What would you do if you found a tombstone in your back yard?
An El Monte man was faced with that question recently after he bought a home and started clearing out the yard. He snapped a picture of the white rock grave marker and sent it to county officials.
It turns out, the marker belonged to the father of founder of the city of Livermore. How it made its way to Southern California, almost 140 years later and 350 miles away, is a mystery.
Here's a bit of the email Morales sent to staff to share the news of the interesting find:
Mr. Mendenhall was the first person buried at Oak Knoll Cemetery and also the father of the founder of the City of Livermore (near San Francisco). However after the 1906 SF earthquake the cemetery was left in ruins. So, somehow, this tombstone made it all the way to El Monte, hidden behind a shed.
I contacted the City of Livermore and the Livermore Heritage Guild and they confirmed that indeed the tombstone was that of Mr. William Mendenhall who died January 12, 1873, father of their City's founder. The guild committed to paying for all the fees associated with the transportation and legal matters associated with the transfer. They are excited to have this back. The property owner is relieved that there's no body underneath it and that they will have a nice tax deduction.
It's the latest example of how the tech age is bringing history to our fingertips.