Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ghirardelli at Mt. View Cemetery

Domingo Ghirardelli, the famed chocolatier, came to San Francisco during the Gold Rush years and made his fortune not from panning for gold, but by provisioning miners with cocoa and fruit brought from South America.  Years after his success he built this mausoleum in Mt. View Cemetery.  Angered that a priest did not give his granddaughter last rites, he and his sons stole into St. Mary's Cemetery next door and moved the bodies of family members to the mausoleum.  His final snub of the Church was to put a masonic symbol on the entry.  It is placed between the two wreaths on the lintel.  Read the delightful website Lives of the Dead by Michael Colbruno for a fuller biography of Ghirardelli.

Linking to Taphophile Tragics.

12 comments:

  1. What a fabulous story. Impressive monument.

    Beneath Thy Feet

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  2. As fascinated as I am with history, I never really "understood" mausoleums...

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  3. Very interesting story! But I believe you mean "next door," not "next store."

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    1. They probably mean "South America" in this usage rather than "South American" as well.

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  4. A great addition to the meme. One of the stops normally mentioned on the general tours they give at Mountain View Cemetery, in part because it's such a great story.

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  5. I knew I had read this story before, especially with the stealing of the body in the depth of the night! Actually, I think Gene posted it on his blog very early on in the life of Taphophile Tragics. Not that it does not deserve a second outing. It is a great yarn. And a great mausoleum. I suspect many people have larger egos than I have.

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  6. stories like this are always fascinating to read.

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  7. how interesting!
    i actually dont like the ghirardelli chocolate.. :)

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  8. What a really fun story to read! I love the idea of grave robbing for spite - as if the people doing the deed didn't suffer more than the people they were trying to get back at!

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  9. Beautiful structure and funny story.

    Darryl and Ruth :)

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