The Lost and Long-Gone Graveyards of Los Angeles - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

The Lost and Long-Gone Graveyards of Los Angeles

Join writer and Field Agent Hadley Meares as we tour the sites of L.A.'s forgotten burial grounds.

Learn about life, death, demographics, and geographical expansion in early Los Angeles as we explore the history of the city's earliest efforts to dispose of the dead.

Los Angeles in the 19th century was a Wild West town filled with illness, violence, and mystery. From the start, the governing bodies, be they church or city officials, were never able to keep up with the city's population—neither living nor dead. During this 2.5-mile walking tour of Downtown L.A., we'll map the pueblo's earliest days by visiting the former sites of the city's first graveyards, including the Catholic Cemetery, Fort Moore Hill Cemetery, and the City Cemetery.

We will discuss burial practices, explore the stories of those interred therein, and learn about the vital role these areas played as city parks. We will also speak about the downslide of the cemeteries and their transition from a source of public pride to a form of public nuisance—including the city's slapdash efforts to disinter the bodies of thousands of pioneering Angelenos in the name of progress.


  • This is a tour of lost cemetery sites, so we will not be viewing any active cemeteries.
  • Exact meet-up location will be sent in the ticket confirmation email.
  • Street and pay lot parking is available; please read signs carefully and park at your own discretion.
  • This is a past paced, 2.5-mile walking tour; please dress appropriately (it's usually very hot).


Contact Hadley Meares at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.