"Night Owl: An intrepid reporter gets a history lesson, but spirits stay away"
"Writing something original about Halloween is like banging a head against a wall: It's painful. ... In the case of the Mountain View Cemetery, built in 1863, some of the Bay Area's most illustrious families chose the 220 acres designed by Frederick Law Olmsted — the architect of New York's Central Park, the Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C., Stanford University and Yosemite park. Mostly, they chose 'Millionaire's Row,' a hillside from where downtown Oakland can be seen. Regular folks are buried further down. ... The ornate crypt the size of a small cottage where Central Pacific Railroad magnate Charles Crocker is interred would cost a cool $2.5 million today ... What irony that California muckraker Frank Norris, whose novel The Octopus portrayed the 'Big Four' railroad barons as rapacious tyrants, is buried in the shadow of Crocker's death monument designed by the same architect that brought us the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Norris' granite tombstone is far simpler, reflecting his career and perhaps the fact that graveyards also go through trends. ..." [More]
[Courtesy Google Alerts.]