San Francisco History

Home of Peace (old) Cemetery

Dates of Existence: 1849 to 1860?
Location: corner of Green and Gough streets.
Number interred: 15 (1851)
Moved to: unknown
FUNERAL OF MR. BACH.—The funeral of Mr. Joseph Bach, who was burned in the fire of June 22d, took place yesterday afternoon, from the store of Messrs. Levy & Woolf, corner of Clay and Montgomery street. The remains of Mr. Bach which were found, consisted of a portion of the heart, the thorax, and the bones of the lower limbs, all burned and blackened by the fire. The remains were identified in a most singular manner. Mr. Bach, who had been for some time troubled with an affection of the spine had been in the habit of wearing a plaster, a portion of which was found attached to the spine. The misery that he must have endured can scarcely be imagined. The funeral was attended by a large number of Masons in regalia, and many of Mr. Bach's Jewish brethren. The procession numbered some three or four hundred, and moved out to the Jewish burial ground on the road to the Presidio, where the remains were deposited with the impressive ceremonies of the Masonic order, and the rites of the Jewish church. The burial ground of the Israelites is on a hill to the left of the Laguna, and already contains some twelve or fifteen graves.

Source: Daily Alta California, 30 June 1851.

"THE HEBREW CEMETERIES.—The first Hebrew burial place established in San Francisco was in the fall of 1849, at a small place near the Presidio road.  It was presented to the Israelites of San Francisco for this special purpose, and for a long time it not only served as a resting place of the dead of this city, but was also used by the Jews in other parts of California—the bodies having been sent hither from Sacramento, Stockton and Marysville.  The land was deeded to the Presidents of the Israelitish Societies of this city, and has been used for that purpose until the present day.

The enclosure was a little less than an acre in extent.  It was fenced in with wooden pickets and quite secluded from the world.  The locality though appropriate—being far removed from the profane trend of a busy city, and where the lonely character of the site was well adapted to its scared character, was nevertheless ill adapted for burial purposes, owing to the sandy nature of the soil, in the summer time especially, being exposed to the full sweep of the gales, the slight covering was not unfrequently blown away and the coffins exposed.  The frequent mournful trains wending their way to the "Home of Peace," as the descendants of Abraham beautifully denominate their burial places, at last so nearly filled up the little space that our Hebrew citizens saw the necessity of establishing other cemeteries.

Though something of a difference has existed for some time among those of the Jewish persuasion, this ground was the common property of all.  At present, the ground is full—only room for about twenty more graves exists.  The differences is religious opinions resulted in the establishment of separate societies—the Sherith Israel, embracing the Jews from Poland and the far North of Europe, preferring to retain their ancient formalities; while the remainder, keeping pace with the times, advocated the introduction of certain innovations.  It being found distasteful to one sect to have a common burial-ground each made arrangements to purchase one for themselves—the First Hebrew Benevolent Society acting with the Sherith Israel congregation, and the Eureka Benevolent Society with the others.  . . ."

Source: Daily Alta California, 27 July 1860. 

"The Cemeteries of San Francisco. . .EARLY JEWISH CEMETERY. In 1849, the Jews, who always have a separate burying place for all people of thier faith, established a cemetery near the line of Pacific street, several hundred yards beyond Larkin, and there they continued to bury their dead until with a couple of years."

Source: Daily Alta California, 22 July 1862.


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