Evergreen Memorial Park & CrematoryOct 17th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
A couple of months ago, while doing research on locations for my Haunted Hollywood postings, I came across some online images of Evergreen Memorial Park & Crematory in Boyle Heights and practically started drooling over the place’s fabulously haunting chapel. Then when I learned that the cemetery had been featured in the 1980 horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, I decided that I just had to stalk it and dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out there.
Evergreen Memorial Park was originally established on August 23rd, 1877. It was Los Angeles’ first private cemetery and is one of the oldest surviving and largest graveyards in the city. During its early years, the property was a beautiful site and boasted meandering pathways, sprawling lawns and over 2,000 trees, with varieties including palm, wisteria, willow, and pine.
The 67-acre cemetery is home to over 300,000 departed souls, many of whom figured prominently in the City of Angels’ founding. Just a few of the notables buried at Evergreen include oil baron Charles Canfield, Ralphs founder George Ralph, Our Gang’s Matthew Beard, Church of Christ founder Charles Price Jones, former slave-turned-entrepreneur Bridget “Biddy” Mason, Robinsons-May department store founder Joe Winchester Robinson, the Penguin’s Jesse Belvin (who co-wrote the song “Earth Angel”), the Coasters’ Bobby Nunn, and Isaac Lankershim and his son-in-law, Isaac Newton Van Nuys, who together founded both the cities of Van Nuys and North Hollywood. The gravesite of Susanna Lankershim, Isaac’s wife, is pictured below.
Evergreen Memorial Park is also notable for never having banned African Americans from being buried there.
As you can see below, the site is, unfortunately, in a rather sad state today, marred by acres of dead grass;
and toppled headstones. According to this website, several grave markers have even gone missing over the years.
The place does boast some pretty nice views of downtown Los Angeles, though.
And the Gothic-style chapel, which was originally constructed by architects Declez and Gilbert in 1882, is still eerily enchanting.
Especially with those vines creeping up the side of the entrance.
Evergreen Memorial Park & Crematory has been used in several productions over the years, but its most notable appearance was in A Nightmare on Elm Street, in which it was the funeral site for Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia).
Rod’s gravesite in the movie was situated in Section I of Evergreen, behind the real life graves of Louise Minier and Belle Kuster.
In the 1985 drama Mask, Evergreen was both where Red (Harry Carey Jr.) was buried (with his motorcycle!) . . .
. . . and where Roy L. ‘Rocky’ Dennis (Eric Stoltz) was laid to rest.
In the Season 4 episode of Criminal Minds titled “Brothers in Arms,” Evergreen was where Officer Mark Cunningham (Shane Conrad) was buried.
Some websites have claimed that Evergreen Memorial Park was where Hector Lopez (Wilfredo Hernandez) lived in the 1986 flick 8 Million Ways to Die, but I believe that to be incorrect. Not much of the cemetery is shown in the flick, but what is shown does not resemble Evergreen.
According to IMDB, Evergreen appeared in the Season 2 episode of Criminal Minds titled “Sex, Birth, Death,” but I scanned through the episode and did not see the cemetery pop up anywhere. IMDB also states that the graveyard was featured in the Season 3 episode of Baretta titled “The Ninja,” 1983’s Mausoleum, 1992’s Samurai Vampire Bikes from Hell (and yes, that is a real movie!), and 1993’s Blood In, Blood Out, but I was unfortunately not able to find copies of those productions with which to verify that.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Evergreen Memorial Park & Crematory is located at 204 North Evergreen Avenue in Boyle Heights. The gravesite that was used in A Nightmare on Elm Street can be found in Section I behind the real life graves of Louise Minier and Belle Kuster, and is denoted with an orange X in the aerial view below.