Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery

Oakwood Memorial Park CemeteryOakwood Memorial Park CemeteryOakwood Memorial Park CemeteryOakwood Memorial Park Cemetery

Like many neighborhoods, Chatsworth has a unique historical narrative and was incorporated into the city of Los Angeles for the purpose of easing water transactions.  But, unlike most of the San Fernando Valley, which was distributed as part of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando land grant, Chatsworth was allotted to the Rancho Simi land grant in 1834.  Since you had to get from one side of Rancho Simi to the other, they built the Santa Susana Stagecoach Road.

Though the road became moot after the development of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1876, I bring it up for two reasons.  One, the entrance to the old stagecoach road pops out right next to the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery. There was once an Indian burial here, but their wooden markers burned down.  The cemetery as we see it today did not open until 1924, almost 50 years after the railroad development.  It’s a good thing too because a gravestone gathering makes a pretty lame San Fernando Valley welcoming party.  Although, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are both buried here, so depending on your belief system you could expect a return engagement.

Anyway, the second reason I bring up the railroad is that it demanded a tunnel. People flocked to Chatsworth from 1901-1904 to dig the 7,369 foot long Santa Susanna Tunnel. While they were at it, they also built themselves a church in their spare time. The Chatsworth Community Church was built in 1903 at Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Mayall St, and was moved to Oakwood Memorial Park in 1963 becoming the Chatsworth Historical Society’s first preservation success.

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Posted on December 9, 2011, in Chatsworth and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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