I read the Napa Valley Register regularly and recently came upon an article about Yountville’s Pioneer Cemetery by Howard Yune, “Rediscovering the departed at a historic Yountville cemetery“, not only fascinating but extremely fun to read.
I have to admit I have often wandered through the Cemetery for there are large number of very familiar Napa Valley names to be found there. Not only is the final resting place for George C. Yount, Yountville’s founder, but always is a quiet juxtaposition of the past and present.
Though not large in size, just under 1,000 are interred here since it’s beginning about 160 years, but many of the grave stones have aged to the point, knowing who is buried there and where was largely a big guessing game. This is where Denise Ratterman Jackson enters from stage right and sets off on her ghostly quest.
This 30 year resident Yountville resident apparently came across a website called Find A Grave which started her on what one might call an eerie adventure. She has spent many years of her life with the help of several well know locals and has published an electronic book to help those who many have family buried here locate their gravesites.
The book is available at the Napa Valley Genealogical Society Research library, 1701 Menlo Ave., Napa, 707-252-2252. The cemetery CD is $8 if you walk in to buy and $10 if you have it mailed to you.
After I lived here a few years, I remember seeing an ad in our local newspaper, The Yountville Sun, offering two burial plots in The Cemetery for $4,000 each. So if you want to go haunting with out beloved founder, it just may still be possible. cheers cvc