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Graveyard Rabbit of South Alameda County by Cheryl Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oak Knoll Cemetery - Part 10 - The Secret

William Mendenhall was Gregg’s great-great-great-grandfather. Descending downward, there is an Asa V. Mendenhall, whose son was Gregg’s grandfather. One day, Gregg (who shared this story with me), his mother and grandmother attempted to visit the family grave sites at Roselawn Cemetery. The three drove several miles to get to the cemetery, not one of them lived in Livermore. So very disappointed were they to find the cemetery gates were locked. The grandmother, I am sure was reminiscing a bit while sitting in the car. She stated that when Asa passed away, they was very poor. The family did not have the money to bury him properly in the cemetery, and had to take care of things themselves. One night, in the middle of the night when no one would be able to see them, she and her husband, Asa’s son, went to the cemetery and buried Asa’s urn outside the cemetery fence!

So, somewhere outside the cemetery, a Mendenhall is buried. When Gregg first came to the cemetery and we met, he had stated to me that he wasn’t doing so well. The reason was because there has been a lot of construction done on two sides of the cemetery, which surprised and disappointed him. One day he hoped to try to find Asa’s urn. His mind told him that the two areas where there had been construction, was where Asa would have been buried. Although I hadn’t been in the car when this story was told, I felt that Asa might have been buried in a different area. If I were his family burying him, I would want to bury him as close as possible to the rest of the family, which would be one of the other two sides of the cemetery. One of those sides would be the main road, so someone could have seen the family digging around. The other side though was off the main road and closest to the family plot, and it has basically been untouched. What were the parameters of the cemetery when Asa was buried? Could they have changed?

Gregg is looking for permission to poke around a bit to see if Asa’s urn can be found. This is one of the main reasons for bringing this story forward. Can you imagine, a Mendenhall being secretly buried outside the cemetery in Livermore? The three of us had discussion on how to proceed, and Jeff was going to look into a few things.

Gregg and I spent the majority of the day together. Jeff invited us to an opening of the old historical garage which we attended and was quite fascinating. From there, I was able to show Gregg Mendenhall Middle School. We drove to the grounds of the Oak Knoll Cemetery and walked the area together. We had lunch. We talked and talked and talked. I have learned so much, and hope this fascinating story doesn’t end here.

I did my job, kept the secrets I was suppose to keep and introduced Gregg and Jeff. From here on out whatever procedures there are will be between Gregg and Jeff. I do hope I am kept in the loop with updates however!


dustbunny8 said...

I have been told that in "the old day's", it was not uncommon to bury family undercover of darkness when a funeral could not be afforded.Harder with a body than a urn!I know of two cases of burial of ashes in a cemetery myself.One was in a rural cemetery were it would be easy.The other one,I'm not sure how they did it,did not ask for the details,but I'm sure auntie got it done!
I wonder if that ground imaging radar would work for something like a urn?Hope he keeps you informed-and us!Thanks for sharing a very interesting story.

Deez said...

Awesome...It makes me want to go poking around with a metal detector. I like the stories of secret burials. It makes me want to do a post I've been sitting on for a while. It's pretty cool that you were personally involved with all this. I'd sure like the story to continue with them finding Asa's urn...

Cheryl Palmer said...

Hi dustbunny8, so sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. It is funny because the ground imaging radar is exactly what my friend would like to see done one day. I am sure it is expensive right now though.

Hi Deez, I understand totally about wanting to go and poke around, trust me, I want to also! I need to try to make contact with my friend soon. I feel bad as I have been so busy that this blog has been on hold and I am not sure if anything new has devloped. I will go check my email.

I thank you both for leaving a message!