Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rose Hill Cemetery in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The Rose Hill Cemetery, here seen from Manhattan Canyon Trail, is a historic cemetery in the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. The preserve does not feature any ghost towns. The houses of the coal miner families are gone, and so are the stores, saloons as well as church and school buildings. But their ghosts are still around. You might at least get that feeling while visiting Rose Hill Cemetery. This 19th century cemetery at the south side of Rose Hill, midway between the Nortonville and Somersville townsites, is monument and reminder of the shortness of our lives and material creations. This area is under 24 hour video surveillance by the East Bay Regional Park District. Not to watch out for ghosts, but to protect the remains from vandalism, by which unfortunately most parts of the cemetery were destroyed before the Park District assumed responsibility for the property in 1974. We were getting informed that a project is now in progress to restore this place, search for missing gravestones and getting more information on people who were placed for peace at this Protestant burial ground. The former residents, which are buried here, did typically not die in old age. Women died in childbirth. Children died of infectious diseases. Men died in mining disasters, as miners still do today. The ghosts follow us along the trail through life.

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