A Walk Through the Past : San Jose’s Oak Hill Memorial Park (Patricia Loomis, 1998)


From the Preface: In 1994 the Argonauts Historical Society of San Jose published a booklet on some of the early settlers of Santa Clara County who came overland in the 1800s and are buried in Oak Hill Memorial Park. They were chosen as representative of many whose lives have made them a well-known part of the history of this community. This book is an expansion of the original publication, and includes more recent notable citizens of Santa Clara County whose final resting place is Oak Hill Memorial Park.

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From the inside cover: Cemeteries, often thought of as peaceful places where we say our farewells to family and friends, serve an equally important purpose as places of historical and memorial preservation. As one reads through the pages of this book, the realization of the historical significance becomes clear. As California’s oldest secular cemetery, Oak Hill is a doorway to the city’s past and all of those who contributed to making San Jose what it is today. We recognize many of their names on street signs, places of business, parks and buildings that are seen everyday. It is interesting to reflect on the fact that the city has changed so much in the 150 plus years of Oak Hill’s history. However, the cemetery remains in many ways the way it was. Oak Hill takes its name from the great oaks which once covered the Santa Clara Valley. Along with the beautiful gardens and statuary from Europe, the park is a place where memories and history live forever.

About the Author
Pat Loomis was a graduate of San Jose State University with a degree in journalism, and joined the staff of the San Jose News in 1943. During the last ten years of her career, she wrote a weekly column titled Signposts, the stories behind the names of more than 500 streets and roads throughout central California. After retiring in 1983, she authored books on area history, including a history of Milpitas, and the story of the San Jose International Airport.