District History

NORTH COUNTY CEMETERY DISTRICT

On July 1, 1984 the Escondido Cemetery District and the San Marcos Cemetery District were consolidated to form the North County Cemetery District. This was accomplished in order to combine the resources of the two districts, to provide a higher level of service and to standardize the policy and prices for the residents and taxpayers of the District.

The District is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors from the electors residing within the District. The Trustees meet at 6:30 P.M. on the third Monday of each month.


OAK HILL MEMORIAL PARK

Located at the eastern end of the "Hidden Valley" is Oak Hill Memorial Park. This is the present day outgrowth of a community burial spot established by the early settlers of the Escondido area in the 1800's. The first recorded burial is that of Lena Abbie Hayes (age 1 year, 8 months) on November 16, 1878. On November 13, 1889 the Oak Hill Cemetery Association was incorporated and the Escondido Land & Town Company deeded 34 acres of un-surveyed land along the southeast border of Rincon Del Diablo to this association for use as a burial ground. The Catholic and Mennonite churches, the Masonic orders, the Grand Army of the Republic and the Odd Fellows all held title to their own sections of the cemetery and each organization plus the Oak Hill Cemetery Association sold lots, issued deeds for lots and cared for them. The original Catholic section was on the North Slope and is marked with a number of imported Italian marble statues. The Masonic area was to the right just inside the entrance gate and at one time was marked with a Masonic-five pointed star of concrete. Veterans of the Civil War are buried in the southeast section.

On May 9, 1930 a public district cemetery, known as the Escondido Cemetery District, was formed as a tax-supported body to maintain Oak Hill Memorial Park as a non-denominational cemetery for the use of residents and taxpayers of the District and certain members of their families.

The cemetery has approximately 42 acres of developed land and 70 acres undeveloped for future use. The cemetery provides internment rights for single interments, dual (Companion) interments, and cremated remains interments. Cremated remains can be interred in the ground, the Niche Wall or a repository (underground vault). There are now over 22,300 interments in the cemetery.


SAN MARCOS CEMETERY

The San Marcos Cemetery lies on Mulberry Drive just north of Mission Avenue. The cemetery was created in 1894 when a pioneering family named Littlefield needed a place to bury its matriarch, Nellie Littlefield. She died February 23, 1894 when the isolated town of San Marcos did not have an official cemetery. The Littlefield's got together with some of the other area families and formed the San Marcos Cemetery Association. The Association members maintained their own areas of responsibility within the seven-acre cemetery. During the Depression (April 28, 1930) when workers throughout the nation were looking for employment through federal programs, the cemetery association became a Public Cemetery District. This made it eligible for road improvements through a public works program. The cemetery's roads were improved and gutters installed by the public workers. They graded the land and landscaped the cemetery by planting trees and shrubs. Water was piped in from the nearby Vista Water District flume. Today, the San Marcos Cemetery covers 22 acres, three times its original size. Only 10 acres are currently developed.

Although most of the burial sites in the original section have been purchased, over 2,500 companion vaults have been placed in the ground for future use. The Cemetery provides interment rights for single interments, dual (Companion) interments, and cremated remains interments. Cremated remains can be interred in the ground or in a Niche Wall. There are now over 4,100 interments in the cemetery.