Deal preserves Marquez family cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon

marquez-cemetery-ucla-today.jpgIn the 1840s, early settler Francisco Marquez established a cemetery a little ways from his adobe at Rancho Boca de Santa Monica. The cemetery's presence was often overlooked as homes filled in around the plot just up from the beach in Santa Monica Canyon. Ernest Marquez, who's a fellow author at Angel City Press, has been working to hold on to access to the cemetery, which through the years has been surrounded by homes and yards. Now the Marquez family, a couple that owns the land between the cemetery and San Lorenzo Street, and the canyon's nonprofit La Señora Research Institute have agreed to preserve access to what's called the Pascual Marquez Family Cemetery. From the LAT:

La Señora has agreed to raise funds to remove the fence that now edges the front of the parcel and replace it with an iron fence that will allow passers-by to see what will be known as San Lorenzo Garden. The institute will landscape the long-neglected property and be allowed to hold six events there a year....

The cemetery contains the remains of Pascual, his youngest son, and perhaps 30 other family members, friends and American Indian servants — including a dozen or so guests who died of botulism after eating home-canned peaches at a New Year's Eve gathering in 1909.

Pascual Marquez, who died in 1916, was the last to be buried in the cemetery.

Ernest Marquez's latest history book is Noir Afloat, called "the very true story of the renowned gambling ships that anchored in Santa Monica Bay in the 1920s and 1930s."

Shauna K. Mecartea / UCLA Today

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