……Purissima Cemetery……..John Purcell’s Gift….

Purissima Cemetery

Info from Dutra Mortuary (Now called Dutra-Randleman), Half Moon Bay

“Four miles south of the town of Half Moon Bay lies the little, almost obscure, cemetery of Purissima. It is situated on a hill opposite a little country school-house. Although mostly covered by grass, it does not lose its charm. In fact it adds to it because it is typical of what it is–a pioneer cemetery. purisima1.jpg

“Up to the 1860s the deceased of Purissima had been buried in Half Moon Bay or other far away parts. But on September 15, 1868 John Purcell deeded a section of his territory to the residents of Purissima for a burial ground. He decided to deed it with three clauses added to the document. One was that the cemetery be kept in the hands of a Purissima Cemetery Association; that there be no fees charged, and that there be no changes. Number Two clause sets aside a section of land 150′ by 500′ in the North-East and for the erection of a Protestant Church. Number Three reserves land for a family plot.

“The first person buried there was a little boy named Downing. Unfortunately, this was tragic for he was not dead when buried, but only in a coma. A similar example of this coma occurred shortly after the boy was buried, when a man took sick and fell in a stupor. The Downing boy’s father, realizing the possibility of his son’s having been buried unconscious, opened the grave and found that his sound had turned over!

“Other early settlers of Purissima are buried here, too. These include the family names of Britt, Richer, Doble, Locke and the Denmarks.”lockebro.jpg

(Photo: L-R: The Locke Brothers, Josiah, David & Silas.)