Savannah Memorial Park - Its History and Today

History of Savannah Memorial Park (aka El Monte Cemetery)
  • Around 1846 Henry Dalton, owner of Rancho San Francisquito, found two graves on his property that were protected by a cactus hedge. He set aside two acres surrounding the graves for a cemetery. The location of the cemetery was desirable because the water table in other nearby areas was too high for burial purposes.
  • Savannah Memorial Park is possibly the oldest protestant cemetery in Southern California and has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1850.
  • Savannah Memorial Park served El Monte, the first American settlement in Southern California (California Landmark No. 975) and the end of the Santa Fe Trail, as well as surrounding areas.
Savannah Memorial Park Today
  • Savannah Memorial Park is still in operation today under the care and ownership of the El Monte Cemetery Association which was incorporated in 1920 for the purpose of maintaining and improving Savannah Memorial Park.
  • Savannah Memorial Park encompasses an are of slightly over four acres in size and there are more than 3,700 documented burials.
  • The remains of many of the original pioneers of the area are protected here.
  • Savannah Memorial Park has always been available to all nationalities and ethnicities.