|820 Pole Line Road at 8th St.|
|Open 24 Hours|
With graves dating back to 1855, the Davis Cemetery ranks among Davis' oldest institutions. In addition to its burial and rememberance functions, the cemetery hosts a wide variety of community events throughout the year and prides itself on being “an inviting space for remembrance, contemplation and healing” in the Davis community.
The cemetery gained some recent prominence for being among the first to offer a Green Burial option. Green burial eschews traditional coffins and embalming in favor of untreated wood containers that speed the process of reintegration into nature.
Gallery 1855: Located on the cemetery's premises, Gallery 1855 is a free exhibition only gallery which hosts a new art exhibit each month. Art work is largely photographic in nature and tends to feature professional work from both in and outside of the Davis community. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the gallery anytime during business hours, as odds are some of the helpful employees will be on hand to tell you a little bit more about the art. There is always a Meet the Artist/Open House from 1 PM - 4 PM on the 2nd Sunday of each month, making the cemetery a nice place to visit after a long brunch at Delta of Venus.
Information on upcoming exhibits can be found here
Botanical History: Over the last decade, the cemetery has worked extensively on its grounds keeping, reintroducing native species of plants and reducing pesticide usage. The end result is an impressive array of local plants and flowers with rotating blooms ten months of the year. The cemetery employs a method of benign neglect in the historical section of the graveyard, allowing a slight overgrowth of plants that highlight the age and natural beauty of the premises. Combined with a series of nicely appointed benches and walkways, the Davis Cemetery makes for an excellent public space for contemplation and meditation. The premises are also open 24 hours a day (though unlit).
History: The area was bought by Joseph B. Chiles in 1850, and the grounds were probably used as a cemetery shortly after this purchase. The oldest gravestone still standing in the cemetery dates to 1855. Historical sources note that there used to be a number of wooden grave markers, but they have all been lost to grass fires and vandals. Some of the earliest burials were pioneers and Chinese settlers; due to the lost markers many of them now reside in unmarked graves. The eastern three acres of the current cemetery (closest to the E. 8th St./Pole Line corner) were officially donated to the Catholic Church in the late 1800s by Bridget Dee, the widow of Isaac Skinner Chiles. As such, they remained the sole property of the Catholic Diocese until 1958, at which point the three acres were handed over to the Davis Cemetery District.
There is a marker honoring veterans by the flagpole in front of the office building and a labyrinth cut into the grass on the north side of the office building. A second grass labyrinth is located south of the new Veteran Memorial Fountain area on the grassy slope. Both labyrinths have benches in their centers for extended contemplation and are open to the public. The veteran Memorial Fountain and the Memorial Plaza are used for Memorial Day and Veteran's Day gatherings, as well as for various other public and private functions.
The eastern part of the cemetery where there are no graves used to be a popular dog park. However, due to usage conflicts between dog owners and both cemetery visitors and neighboring residents, the contract between the city and the cemetery was not renewed. (The city has a new dog park on Second St. under the Pole Line overpass.) Visitors are encouraged to walk through this area, which has been extensively restored with native plants and meadow flowers; binoculars and/or cameras can be useful for viewing over 56 species of birds on the property, not to mention rabbits and other small creatures.
The cemetery has discouraged drive-through traffic by erecting a gate at the Pole Line Road entrance. Gates are normally open during office hours and for weekend events, but closed evenings and most weekends. There is a pedestrian entrance next to the large gate which is always accessible to bicycles and foot traffic, and the side entrance off East 8th Street is open 24-7.
May 17th 1-4:00 pm Celebration of Life Music Festival and Dedication Ceremony for New Arboretum
Davis Cemetery and Arboretum invites you to join us for our sixth annual Celebration of Life Art Festival and dedication ceremony for the opening of the historic hill and the arboretum on May 17, 2015 from 1-4:00pm with a special viewing of the gallery from 12-1:00pm. This will be a fun, family friendly event that will celebrate the arts, culture and history of our community. One of California’s historic cemeteries, in existence for 160 years (since 1855), the day will celebrate our new arboretum and expansion of services in our historic hill section. The arboretum is a welcome addition to our beautiful grounds that already includes a natural swale and walking labyrinths. The arboretum features a collection of over 150 species of native and California adapted plants uniquely suited for Yolo County’s climate, soil and water. It will serve the community over many years as an educational resource and a place of peaceful contemplation. The opening of the historic hill for services is one of the many ways we are meeting the needs of our community.
This year's festival will feature musical performances and poetry from a diverse group of celebrated entertainers The afternoon will include an enthusiastic performance by the Bakuhatsu Taiko drummers, the wit and prose of Davis' own poet laureate, Dr. Andy Jones, the a cappella group the Free Range Singers and ending the day will be a riveting and lively performance from the celebrated jazz sextet the West End Stompers (Justin Au on trumpet, Otis Mourning on reeds, Brandon Au on trombone, Devan Kortan on banjo/guitar, Zack Sapunor on bass, Tim Metz on drums). Mayor Dan Wolk will be on hand to speak at the dedication ceremony.
Gallery 1855 located on the cemetery grounds will hold its annual Celebration of Life group exhibition in concurrence with the festival. This group exhibition features work in a variety of mediums by over 30 local artists. The exhibition will run from May 1, 2015-May 31, 2015.
We encourage friends to bring their blankets and chairs and enjoy a beautiful day at the newest arboretum in California. The Ajicito Food Truck will be selling authentic Peruvian Food on site throughout the day.
More information at www.daviscemetery.org
May 25th, 2015 10:00 am Memorial Day
Join us for our annual Memorial Day Ceremony.