The Sacramento Historic City Cemetery (or Old City Cemetery), located at 1000 Broadway, at 10th Street, is the oldest existing cemetery in Sacramento, California. The cemetery is located at the highest point in Sacramento. It was designed to resemble a Victorian garden and sections that are not located in level areas are surrounded by brick or concrete retaining walls to create level terraces. The cemetery grounds are noted for their roses which are said to be among the finest in California.
The cemetery was established in 1849 when Sacramento founder John Augustus Sutter, Jr. donated 10 acres (4.0 ha) to the city for this purpose. The grounds were landscaped in the Victorian Garden style popular at the time. In 1850, 600 victims of the Cholera epidemic that swept the city were buried in mass graves in City Cemetery. The remainder of the 800 to 1000 victims claimed by the epidemic were buried in the nearby New Helvetia Cemetery, also in mass graves. Because the New Helvetia Cemetery was prone to flooding, these graves were later transferred to City Cemetery. In 1852, a monument was erected to those who died however the exact location of either burial plot is not known.
In 1856, the city engaged a cemetery superintendent and began to plan the grounds. In 1857, the gatehouse and bell tower were constructed. These were demolished in 1949 during the widening of Broadway.
Several fraternal groups purchased sections for their members including the Masons (1859), Odd Fellows (1861) and the Sacramento Pioneers Association (1862). The city set aside a section for volunteer firemen in 1858 and members of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1878.
The cemetery continued to acquire additional land through 1880 when Margaret Crocker, widow of Edwin B. Crocker, donated 23 acres (9.3 ha) to expand the grounds to 60 acres (24 ha) total.
The City of Sacramento owns the cemetery, which today encompasses 44 acres (18 ha). In 1986, a group of residents were concerned by the lack of maintenance and ongoing vandalism and formed the Old City Cemetery Committee. In 1987, the committee became part of the Sacramento County Historical Society and in 2003, it became an independent organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic site. It was declared a State Historic Landmark on May 5, 1957 by the State Historical Landmarks Commission.
These are some of the notable people interred in the cemetery: