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A Profound Walk Through History This Memorial Day at Mountain View Cemetery

Published on May 29, 2022

Sprawling over 60 acres, the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena is offering a walking history lesson on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, when the entire family can walk among fallen American war heroes, pay their respects, and learn about America’s past.

Denny Dormody, Funeral Director of Mountain View Mortuary and Cemetery, said roving storytellers will be joining the hike to tell the stories of the celebrities and personalities as they come upon their graves. Local members of the Daughters of the Civil War will share their family stories on-site as well.

Over 700 Union and 70 Confederate Civil War graves are located at Mountain View Cemetery, making the tour on Memorial Day truly a walking history lesson. Graves also include those of many veterans of the world wars, as well as the Spanish-American War in 1898.

“We have so many markers here with veterans,” Dormody said last year on Memorial Day. “We have our box of flags ready to go for people that want to stop by and grab a flag and pay their respects over the weekend.”

Nestled below the San Gabriel Mountains, the cemetery is the final resting place for some of the very people who helped shape America, such as Caltech physicist Richard Feynman, who won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics; Charles F. Richter, who invented the Richter Scale for measuring the intensity of earthquakes; sci-fi writer Octavia Butler, Black activist author Eldridge Cleaver, and George Reeves, the 1950’s TV Superman.

The remains of Pasadena’s pioneer families, California statesmen, and other historically significant personalities also lie around Heritage Circle within the Cemetery, where you will find the graves of former Governor of California Henry H. Markham and his wife, the Hollingsworth monument, and the Giddings family monument.

Online, anyone can browse through the list of prominent personalities who are buried at Mountain View, on the Cemetery’s website, or you can see a link to an online archive of all the Civil War veterans who have come to Pasadena and were laid to rest there. These resources will definitely be useful when you’re planning your hike on Memorial Day.

The grounds of Mountain View Cemetery are also open all year-round if you’d like to visit on your own.

For more information, visit or call (626) 794-7133.

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