Purissima Cemetery, Half Moon Bay
About Purissima Cemetery, Half Moon Bay
Purissima Historic Cemetery dates back to the 1860’s when the town of Purissima (for purísima, Spanishfor “purest”) was situated here, complete with a post office, a one-story hotel, dance hall, schoolhouse, livery stable, saloon, and several stores. A lumber mill supported the redwood logging operation in the Santa Cruz mountains. In 1868, John Purcell deeded some of his property to the town for burial space, prompting formation of the Purissima Cemetery Association who oversaw free burials to residents. 58 pioneers were buried there, mostly children. The village was one of the earliest settlements in the San Mateo Coast, but it was plagued with floods, crop failures, and difficulty maintaining a thriving village due to its remote location when other towns were in close enough range, resulting in the abandonment of the village before WWII. In 2017, Ed Bixby purchased the abandoned cemetery with plans to clean up the old gravesites and create green burial space. Surrounded by massive cedar and pine trees, and running alongside the Purissima creek with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the cemetery now offers natural burial and is open to all.
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sundays by appointment