(Victor Valley)–An afternoon of remembrance and celebration of family is scheduled for Friday, November 2, 2012 at Agua Mansa Cemetery in Colton. The event, hosted by San Bernardino County Museum Curator of History Michele Nielsen, runs from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge.
Visitors are encouraged to honor their loved ones by adding to the Dia de los Muertos community ofrenda, and families are invited to clean and decorate the graves of their relatives. Mariachi Trio Los Azulado will provide a traditional cemetery serenade from 1 to 2 p.m.
San Bernardino County Museum Curator of History Michele Nielsen explained that Dia de Los Muertos is a cultural tradition in Mexico and in Central and South America that celebrates the lives of the deceased in a positive way. Each year it gains in popularity in the United States. This way of remembering and commemorating the lives of loved ones who have gone before is very similar to other cultural remembrance traditions throughout the world. Recognizing the cycle of life, and acknowledging the individual’s place in it, is common in many cultures.
“The original settlers who created the communities of La Placita and Agua Mansa on either side of the Santa Ana River developed the cemetery,” said Nielsen. “The first burial we are aware of took place in 1852. Many descendants of the Agua Mansans and people living in the greater community are also buried at the site, with the last burial taking place in 1963. There are approximately 2,000 people interred here, but only about 1,000 are identified at this time. We are actively seeking information about families represented here at the cemetery, and want to collect as much data as possible about the burials.”
The Agua Mansa Cemetery on-line burial data base is available on the museum’s website, www.sbcountymuseum.org. Members of the public who have information to share can contact Nielsen at: 909-307-2669 extension 240.
Agua Mansa Cemetery is a San Bernardino County Museum historic site and California State Historical Landmark #121 located at 2001 W. Agua Mansa Road in Colton. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org or call Curator of History Michele Nielsen at (909) 307-2669 ext. 240.