Long Beach Municipal Cemetery is maintained by the City's Department
of Parks, Recreation and Marine. When I was there reading this cemetery
on Jun 11-12, 2002, I have to say I found the cemetery in excellent
This cemetery is situated just east of Sunnyside Cemetery, which is
a privately owned cemetery, abutting the west side of the Municipal
Cemetery. The Municipal Cemetery is the oldest and first
cemetery in the city of Long Beach.
Long Beach Municipal is sometimes referred to as Signal Hill Cemetery,
and I have finally found out why. Tim Thomas provided me with a copy
of the Jul 06, 1914 deed from the city of Long Beach to Norman Argetsinger,
for $20.00 land was granted to Norman at West 1/2 of Lot 56, Block B,
for the Signal Hill Cemetery. This means the cemetery was established
by Norman Argetsinger in 1914. Here is a copy of the deed.
Since there are burials listed earlier than that, it is presumed it
was used for burial for sometime previous to that date, some may have
been moved here or Mr Argetsinger did not deed the land right away.
Information in the Questing Heirs Genealogical Society book mentioned
below, says the land was donated by the Bixby Family, along with land
for several parks. First burial was in 1887. All of the early burial
records were lost in a fire in 1936. I have no official documents to
back this up. There are many possiblilties. It would be interesting
to find out when it was decided to change the name from Signal Hill
Cemetery to Long Beach Municipal.
There is another story about some burials being moved from land sold
to the oil company. I have found nothing concrete on this, except the
records do mention some being removed, but do not say where from.
I am told that each year since 1995, the Historical Society of Long
Beach sponsors a walking tour of the Municipal Cemetery around Halloween
time, to help cemetery appreciation and historical preservation.
I have acquired a previous recording of this cemetery, which does not
have a date of transcription. Judging from the dates, it was sometime
between 1965 and 1967. This work was published in 1974 by Questing Heirs
Genealogical Society, of Long Beach CA.
Most of these added records appear to be from the Sexton files, with
the dates being either the death or burial date. I have placed
an asterisk (*) at the end of each of these entries, which means there
is no marker and no photo. Information in parentheses came from a family
In 1936 many of the early records for this cemetery were lost by fire.
Some have been and still are being replaced by researching obits and
death records. This is as complete a record as I was able to create
thus far. Please contact me if you find an error I should correct.
Using a digital camera I walked and read this cemetery, with some hand
copying, on Jun 11, 2002. This work contains all existing and legible
headstones and markers, with additions from the above mentioned work.
I estimate at least 30+ were not able to be read, and there must be
dozens of burial places which have no markers.
- Maggie Rail