Mountain View Cemetery’s big knocker: old and in the way

Mountain View Cemetery is at work on its high ground, constructing space for another thousand or so graves. In the process they’ve destroyed a superb outcrop of Franciscan high-grade chert.

I started visiting this outcrop in 2007, when it was largely hidden behind a bunch of acacia trees, and featured it here in 2008. A few years later, as the cemetery was constructing its Golden Lotus Mountain section, they cleaned up the hillside which allowed me to get some nice sunset shots of the scene on 11 April 2011. Below are some more photos from that memorable day.

The outcrop was unkempt, I’ll grant you that. But it had funky charm, and it exposed both red and green chert together.

One day in 2016 I found it had been vandalized. Gentle readers, I spared you that. And in April 2017 the crime scene remained uncleansed.

Last October the big machines were hard at work above Golden Lotus Mountain. The outcrop was still there, naked at last.

I thought it would add interest as a backdrop. Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Mountain View Cemetery, would’ve had clear opinions on the matter, I thought, like his peers in the “rural” cemetery movement.

But so do the bookkeepers of large cemeteries, and as of last month they’d had their way: removal of underburden and emplacement of overburden, six feet deep, “to maximize the efficient use of acreage for the interment of human remains and related services.”

The landscape must be put to work, and no mercy for a bunch of rocks. The cemetery is still a fine place, the new section will be scenic, and wild lands around the periphery, complete with Franciscan outcrops, remain.

3 Responses to “Mountain View Cemetery’s big knocker: old and in the way”

  1. Nancy Caton Says:

    When I was driving by the work, it was so extensive, that I thought they had sold a piece of the cemetery to a developer.

  2. Diana Boegel Says:

    I grew up in Oakland and as far back as the 1950’s I remember being fascinated by the beauty of the land that is Mt. View and the nearby quarry. It’s sad that something like an outcrop is regarded as being in the way. With massive urban growth taking place few natural places are left to explore within a city.

  3. Janet Bauder Thornburg Says:

    I’m sad to learn of the loss of the Franciscan chert knocker in Mountain View Cemetery. As you noted, Frederick Law Olmsted would have artfully incorporated the outcrop into the landscape design.

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: