Saint John's Catholic Cemetery is located within the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. There are 80-100 known graves at this cemetery, and the oldest headstone is dated 1861. Many of the original grave markers were made of wood and have been lost, however stone markers still remain.
Saint John's Catholic Cemetery is located near the Sutter Mill Cemetery, which is also known as the Pioneer Cemetery. The Saint John's Catholic Cemetery is smaller than the Sutter Mill Cemetery, and was the burial site for several large families in Coloma such as the Luneman, Gallagher, Bayne, and McDonald families. The most recent burial was in 1973 for Fred Chris Luneman. A full listing of those resting at the Saint John's Catholic Cemetery can be found here.
Cemeteries like the Sutter Mill Cemetery and Saint John's Cemetery are important historical artifacts, because they preserve the memory of the people who came to the area long ago. Many markers from that time also include where the person migrated from, representing journeys people made to come to California. Many of these cemeteries, including the ones in Coloma, are preserved in their original states and have remained largely unchanged except for the additions of restored gravestones and historic markers.
The cemetery is located near Saint John's Church and Marshall's Cabin on Marshall Park Way in Coloma, 8.6 miles northwest of Coloma. For a pdf of the map showing where the cemetery is located within the park, click here.
El Dorado County
Stretching from oak-studded foothills and the shores of Folsom Lake to the western shore of Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County is probably best known for the 1848 gold discovery at Coloma. “Old Hangtown” sprang up during the Gold Rush and was later renamed Placerville. The county name comes from the mythical land rich in gold sought by Spanish explorers. The first inhabitants of El Dorado County were the Maidu and Miwok Indians, followed by miners attracted to the area by the Gold Rush.
El Dorado County was one of the original counties in California. The Pony Express Trail ran through the county approximately where Highway 50 is today, from April 3, 1860 to October 26, 1861. The first county seat was Coloma, and it was superseded by Placerville for this position in 1857. El Dorado means “the gilded one” in Spanish; a fitting name considering the mines in El Dorado County produced millions of dollars of gold.