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Communty Digest

Whittier : Council Orders Installation of Bronze Burial Monument

July 29, 1993

The City Council has decided to install a bronze monument listing the names of more than 2,000 early Whittier residents who are buried in unmarked graves at Founders Memorial Park.

However, the council rejected bids for the project and asked staff members to solicit less expensive construction plans.

Founders Memorial Park, located near downtown, was once the site of two cemeteries. Broadway Cemetery, begun in 1882, was located on Broadway Avenue east of Citrus Avenue. Most of the people buried there died before 1910. Mount Olive Cemetery opened in 1902, on Broadway west of Citrus Avenue. Most of the people interred there died between 1911 and 1930.

In 1953, the City Council prohibited new burials, then later revised the ban in 1955 to exempt spouses of those already in the graveyard.

Neglect prompted the city to declare the cemeteries public nuisances in 1959 and order crews to remove unstable tombstones. In 1967, the city began removing remaining tombstones and landscaping the burial grounds as a park, which was dedicated in 1968.

The city installed identifying nameplates in 1974, but vandals destroyed them.

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