Monday, July 11, 2011

Buena Vista Cemetery - Oceanside, CA, USA

Established in the 1880s on the south side of the former Wall St., now Vista Way, overlooking the Buena Vista Lagoon between Oceanside and Carlsbad.  The location is just west of the present Interstate 5.  It remained an active cemetery until about 1906, eventually containing forty or more interments.  A few bodies were disinterred and relocated to the newer I.O.O.F. Cemetery, later known as Oceanview, but Buena Vista became forgotten and neglected for many years.  Eventually the property was sold and rezoned for commercial use.  Bodies were to be disinterred and relocated.  Seventeen were known to have been relocated to El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego and a handful of others were relocated to other area cemeteries.  After grading for construction began in early 1970 there were several reports of human remains and coffins being found.  There were more reported incidents when the on ramp for southbound Interstate 5 expanded onto the property.  By then construction workers, dissatisfied with the lack of respect shown in the handling of previously found remains, simply reburied any remains found on the site and the slope towards the lagoon.  A restaurant, presently Hunter Steakhouse, was built on the site as well as a gas station, presently Amazon Bikes.  The restaurant has had reports of paranormal activity since its construction and the gas station building has also been the source of reported activity.  John J. Lamb devotes a chapter of his 1999 book, San Diego Specters, to these occurances.

This plaque, placed near the entrance to Hunter Steakhouse by the Oceanside Historical Society, says it all:
"Dedicated to the memories of those who were buried at Buena Vista Cemetery.  While some bodies were moved before and during construction on this site many remain here or nearby."

Hunter Steakhouse and Amazon Bikes, both built on the site of the former Buena Vista Cemetery.


View of the site from the south showing the slope down to the lagoon.  Amazon Bikes is the gray building to the right and the peak of the roof of Hunter Steakhouse is just visible over the yellow house.

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