Poem Tribute ~ City of the Silent ~
by William Gilmore Simms – 1850
“Once they walked among us, laughing, yelling, whispering, keeping watch. We Knew them. We spoke to them. We took them by the hand. We loved them. They were our friends, our families, our heros. Now, in the crumbled earth, they are our memories, remaining in this world if not visible to it. They wait for us along their shaded avenues; secluded as only urban dwellers can know seclusion among the many, within the perplexing grids laid out by those in whose care the remembrance of their history – of their existence – we have entrusted our dead. As we walk among the temples, towers, and stone blocks which are their witness in this time after their time, a rushing wind may stir their voices. The voices come not from the grave, but from within our own, quick, flesh-encased bones. The murmurs we hear are the murmurs of those we have lost made part of us...”

The village of Parkville was founded by Stephen Park in the 1850’s beside Bear Creek, approximately four miles north of Balls Ferry. It was once a thriving community boasting a hotel, a branch of an early emigrant trail, and the Daingerfield Ferry that crossed the Sacramento River at Bear Creek. All that remains of the village today are the historic Parkville Ranch, the Harrington House on the Ponderosa Ridge Ranch (private property), Ezekiel Thatcher’s Rock house and the historic Parkville School (on private property), and the Parkville Cemetery ( also private property.) Much of the surrounding land remains almost as it was in the 1850’s. The cemetery is one of the 100+ small private cemeteries in Shasta County. It is the final resting place of some of our early pioneers who settled in northern California. Many of these brave souls traveled across the country in the -1800’s to settle here. Some met their deaths at the hands of Native American’s, some died of cholera or malaria, or from ranching, railroad, mining or milling accidents. As you will see, some died as children and yet some lived to a ripe old age. One of the first burials here was Climena Klotz, buried here in 1864, who died in childbirth at the age of 16. Her baby survived and had ten children herself.

As you walk through our shaded lanes you will see familiar family names such as Darrah (fish hatchery, Darrah Springs), Dersch (Dersch homestead and road), Lack (Lack Creek), Thatcher (Thatcher Mill), William Jefferson Davis, a Pony Express Rider, and also Eliza M. Hartsough, the daughter of Pvt. Alexander Hamilton Willard, a blacksmith, and a member of the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1804 -1806.

The cemetery is owned and cared for by a dedicated board of volunteer trustees whose mission is the protection, preservation and safe-keeping of the final resting place of some of our most notable and brave pioneers.

Parkville Cemetery is located 8 miles East of Anderson California and 18 miles South East of Redding California. From Redding, head South on Interstate 5 to the Knighton Rd. exit approximately 3.5 miles. Exit and turn left onto Knighton Rd. and go about 2 miles to Airport Rd. Turn right onto Airport Rd. and travel South for 2 miles to Dersch Rd. Turn left on Dersch Rd. Travel on Dersch about 5 miles to Parkville Rd., turn right on Parville Rd. Go a half mile South on Parkville to cemetery entrance on your left. From Anderson, head East on Dersch for about 6 miles to Parkville Road, then turn right. Go South on Parkville Road for about half a mile. Parkville Cemetery is on the left.

Tours have been well attended in the past, folks have come from far and wide to see our tours. If you would like to volunteer for our annual clean-up day restoring our historic cemetery to pristine condition, click here. For a list of upcoming events, tours, and annual clean-up day, please click for the schedule.