The Historic

Ione Public Cemetery

Established 1850

500 S. Church St., Ione/PO Box 1478, CA 95640 209-274-0274

Lat: 38° 20’ 51.7” N Long: 120° 55’ 55.8”

 

The Ione Public Cemetery, the only public cemetery within the boundaries of Township #2 Ione Public Cemetery District,  is located in the city of Ione, Amador County, California. This cemetery has been in operation since 1850, and contains the grave sites of some of the earliest residents of Calaveras/Amador County. One headstone indicates the remains of the “first white child born Ione Valley” are buried here. A noted actor and comedian of his day, Albert Theodore William Courtright and his wife, Mary Jan “Jennie Lee” Courtright, a well-known actress as well, are interred in the Ione Cemetery. Visitors may also find the headstone of Elizabeth W. Withington, who moved to Ione Valley in 1852. She won awards for her artistic works, some of which can be seen at the Huntington Library and the Amador County Archives. One might also happen upon the burial site of Nathaniel Cecil, who was born into slavery, but who was able to purchase his freedom three years after arriving in California.

The Public Cemetery is divided into two main sections. The older portion contains family plots outlined with concrete curbs and marked with various sizes and styles of upright memorials. The newer section is a grassy lawn area with flat, brass or granite markers. The Cemetery also hosts a Mausoleum for above ground interments, a Columbarium for above ground niches for cremains, and the newest addition: The Natural (or Green) Burial section.

From the cemetery, visitors can gaze upon the famous Preston Castle, in the process of restoration, a reminder of a twentieth century experiment in juvenile corrections. Or, one could look into the adjacent Charles Howard Park, once the site of horse racing which brought dignitaries, including the governor, from Sacramento to watch and wager. The rural setting adds a sense of tranquility to a place devoted to those resting in peace.