Rose Hill Cemetery #007

At Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Facing South-East. Image taken on March 30th, 2017 at 5:15pm by Michael Pohl.

The one-acre Rose Hill Cemetery is in Black Diamond Regional Mines (a 6,096-acre park). From the 1850s until the turn of the century, the surrounding area was known as the Mount Diablo Coalfield. It featured five towns: Nortonville (the largest and oldest), Somersville, Stewartville, West Harley, and Judsonville. The current site contains the remains of 12 coal mines, two sandstone mines, more than 200 miles of mines, Rose Hill Cemetery, and three of the original towns (Stewartville and West Harley are on private property to the east of the park). During its years of operation, it produced more than 4 million tons of low-grade coal and 1.8 million tons of sandstone, and eventually became California's largest mining operation.

Sand mining ended in 1949. Emma (only daughter of Alvinza Hayward, the president of the Black Diamond company) and her husband Andrew Rose deeded the land to Contra Costa County. She inherited her father’s fortune after his death in 1904. The East Bay Regional Parks district acquired the cemetery and much of the surrounding land in 1973. By then, much of the site had been vandalized over the years. The road to the cemetery had remained open, which made it a popular spot for teenage parties, romantic getaways, and cattle grazing. Many gravestones were broken with bats and knocked over by cows. Many have been stolen. Early conservation attempts by the EBRPD also failed. The cemetery also hit a rough patch in the 1990s when Antoinette May featured it in Haunted Houses of California. Tourists came to see the haunted tales and often left with more than just photographs.

Many people believe Rose Hill Cemetery is haunted. The most notable manifestation is believed to be the ghost of Sarah Norton, also known as the White Witch. Sarah Norton is the widow of Noah Norton, the founder of Nortonville. She was the popular midwife, who delivered some 600-plus babies in all types of weather and all times of the day or night. She was known as an independent and gutsy lady, and rumored to be an "nonbeliever." On Oct. 5, 1879, Sarah was traveling via buggy to deliver a baby. She was thrown from her buggy and killed when her horses bolted and ran. The citizens attempted two funerals for her, but both were stopped by a huge storm. This resulted in her being buried into her grave without a proper "Christian burial." The entity of Sarah has haunted Rose Hill for many years, and there are a few speculations on why. The most common is she is upset she didn't get a proper burial (despite accusations of her religion), but many also speculate she feels as though her job on earth wasn't finished. Her ghost is described as a "Glowing/Gliding Women." Many people have also reported a horse drawn buggy going up and down the trail to the cemetery.

There are also many other reported ghosts upset at the vandalism. A glowing white entity likes to glide right above the gravestones and lets out loud chuckles. Another common site has been glowing, floating crosses along with 13 children dressed in all black walking around the area. The most common presence is the hearing of bells, ghostly cries and laughter, and the sound of strong wind with no wind being present.

Bonus tidbits:

- It is rumored Ansel Adams’ "Poplars, Cemetery near Mount Diablo California," taken in the 1960s, features Rose Hill Cemetery.

- The earliest known gravestone was Elizabeth Richmond; died February of 1865 (plot 81).

- The youngest known person was the one-day old, unnamed daughter of Thomas H. and Elizabeth Jenkins, who died on April 15, 1880 (plot 9).

- The oldest known person was Ruth French, who died at 81 years old on September 11, 1874 (plot 115).

- The most recent known burial was William T. Davis, who died in 1954 and was buried in the Davis family plot (plot 104).

Lone Tree Golf Course And Event Center #006

Lone Tree Golf Course And Event Center #006

An Antioch treasure, Lone Tree Golf Course and Event Center is tucked between the Antioch Municipal Reservoir and Contra Loma Regional Park. Lone Tree Golf Course opened in 1934 in the grassy hills adjacent to Mount Diablo State Park. The original layout contained nine holes; with nine more added in the early 1950s. Over the years, trees were slowly added to give the course added definition. In 1990, most of the green complexes were changed to sand based greens. Holes No. 12 and No. 15 sport the greens from the original construction, as well as being the two smallest greens on the course. In 2004, Lone Tree opened the expansive event center.

Fishermen At The Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline #005

Fishermen At The Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline #005

The Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline (originally called the Antioch Regional Shoreline) is a park owned by the State Of California and operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. Renamed in 1999, the land was acquired in 1979 after the new Antioch Bridge was constructed. It was suggested by Senator  John Nejedly (who was monumental in building the new bridge) to convert some of the old bridge pillars into a fishing pier. The 550-foot fishing pier was a huge success. 

The Hawaiian Chieftain At The Antioch Marina #004

The Hawaiian Chieftain At The Antioch Marina #004

The Hawaiian Chieftain is a steel tall ship built on the island of Maui, in Hawaii, in 1988. The ship, designed by naval architect Raymond H. Richards, was built for Cargo trade among the Hawaiian Islands, and weighs right around 80 tons (gross, 64 net). The ship is 103' 9" long, 22' wide, and has a 75' mast. It's powered by 2 235hp diesel Volvo engines, and can travel 2,000 miles at a cruising speed of 7 knots. Mr. Richards pulled inspiration from early colonial passenger and coastal packet boats that traded among Atlantic coastal cities and towns.

The Dow Wetlands Preserve #003

The Dow Wetlands Preserve #003

In the 1970s and 1980s, residential and commercial developers were looking at developing the area of land located between Dow Chemical and the Antioch Waterfront. In an effort to preserve this area of land, Dow Chemical purchased the land from the U.S. Steel Corporation in 1989 for $11 million as an environmental buffer zone. The land was dedicated as the Dow Wetlands Regional Preserve on April 22nd, 1990, which also happened to be Earth Day. 

The Antioch Bridge #002

The Antioch Bridge #002

The Antioch Bridge, also known as the Senator John A. Nejedly Bridge, opened on December 1st, 1978 (two years ahead of schedule!). The bridge spans the San Joaquin River between Sherman Island in Sacramento County and Antioch in Contra Costa County. The bridge features a steel plate girder arch design, which is composed of 2 steel plate girders spanning the piers bellow which supports a lightweight concrete slab above. The girders also have a protective coating which dramatically reduces the need for maintenance or painting. At 1.8 miles long, 460 feet tall, and 2 lanes (or 38.1 feet) wide, this bridge handles roughly 13,600 cars per day, while the 135 foot clearance below allows for several ships and smaller vessels a day to navigate underneath without interrupting the flow of traffic. Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority currently own and maintains the bridge, which is also a part of the Bay Area FasTrak system and has a $5 toll. 

El Campanil #001

El Campanil #001

El Campanil Theatre is located in the Rivertown Business District of Antioch. Built, owned, and operated by Ferdinand Stamm and Ralph Beede, El Campanil Theatre officially opened it's doors on November 1st, 1928. Originally, the Theatre offered 1,100 seats, 1 screen with "state-of-the-art" projection capabilities, and a stage with back stage areas to support vaudeville entertainment (a type of entertainment popular in the early 20th century, featuring specialty acts such as burlesque comedy and song and dance).

What is The Beauty Of Antioch Project? #000

What is The Beauty Of Antioch Project? #000

Welcome to the Beauty of Antioch Project. Antioch is a suburban town in the East Bay Area. Antioch, like any town, definitely has its problems. Sadly, because of these problems, most people put a huge stigma on Antioch and all the beautiful locations and views it offers. I've been told by residents they didn't even know Antioch touched the water! We have a whole business district on the water. Antioch is also home to multiple regional parks, monuments, historical buildings and places, and some amazing scenery. This project is going to focus on everything beautiful in Antioch. Views, landmarks, plants, buildings, etc. Along with sharing these photographs, I'll also be sharing some of the history and the story behind the subject. I'm excited to shine some good light on Antioch. I hope you'll join me for the journey!