The Gravedigger of Old Town

The Gravedigger of Old Town (HM86K)

Location: San Diego, CA 92110 San Diego County
Buy California State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 32° 45.1', W 117° 11.606'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Rafael Mamudes

— (In Memory of) —

Rafael Mamudes was a native of Hermosillo and led an adventurous life. He was once a baker and followed his trade to Monterey. He also mined at Calaveras County and made a sea voyage to Guaymas, Mexico. When he came here to San Diego, he supported himself by doing day labor. He owned a little plot of land on which the old cobblestone jail once stood.

Legend has it that this hoary old Mexican man made a murderous attack upon his good wife. His penance was to ring the church bells whenever the occasion demanded. Rafael worked industriously chopping wood, hauling, digging wells, or cleaning them out, but his most noble work, was to dig graves every time the Angel of Death came to Old Town.

This weather beaten old man was a devotee who came to be seen trundling his wheelbarrow down the road daily.
br>Never did he miss a church service. With abject humility and self-abasement, he would bow beside the basin of the chapel and cross himself with the Holy water. He'd gaze at the alter then edge toward it in rapt devotion, before sinking to his knees in prayer.

From the notes of Miss Lilian Whaley, she writes, "It was the most vivid impression upon me as he (Don Rafael) knelt one day in the little south wing of the old church, which was filled with saints and holy images. Near the door of the little confessional chamber, he leaned sideways against the wall of the room. He clasped his hands rigidly before him and grasped his rosary and crucifix. His head was thrown back. His eyes closed while agony and supplication imprinted themselves upon his brown rugged features. To complete the striking picture, a ray of sunlight streamed through the window, falling full upon his rapt unconscious face and unkempt hair, and bathing the kneeling figure with a beautiful silver halo."
HM NumberHM86K
Year Placed1995
Placed ByThe Friends of El Campo Santo Cemetery
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 1:42pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 481879 N 3623773
Decimal Degrees32.75166667, -117.19343333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 45.1', W 117° 11.606'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 45' 6.00" N, 117° 11' 36.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)619, 858, 949
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2414 San Diego Ave, San Diego CA 92110, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?