When I first began my cemetery adventures I did a search of all the cemeteries in my area and decided to pick them off one by one little by little. I was immediately intrigued with Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA because I found that it had 3 families buried in pyramid type mausoleums. Well 2 of them are actual pyramids and one just sort of rests on top of the mausoleum itself.
William McKendree Gwin (October 9, 1805 – September 3, 1885)
Gwin was a doctor and one of California's first U.S. Senators. He moved to California in 1849 where he bought some land in Paloma, CA. Once there he established a gold mine which yielded millions of dollars. Gwin was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate serving from September 9, 1850, to March 3, 1855. I found a story that says Gwin had a duel with a Congressman named Joseph McCorkle over his mismanagement of federal patronage. Apparently neither was a good shot because although they both fired, only a donkey some distance away was shot dead.
Christian Otto Gerberding Miller (1865-1952) aka C.O.G. Miller
Originally built for his wife Einnim who died at the age of just 30 it now contains the remains of C.O.G Miller, his wife Einnim, his mother and father and a few other relatives. Einnim and C.O.G. were married for seven years and she bore him two daughters. A short two years later he married Janet McAlpine Watt who bore him two sons. Miller made his fortune in the Pacific Lighting Corporation which was cofounded by Walter B. Cline.
Sadly I can find no information on who is exactly buried here nor did I get a good picture of the top which actually has the pyramid. I even went as far as to call the cemetery to see if they could provide me information but since everything is stored in books and not on computer I'll have to make a trip down there soon to see what I can dig up. I did however get a picture of the angel which stands guard at the door. Maybe somebody reading this knows some more about the person or people buried within and can provide me a clue to go on. If you would like to see a better picture you can do so by clicking here.
As I seem to be uncovering more and more interesting things about these people in pyramids, I will be doing a more in depth biography in the near future. I can only speculate as to why they chose to be buried in pyramids. When I see them I immediately think Freemasons. But who knows? I could be way off. The Gwin pyramid is magnificent. I estimate it to be about 25 feet high by about 25 feet wide. Maybe more though, I didn't have a tape measure with me at the time. Each pyramid has 13 tiers which could represent any number of things. I think I could go on all day with speculation. Hopefully I can finds some actual facts pretty soon.