Luminaries lined the way for the 20 some people who enjoyed this year’s Cemetery Stroll. Organized by Gail and Frederick Nelson-Bonebrake, guests included four generations of the Golda family and Boy Scouts, who helped clean the cemetery. Established in 1875, the Odd Fellows graveyard served as the final resting place for non-Catholics as well as suicide victims, indigents, and sailors who had washed ashore. Every year Ocea View Lodge 143 organizes a stroll and shares stories about those who are buried there.

Those featured included the following:

Frank Hancock
One of the first residents of El Granada, Frank Hancock was born in England in 1869 and moved to the planned new community of Granada, which developers promoted as a paradise with the start of Ocean Shore Railroad service, in 1908. Frank was a laborer and did odd jobs, living in the same house for forty years, until his death in 1951. His daughter Gertrude was a member of the Rebekahs in Half Moon Bay, as was her mother, and she was president of the Rebekahs in the early 1930s. Gail and Frederick Nelson-Bonebrake discovered the Hancock family when they purchased the Hancock house. 

Galen Wolf
The artist and collector came to Frenchman’s Creek in 1906 when his parents moved to the coast. He worked for the WPA – Works Progress Administration – for six years, hired to capture the nature of small communities mostly in water colors.  He collected stories and myths of the coast side, publishing small booklets with stories and art. Once such publication, Legends of the Coastland, was edited by local librarian Shannon Nottstad. Galen taught painters and did paintings up and down the coast. He and his brothers were musicians, often playing concerts in their living room. Galen died in 1976 at aged 87. Jan Tiura, who knew Galen, shared personal stories.

Rufus H. Hatch
Originally intent on making it rich during the California Gold Rush, Rufus H. Hatch moved to the coast in 1853 from his native Vermont, where he was born in 1829. He farmed and raised livestock on his 320-acre farm, three miles outside of Half Moon Bay. He bought timber lands and started a mill on Purissima Creek (aka Hatch Creek). Wood milled by Hatch was used to build the current HMB Odd Fellows building. His son Alvin still operates the lumber yard. Rufus was a Oceanview Lodge member and was married Martha Schuyler, daughter of James Schuyler, one of the oldest setters in Half Moon Bay.  

Charles Rensselaer Schuyler 
Born in 1843, the Florida native spent most of his youth near Savannah, GA, and came to California with his brother Wesley in the early 1860’s by way of the Panama route of the Pacific Mail Company. Like his brother, Charles served in the California State Militia in the 1860’s. The Schuyler’ssettled in Half Moon Bay in the early 1870’s where Charles worked in his brother’s butcher shop. Charles lived in the shadow of both his brother and father, both of whom lived large locally though 1890’s. Little is written about him except for allegations of stealing cattle made in the early 1890’s. The alleged crime made news as far away as Los Angeles. Charlesand his cohorts were found innocent.   He passed away in 1922.

James P. Johnston
Born in Scotland in 1813, he was raised in Gallipolis, Ohio, and moved to California around 1849. Johnston and his three brothers, John, William, and Thomas, introduced dairy farming along the coast. By 1859, the Johnston Ranch comprised about half of the original Rancho Miramontes. They imported 800 eastern dairy cattle from Ohio to Half Moon Bay. In 1853 Johnston began building the first wood-framed house along the San Mateo County coast, using a New England-style “saltbox” design, for his wife Petra Johnston. The house is now a museum. Johnston lost much of his fortune and died in 1879. 

Robert Knapp
A top-notch blacksmith, Robert Knapp spent his time trying to figure out how to fix wagons, carriages and farming tools, and make them work more efficiently. His claim to fame is the invention of the “Side-Hill Plow” that helped those early farmers, who harvested potatoes and other vegetables in coast side’s rich, loamy and hilly soil. Traditional horse drawn plows did not work well on the terrain and the side-hill (aka hillside or two-way) plow is used, one can plow back and forth on the same side of the field and turn all the furrows downhill. His invention increased agricultural productivity.

The All-Seeing Eye


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Our Address

Ocean View Lodge 143
526 Main Street
PO Box 712
Half Moon Bay
CA 94019

Phone: 650-712-0718