Take a tour of Redlands’ cemetery with Redlands Area Historical Society – San Bernardino Sun

The Redlands Area Historical Society offers its 13th annual walking tour of Redlands’ Hillside Memorial Park Saturday. Oct. 22.

The tour begins at 4 p.m. at the cemetery’s Egyptian mausoleum and will end before sunset.

Tom Atchley, a former president of the Redlands Area Historical Society, will lead the tour, assisted by Ron Running, John Paul Beall and Kathleen Beall.

Fee for the tour is $10 for Historical Society members and $15 for nonmembers, payable at the beginning of the tour.

Atchley will talk about some of the people who were important in Redlands’ history as participants visit gravestones of those people.

The tour doesn’t cover a long distance, but there are many uneven surfaces and moderate hills in the cemetery.

Hillside Memorial Park had its beginnings in 1886 when Myron Crafts, friend and mentor of Redlands’ founders Edward G. Judson and Frank Brown, died. Judson and Brown had not envisioned a cemetery in their preliminary map of Redlands in 1881, according to a news release.

But Crafts’ death led to their purchase of 23.47 acres from the Southern Pacific Railroad Land Co.

Judson and Brown then donated the site to the Hillside Cemetery Association, which consisted of board members John W. Edwards, Edward G. Judson, Charles Putnam, A.L. Park, Karl C. Wells and James S. Edwards.

The first person buried in the new cemetery was Charles Gothier, a Civil War veteran and resident of what later became Smiley Heights, followed by Myron Crafts.

The city of Redlands took over management of the cemetery in 1918.

The cemetery’s 1928 Egyptian mausoleum is a reminder of Redlanders’ fascination with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt in the 1920s, according to the news release.

The Great Depression was good for the cemetery, according to the news release. In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration spent $25,000 for 35,000 cubic feet of stone walls, split-stone curbs and retaining walls, and in 1938 the WPA had 141 men building the retaining wall along Alessandro Road, spending about $56,000 on that wall.

A 1937 article in the Redlands Daily Facts listed 151 Civil War veterans, 36 Spanish-American War veterans and 69 World War I burials at Hillside Memorial Park.

Today, Hillside Memorial Park is one of the few city-managed cemeteries in California, according to the news release.

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