One year when I was around 7 years old my grandparents came to stay with us while my parents were away on vacation. My grandmother had stories about our family that had settled in the Sonoma County region and she was determined to find their grave sites. We trekked around in five or six cemeteries in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, and Sebastopol looking for ancestors that had been buried decades before. To be honest, I can’t remember if we even found any but it was a fun day travelling around with my grandparents and sharing those moments.
Fast forward to my adult life, I have a sort of intrigue around cemeteries. Especially, pioneer cemeteries. I was always fascinated with history and hearing stories of the original settlers to the west. I played hours and hours of Oregon Trail, did a ton of reading on pioneers, and probably at some point wished I was one. Upon moving to Calistoga, I would drive by Pioneer Cemetery and wonder what historical people might be buried there. It always looked interesting perched on the hill there as you make your way into town. Always on the lookout to enjoy and share the enjoyment of the different parks and open space around town, I thought a cemetery walk could be interesting given the history that is rooted in the area. With it being close to Valentine’s Day, I decided what better way than to spend it taking a walk and hearing about the “Great Love Stories of Calistoga”.
With the help of the Sharpsteen Museum and Kathy Bazzoli, I was able to gather three unique stories to tell on the walk. So please join Calistoga Recreation Services on a midmorning walk at Pioneer Cemetery on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. We are asking that you RSVP by Monday, Feb. 12 at 707.942.2838. There will be some parking available, but if you can carpool or take the shuttle that is encouraged!