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"Dr. Seth Mallios: Some of the cemeteries have been cared for from their inception until now. Other cemeteries have been demolished, have been developed, and have been entirely forgotten.
That happened to Calvary Cemetery, established in 1870, in the Mission Hills area, above Old Town.
Dr. Seth Mallios: In 1957, the city enacted a law that said you could in fact, raze a cemetery, you could turn it from a cemetery into a park.
In 1970, exactly 100 years after it was established, the residents of Mission Hills enacted the law that allowed them to desecrate the graves of Calvary Cemetery.
Dr. Seth Mallios: They wanted a park. And they had individuals actually yank the stones out of the ground. These stones were then transported over to Mt. Hope, where they were thrown into a ravine.
Some attempt has been made to preserve the more historic gravestones from Calvary. These markers are now displayed at Mt. Hope and in Mission Hills, at what is now called Pioneer Park. But while some selected gravestones are on display, the hundreds of dead who are buried beneath the park no longer have markers to identify where they are resting.
Dr. Seth Mallios: The dead bodies never moved at Calvary Cemetery. Those burials were never disturbed. Whether it’s Calvary Cemetery or today’s pioneer park, those dead have always been in the identical place.
Many San Diegans who enjoy the park have no idea just who lies beneath those lush grounds.
Dr. Seth Mallios: When they’re playing with their dog, they are, in fact, making a playground of an area that has hundreds of deceased individuals below them."