Russian Hill Cemetery
Dates of Existence: 1848 to 1853
Location: between Taylor and Jones streets, and north of Vallejo
street (northern slope)
Number interred: 30 to 40
Moved to: probably Yerba Buena Cemetery
"PIONEER CEMETERIES. — Prior to the
discovery of gold in California, in 1848, a Russian man-of-war put into
the harbor of San Francisco, and whilst here a number of her men died.
The bodies were buried on what has been since that period known as Russian
Hill. The graves, some dozen or more, have, we believe, never been disturbed.
Source: Daily Alta California, 25 June 1861.
"The Cemeteries of San Francisco. . .RUSSIAN
GRAVE-YARD. A Russian war-ship came into the harbor once, and while
here, a large number of her men died, and, as they belonged to the Greek
Church, they could not be buried with either Catholics or Protestants,
and they had a grave-yard of their own. It was upon the hill which is now
called Russian Hill, because of the Russian graves and the Russian cross
there. The cross was still standing in '49, or '50. There may have been
thirty or forty graves in the Russian Cemetery."
Source: Daily Alta California, 22 July 1862.
"THE CITY’S DEAD. . .Another spot, selected at
as early a date as 1842, was the eminence between Taylor and Jones streets,
and north of Vallejo street. Here were buried several of the crew of a
Russian vessel, stricken with some malarian disease, which occupation of
the hill by them resulted in the name of Russian hill being applied to
the spot. Not many additional burials were made there, however, as it as
considered too inaccessible for funeral corteges, and in 1850 it was abandoned
and the remains of those placed there were afterwards removed to other
localities. . ."
Source: San Francisco Daily Evening Post. 16 November
"The First Two Official Hangings in San Francisco. . . .The
first hanging authorized by law in San Francisco took place December 10,
1852. . . .The execution took place on Russian Hill, much to the indignation
of the cemetery wherein, among others, rested the bones of Don Vicente
Nunez. It was the oldest burying-place for the city. . . ."
Source: San Francisco Daily Examiner. 2 October 1887.
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