The Complete History of the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery 18?? – Present

Although the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery’s original name, founding, or first burial are currently unknown, it is the oldest known cemetery in the County and considered to be one of the oldest in California. The history of the Cemetery and its Potter’s Field is both convoluted and partially unknown. Its eight plus acres can be found […]

Aaron Rice

Written on a broken weathered headstone was the name Aaron Rice “The Faithful” Died 1906, Age 87 Yrs. It was located in Potter’s Field within Martinez’s Alhambra Cemetery, (where they buried the unclaimed, strangers, impoverished, criminals, and in this case nonwhite). When we first discovered Aaron’s broken headstone, we had no idea who he was let alone his ties to slavery and the historical events of the latter 1800s.

Alhambra Cemetery Photo Project

The Martinez Cemetery Preservation Alliance (MCPA) is looking for any pictures (preferably prior to 2000) to aid in their restoration efforts of the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery. As they acquire photographic evidence, they will take a current picture from the same view point for comparison.

Chinese Funerary Burner

Chinese had arrived in California with the onset of the Gold Rush. From almost the beginning of that immigration they were in Martinez. Many more came to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Many of the leading families of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties had Chinese cooks, house servants, and field workers. The Strentzels and the Muirs […]

Water Reservoir 1876 – Present

Written by Judie & Joseph Palmer One of the rough gems of the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery is the cement remnants of what once was a very large water container.  It has been popularly mislabeled a horse trough built to also defend against fires.  However, it was actually a water reservoir whose main function was to […]

Obed Fosdick Alley

Obed Fosdick Alley was born on June 4, 1824 in Massachusetts. He married Phebe Ray Bunker (1928) on July 18, 1950 in Nantucket, MA where he was a mariner in water transportation. Obed came to California from Nantucket in 1850. After working in the gold fields and spending some months in Martinez he sent for […]

Looking For Someone?

If you are searching for the burial site of an individual buried in either the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery or the Saint Catherine of Siena Cemetery of Martinez, the Martinez Historical Society might be able to assist you. The Martinez Museum archive includes information about many Martinez families including burial records.

Beverly R. Holliday

Beverly Richford Holliday was born on December 22, 1823 in Warren County, Kentucky. Holliday came to California to look for gold. Not finding enough to live on, he became a logger working in the nearby Redwood Groves of Oakland and Moraga. By January of 1850, he was ready to return to teaching. According to the […]

Hardy McClellan

Hardy McClellan was born 1815 into slavery in Virginia. In the 1870 US Census, Hardy (age 50) is listed in the David McClellan household as a farm laborer (received pay) and has a personal estate of $1,000. He is listed as a farmer in Walnut Creek when he voted for the first time in 1871, […]

Potter’s Field

The Alhambra Cemetery’s Potter’s Field is immediately west of the cemetery. It consists of three acres that was operated by Contra Costa County until the City of Martinez took over the operation in 1992. It was originally established in 1873, but records show others had previously been buried there before it was a potter’s field. […]