Cemetery plight

Restore sacred site



Ventura County Star

Your letters: Ventura's memorial park
August 3, 2004


Cemetery plight

Re: your June 27 article, "Resident saves old lights for cemetery":
For many years, I have been trying to find a family who actually was contacted prior to the demolition of the park. Turns out my neighbor, Mary Bergen, and her mother were contacted regarding the huge above-ground crypt of Mary's great-grandfather, E.S. Hall. Neither of the ladies could figure out how to relocate the crypt or what to do with it once they determined a manner of moving. As all know by this time, the city of Ventura took matters into its own hands and "placed" the headstones/crypts, etc., in Hall Canyon, named for said E.S. Hall. Do hope he was not one of those to wash down the river as I imagine he was somewhat content with his new home.
Another item of interest: It was only the Catholic section of the cemetery that was named St. Mary's. Somehow, that name has spread to include the whole site, which includes people of many religions.

-- Patricia Clark Doerner, Ojai


Restore sacred site

My family and I were horror-struck to learn about the atrocious action taken by the city of Ventura in the early 1960s regarding the midtown cemetery between Main and Poli streets. The unceremonious removal and dumping of headstones and monuments was absolutely despotic and monstrous.
The city must now do everything in its power to make amends for the desecration of this sacred site. For Councilman Sandy Smith to be quoted saying it's not feasible to convert a city park back into a cemetery, here's some news: It is a cemetery. Three thousand souls are laid to rest there. Regardless of the tragic indifference that has gone on above ground, their graves are still there.
This can't be the way the city of Ventura actually regards its residents. We understand a movement is under way to research the cemetery's history and replace the memorials that were vandalized by the city. Godspeed!

-- Brenda Tzipori, Ventura


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