Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A Visit to the Pet Cemetery

I obtained these four photographs from America recently. They document a couple's visit to the Pet Haven Cemetery and Crematory. I am guessing that the photographs date from the 1950s. Sadly, I don't recognise the automobile, but I know one of you will! Here the woman poses next to car with the cemetery sign in the background.


Then she is photographed, I presume next to the grave of her much loved pet. I am now starting to suspect that something unusual is going on, certainly by today's standards.


The woman is joined by her husband for a plotside photograph. Was it taken by a passing visitor or a relative? I just don't know.


The final photograph shows a view of the cemetery. Click on the image and you will be suprised. Everywhere you look is a Christmas tree, some very ornately decorated with hanging baubles etc. I presume it was the custom to allow the beloved animals, who have passed over to the other side, to share in the custome of celebrating Christmas. Was this the norm back then and does this quaint custom of decorating Christmas trees in pet cemeteries still continue. It would be interesting to know. I looked up the Pet Haven cemetery, but Google listed many cemeteries of that name across America. Sadly, there is nothing written on the back of photographs to indicate the location of the site pictured here.

16 comments:

  1. My guess on the car..at first I thought it was a Hudson because of the rear windshield...but those "fins" looked like a Cadillac.

    That has to be Southern California...I'd lay money on it. Lay of the land, temperature, folage in growth in December, but most of all just the sheer craziness of the whole situation in the late forties/early fifties. You'd be had pressed to find money being spent like this anywhere but, at that time.

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  2. That's bizarre and totally awesome!

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  3. I agree, Southern California, definitely. And I'll bet the car was aqua.

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  4. Wow, it is in Gardena, CA. I looked it up. Thanks Laurie for introducing me to the pet cemetery in my backyard...

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  5. That car still intrigues me....I am now leaning toward a high dollar specialty Buick.

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  6. This is so intriguing. I've just spent ten minutes wandering down Lone Butte Boulevard , another ten minutes hovering over the pet haven in Gardena...what a bizarre set of photos, christmas trees, candy canes and a reindeer. I wonder if Santa turns up?

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  7. My cat would chew on the artifical Christmas tree right before mealtime. Of course, this is a pre-meal pesky habbit now. Tree or no tree.

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  8. Thanks, everyone. The cemetery's web site states that it opened in 1948. I have drawn their attention to the photographs and have asked about the Christmas trees and whether they are still put up each year?
    Laurie

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  9. we have another picture here when they burial "Lassie" it looks pretty much the same.

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  10. Fascinating... I sure didn't see any Christmas trees in the Pet Cemetery near Paris. Sounds like something Evelyn Waugh would have written about, especially if it is in southern California. I guess you've read his Forest Lawn piece ?

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  11. Incredible - what a interesting set of photographs and congratulations to the sleuth(s) who figured out where this was. Your blog is a real tresure. I spent quite awhile tonight reading and reading. Thank you.

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  12. What an amazing find in those photos. I've never heard of pet cemeteries decorating for the holidays.

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  13. Amazing really!
    Never heard or seen something of this kind.
    Great one shared.

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  14. Strange! Pobably a well-off couple for their time. Not many families can afford this for their pets!

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  15. I collect old photographs, saving them from being tossed into the garbage and the memory of the individuals pictured from being lost forever. I post now and then some of these old images on my other blog.

    The car is a Cadillac based upon the tail lights.

    I like visiting cemeteries and seeing the history of a location through the grave markers.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Egmont

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