Thursday, August 9, 2007
(Old) St Peter’s Episcopal Church and Harbor View Cemetery
Harbor View Memorial Park, Grand Avenue and 24th Street, San Pedro – map
The site’s declaration marker states Historic-Cultural Monument No. 53 is “San Pedro’s Oldest Church and First Cemetery”. That would be St Peter’s Episcopal Church (1884) and Harbor View Cemetery, previously known as San Pedro Cemetery (1883).
This is the third site for the St Peter’s building. The first was on Beacon Street, between 2nd and 3rd, and the second was at 10th and Mesa Streets, having been relocated in 1904. In 1956, the building was deconsecrated and moved to its current home. Most recently the Carpenter Gothic structure was used for concerts. I write “most recently”, but it must’ve been many, many moons ago. (However, McGrew and Julian said in 1994, in Landmarks of Los Angeles, that it was available at that time for public use.) The new St Peter’s Episcopal Church building is now on 9th Street.
The San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce reports the “church features hand-hewed pews and an alter [sic]. Its lectern is upheld by an intricately-carved wooden angel. All are of redwood.”
The building’s in somewhat sad shape, the victim of the elements and vandals. (The Sunday afternoon I was there, a pack of teenagers was stretched out, sucking on some beers, in front of the church. Now, I’m all for teens drinking in graveyards, but, in my day, we at least waited until nightfall. I mean they waited until nightfall. Heh.)
So looking at this big patch of destruction below, you can see where a couple dozen shingles have been ripped away, exposing those base slats of wood.
As for the cemetery itself, it was spread out on land deeded by A.W. Timms, whose obelisk monument takes center circle in the graveyard. To read whose remains remain here, see this site for the meticulous marker research done by the South Bay Cities Genealogical Society. While at the cemetery, I noted more than a few early 20th century children’s graves, along with the resting places of a couple of Freemasons and members of the OES, which my research shows stands for either Order of the Eastern Star or Old English Sheepdog.
This mausoleum at the cemetery’s entrance bears the name “Rudecinda”. That’s Rudecinda Sepulveda, whose corpse is inside keeping company with an unknown number of other Sepulvedas. The good folks at the San Pedro Bay Historical Society let me know they’re awaiting confirmation from the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks as to who else exactly lies in Sepulveda’s tomb. Rudecinda was the granddaughter of Delores Sepulveda, original owner of the Palos Verdes Rancho. (See a Myron Chester Nutting painting of Rudecinda half-way down this page.) She married James Dodson in the 1880s. HCM No. 147, The Dodson House, now on West 13th Street, was built for the newlyweds by her parents. Rudecinda Sepulveda Dodson Middle School bears her name today.
Below: Carrie May Barton, who died the day after Christmas, 1888.
Below: The resting place of Mr Recreation, “Big George”.
Poor Tina Clooten (OES) passed more than half a century ago, but good ol’ Pat is still going strong at 126.
I can’t even comment on the irony of vandals destroying the memorial to the family of Love.
In conclusion, an appropriate road sign for a cemetery entrance.
Up next: Old Sixth Street Wooden Bridge