Family Legacy Day At Evergreen Cemetery 7992907589 O
History

Wed, Jan 15, 2020

Marla Novo

Marla Novo - Director of Exhibitions & Programs

100 Year Old Arch Restored at Evergreen

In 1920, DeEtte Newcomb and her family installed the iconic archway that welcomes visitors into the historic Evergreen Cemetery.

Now, 100 years later, DeEtte’s great-grandson Dave and granddaughter, Leslie Newcomb have restored the arch back to its original glory. This Monday alongside volunteers, historians, and friends at the annual MLK Volunteer Work Day, the Newcomb family will be honored at a special dedication of the newly restored gateway.

Dave and Leslie have generously donated equipment and materials used in restoration over the years. Now, the restoration of the arch will continue their family’s legacy for another century.

Fun Fact: There are now four additional metal flowers blooming on the arch.

History Photographed

1906

Ward, DeEtte, Leighton, Wendell circa 1906

DeEtte and her son, Leighton, discovered Evergreen Cemetery Sunday, October 28, 1906. She wrote to her husband, “...Well, it is Sunday evening not quite church time. Leighton and I have had a delightful walk, up to Evergreen Cemetery, the prettiest place yet as far as nature goes in all my visiting cemeteries.

Deette

DeEtte Newcomb at Evergreen in the early 1900's

Written by DeEtte in May 1920

“What a glory the roses are here today! What a pity that these and other lovely growing things should have to give way to the modern cemetery to the steam roller in the form of machine care. The very atmosphere of this place harks back to those days of sentiment and leisure. The terraced hillsides, where weeks or months of labor went to the retaining granite walls, these little enclosed spots where the grass is green and roses and flower bloom. The natural feeling in hearts bereft is to beautify in all loving ways the place where the dead sleep and here free scope is given, provided only that constant future care is guaranteed. This place may grow to have a park like beauty, old time and old world, in its charm, more appreciated as the years go by.”

1920

Gateway circa 1920’s

Written by DeEtte in May 1920

“…making way for the new gateway. Looking up the slope there is now a clear view to the upper reaches of the hillside where the haze that so often lends itself to the beauty of the California landscape lingers among the trees. The low-lying sun glorifies the open spaces and glints upon the grass blades and the glossy springtime leaves of trees and shrubs. For the trees are here and all have been spared. There comes to me the wish that I might write something worthy of the day, the place and the hour, for this is the afternoon of a May day, and in the gentle silence and peace of all its beauty broods over here, there is something that grips the heart.”

Da De Los Muertos Community Festival 30919170895 O

Every year hundreds come to celebrate Día de Muertos and adorn Evergreen Cemetery (and the arch) in beautiful marigolds to honor their loved ones. Read more about the history of this annual celebration.

2019

July 2019 restoration begins

Arch restoration began in July 2019 thanks to the work of local volunteers and the generosity of the Newcomb Family.

See more in the Santa Cruz Sentinel's photo feature >>

2020

DeEtte’s great-grandson Dave and granddaughter, Leslie connected with the volunteers restoring and researching Evergreen in 2015. Both have generously donated equipment and materials used in restoration over the years. The restoration of the arch will continue their family’s legacy for another century.

Visit Evergreen Cemetery

Find out more about who is buried at Evergreen, join weekly volunteer workdays, and even take a self-guided tour.