- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel Evergreen Memorial Park & Crematory
Los Angeles's oldest cemetery allows visitors to trace the history of this proud city.
In addition, Los Angeles’ ethnic roots can be traced here: Evergreen is one of the city’s only cemeteries never to have banned African-Americans from being buried there. There’s also a huge area dedicated to Chinese-Americans, dating back to California’s gold rush when Chinese immigrants came to the region in large numbers.
A few other interesting, historical, and downright weird facts about the park:
There’s a beautiful monument located in the center of the park honoring the soliders of Japanese descent who fought for the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Unit in WWII. The monument was dedicated in 1949, but in 2010 President Obama honored this unit by bestowing upon them the Congressional Medal of Honor.
There are several graves that date back to the 1830s scattered throughout the park. When the cemetery was established in 1877, some families moved the bodies of their loved ones from their backyards and had them reburied here.
Over 300,000 persons are buried here and of that number, over 400 are departed carnival workers or “carnies.” In 1922, the Pacific Coast Showman’s Association was established to assist carnival workers, including finding burial spots for them. Among the carnies buried in Evergreen are Emily Bailey, known as the 300-pound fat lady, and Hugo Zacchini, the first human cannonball.