Today I would like to honor a hero. I'm not sure if he was successful in saving the lives of 5 drowning people. But dying in the attempt I think qualifies him as a hero in my book. The incscription reads:
Manuel Jose Trugueiro
"A native of Flores of the western Islands"
Died February 1, 1871
In the Christian and heroic attempt to save 5 drowning men.
I call that a hero in my book. This picture was taken at Hillcrest Cemetery in Mendocino, CA. I was there doing some work and low and behold a cemetery right next door. I couldn't pass it up. So here are my observations on the cemetery itself. First of all I couldn't find any information about the cemetery itself on the internet so everything that I'm going to write about it today is pure observation. What would you expect from a town with only 1000 residents?
I was in the area to inspect an upcoming job for my company at one of the MacCallum house properties called Reed Manor and like I said this cemetery was located right next door. It seemed to be in a weird spot for a cemetery especially being located right next to a bed and breakfast. The sign listed a Chinese section and I don't recall seeing any Chinese buried there. However this cemetery seemed to have a mostly hispanic population. Zenith Hill does exist however. It is a small section of land next to Reed Manor which was donated by Jean MacCallum in memory of the veterans of the Mendocino Coast.
Pictured here you see the grave marker of William and Eliza Kelley. William and his brother James set out for California from Prince Edward Island in search of gold in 1850. On their way they stopped in Panama and set up a store on the Chagres River. James subsequently died in Panama of Cholera while William continued on to California where he found work as a ship builder in the city of Benecia. In 1852 he boarded a ship and set sail for the Mendocino coast. In 1855 he traveled back to his home in Prince Edward Island where he married and returned with his wife Eliza. Eliza became a prominent member of the Mendocino community and aside from raising their 4 children she spent a lot of her time working with the Mendocino Baptist Church which was built by her husband William who is also credited as one of the founding fathers of the city of Mendocino. In 1972 the Kelley House was turned into a museum where it still stands today. The house was built in 1861 and has since been host to a number of silent and feature films. So overall I can't say to make a special trip to Mendocino to visit this cemetery but I can say that Mendocino is a beautiful getaway right on the ocean with a fair amount of history for such a small town.
*Correction - For those of you that read I went to Hill House Inn my address was incorrect. My address information was incorrect when I looked it up and it was actually Reed Manor that I visited. This property was purchased by MacCallum Properties in 2004. Thank you Charles for pointing out my error.