Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery

Mormon Island is a relocation cemetery that was created in 1954 by the Army Corps of Engineers. It was used as a replacement for several cemeteries submerged below Folsom Lake when the Folsom Dam was built in 1955.

The cemetery holds the relocated remains of some of the earliest mining camps established after the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. Remains from Mormon Island, Salmon Falls, Negro Hill, Condemned Bar, Carrollton Bar, McDowell’s Hill, Natural Dam and Doton’s Bar cemeteries, plus five individual graves were relocated to the new Mormon Island Cemetery. The earliest burial from any of these cemeteries could have been 1848, since several of these Mining Camps were first established in that year.

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Latitude: 38.6988531 Longitude: -121.1097157 Elevation: 399 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Mary Cory

About this Site

At five acres, Mormon Island (Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery) is one of the largest cemeteries in the County. Approximately one-half of this area is currently undeveloped; however, the area is being saved by the County for future cemetery relocations. This cemetery is currently inactive and only accepts remains for previously-purchased plots. There are 474 occupied plots recorded in the cemetery and 17 plots that have been purchased for future burials.

Time Period Represented

Gold Rush (1848-1855)

Seasons Open


Pet Friendly Notes

Pets on leash only please.


This photo shows the Negro Hill Burial Ground section where 36 grave markers show the most foul and wicked name in the English language for the early Black Pioneers.

michael harris, 3/20/2010

This area is called Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery. Were these African Americans slaves of Mormon people? Were they Mormons who maliciously replaced "negro" with you know what? Or is it just a coincidence? Why does a church who is stereotyped as being racist against African American's happen to be the name of the relocation center. It seems unlikely that there isn't some sort of an historical reason.

William Dickens, 6/7/2011

William: Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery holds the bodies of approximately 380 people relocated from eight cemeteries and five private burials. The vast majority of bodies (about 229) came from the original Mormon Island Cemetery. Instead of giving the relocation cemetery a long, run-on name that included the names of the eight original source cemeteries, I assume it was named "Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery" because of this fact.

Eric Thomsen, 6/12/2011

Sorry, "vast majority" may be an overstatement. It's closer to 60% of the total, but that is three times more than the number of bodies the next largest cemetery, Salmon Falls, provided. The original figures can be found here:

Eric Thomsen, 6/12/2011

William: Sadly, the offensive term was very widespread at the time. Very few Mormon however 'owned' slaves [and using that language makes my skin crawl]. Most LDS in the late 1840's - 1850's were from the northern states and England. I doubt if any of the negro miners were slaves. In fact, many "Mexicans" were mixed ancestry and came to mine. My guess is that many of the "negros" were "mexicans". Check out the history. But please, don't lay blame where there's no evidence.

Kevin Henson, Michigan, 5/9/2016

The area of Negro Hill was first mined by Mormons in 1848 and was a thriving mining camp across the South Fork of the American River from Mormon Island. In 1849, an African American man named Kelsey from Massachusetts and a Methodist minister, along with other African American miners, rediscovered the diggings. Together, these men established a community African-American, white, Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, and Portuguese miners. Spaniards and Mexicans occupied the ground on the south side of the hill at the mouth of Spanish Ravine in 1849, while African Americans established the camps known as Little Negro Hill and Big Negro Hill. As white miners flocked to the area, the town of Negro Hill developed, reaching a population of 1,200 by 1853. For a time, Negro Hill was one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse towns in California, nearly as diverse as San Francisco was.

Eric Raybould, 3/22/2017

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