1480 B Street | Merced, California | 95341
In 1872, the grave sections of Evergreen Cemetery were laid out and the first burial was later in that same year. As the years went on, additional improvements and features were added. In 1914, the driveways and lawns were planted by Chester E. Welch, who owned the cemetery and was also a co-owner of Welch Griffin Funeral Home. Under his management there were 397 interments.
Later Mr. Chester A. De Long began negotiations with Chester E. Welch for building a mausoleum in Evergreen Cemetery in 1927.
The first unit of Evergreen Mausoleum was constructed by Mr. De Long and it was dedicated in 1929. This building contains 288 standard crypts and 4 family sections of deluxe couch crypts, together with a columbarium; accommodating 32 niches for cremated remains. Cathage Marble from Missouri was used for the crypt fronts and the balance was imported: French Napoleon Marble for the stiles and rails and Italian Travertine for the floor and steps.
In April 1933, Chester A. De Long purchased the cemetery from Mr. Welch and made extensive developments, including the installation of curbing for the driveways, the planting of flowers and shrubs and the installation of the cobble-stone fence bordering the front of the cemetery.
Today, the road along the East perimeter of the cemetery is in honor of the cemetery owner and is know as De Long Avenue. The property was incorporated as a memorial park in May 1936. The corporate officers were Mr. De Long as president, Lula De Long as Vice-president and Marion Crist, their daughter, as Secretary-treasurer. Another daughter, Margaret E. Burrell became associated with the cemetery in 1938 acting as treasurer.
The cemetery and mausoleum was denoted as non- sectarian and, although there are a large number of people of the Catholic faith as well as other denominations entombed in the mausoleum and interred in the lawn sections, an agreement was been made with the Catholic Church whereby a certain section would be set aside for members of the church and their families. In this respect, the management provided that the construction of the mausoleum, the space following the flower room and the frontage to 'B' Street, shall be used for 80 double 16 foot crypts and 80 crypts arranged in single and double order. In all of the sections for those of the Catholic faith, the marble in the center crypts were to be of a darker color, showing distinctly the sign of the cross. In the alcoves, Italian Carrara marble statues of St. Joseph, St. Anthony, both with child are representative of the belief and are to be placed on either side. An altar of Carrara marble with a statue of the "Virgin Mary" was to be in the center.
Later two bronze columbarium were completed in the semi-enclosed section, containing 44 niches for cremated remains. Evergreen Memorial Park as it was later known after incorporation, is the only privately owned cemetery and mausoleum in Merced County. In connection with Evergreen Memorial Park was the De Long Memorial Company. In 1882 Mr. Alexander De Long, father of Chester A. De Long, established the monument business. His son continued the business in Merced and San Jose.
Today Evergreen Funeral Home & Memorial Park is Merced County's only privately owned combination funeral home, cemetery, crematory. Its mission is still the same as it was all those years ago to provide the public with a beautiful, peaceful final place of internment as well as providing the uttermost professional funeral services to the public.