It was the early burial ground for not only San Lorenzo, but also San Leandro, Hayward, Livermore Valley, and the lower reaches of Alameda County. It was nonsectarian, and the first burial of record was April 10, 1853. Probably because of the proximity to the old Union Church there were many early unrecorded burials which were placed in a helter-skelter way with little more planning than taking advantage of an existing shade tree. Consequently, many graves were unidentifiable due to lack of organization.

The cemetery is located on property that was owned by two pioneer area farmers, John Lewelling, for whom Lewelling Blvd. was named, and William Meek, the area's largest landowner at that time. As more burials were made, it was evident that an organization to supervise and maintain the property was needed and an organizational meeting was held February 27, 1864 attended by a group of civic-minded citizens. Their objectives were securing of deeds from landowners, laying out of plots, construction of fences, and proper maintenance of the grounds. This meeting was identified as the charter meeting of the San Lorenzo Cemetery Association.

Shortly after the first meeting, the group asked for public subscriptions to finance purchase and improvement of the cemetery, and John Lewelling headed a list of 87 subscribers who contributed $637.50. On March 5, 1864, the group formally elected charter officers. They were: John Marlin, President; Leonard Stone, Vice-President; Henry Smyth, Treasurer; and G. Knapp, Secretary. Their first officials action was to authorize purchase of the property from Meek and Lewelling for $500.00. This was done on March 19, 1864.

The cemetery rapidly grew in importance and appearance, due mostly to the sale of family plots which cost from $20.00 to $30.00, depending on their size and location. As time went on, and generations died, heirs were difficult to locate, and probably not enough money had been collected for long-term maintenance. As a result, the cemetery became unsightly and a haven for vandalism.

The final solution came when the cemetery was taken over by Alameda County; it is now maintained by the County and the volunteer efforts of the Hayward Area Historical Society. The gates are left locked to prevent further vandalism, but access can be obtained. (Keys are kept in the church across the street and at the "Tech Center" in the School District offices next to the cemetery.)

The cemetery was dedicated on March 24, 1964 as San Lorenzo Pioneer Memorial Park, a memorial honoring early pioneers of Rancho San Lorenzo, now known as Ashland, Castro Valley, Hayward, Mt. Eden, and San Lorenzo."
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