MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY
5000 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
Bella Morte Rating: 2 Tombstones
Maybe we missed something... or maybe we were still too star struck by our visit to Chapel of the Chimes just next door to fully appreciate Mountain View. Whatever the reason, though, we found the much-celebrated cemetery fell far short of our expectations.
Okay, so the Bay area vista, winding roadways and terraced burial plots, coupled with a sky brewing weather heavy enough to be worthy of an Ian Anderson serenade, did take our breath away. And we'll even grant that the massive mausoleums of railroad tycoons such as David Colton and Charles Crocker, as well as that of Chocolatier Domingo Ghirardelli, to name only a few of Mountain View's notables, held us spellbound. But the majority of these monuments were grouped together in one section of the cemetery, leaving the rest of the grounds with little to hold our interest.
No doubt, we'd have enjoyed a stroll through the indoor columbarium or the community mausoleum, but both were locked at the time of our visit.
So what was left? Find the grave of architect Julia Morgan to thank her for her part in creating the mesmerizing beauty of Chapel of the Chimes? And, of course, stop by to see the grave of Elizabeth Short, better known as "The Black Dahlia." Although her unadorned grave at Mountain View does not tell her story, a bronze plaque, located in her home town of Medford, Massachusetts, does:
"The Black Dahlia"
This plaque has been placed in memory of Elizabeth Short, the victim of one of the
Nation’s most infamous and unsolved crimes.
"Betty" Short was born on July 29, 1924 and lived at 115 Salem Street, the site
now occupied by the Interstate #93 Rotary. She attended Medford High School until June of
1940 and then moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Her strikingly
attractive features, jet black hair and penchant for dark attire earned her the name
of "The Black Dahlia."
On January 15, 1947 her severed and mutilated body was discovered in a vacant Los
Angeles lot. Newspapers, books, magazines, motion pictures and television have
chronicled her story. The slaying of Medford's "Black Dahlia" continues to remain a
Medford Historical Society
Now that we're down to mentioning the fact that Home of Eternity, formerly a separate burial ground, has become a part of Mountain View, serving the area's Jewish community, it seems best to move along to more fertile ground at this point.