Evergreen Avenue

Named after Evergreen Cemetery, of course, although the street went nameless until 1887 – a full decade after the graveyard opened. The 67 acre Evergreen Cemetery was officially established in August 1877 but its name was coined on June 4th by its founders: Boyle Heights developer Albert Judson, Belgian undertaker Victor Ponet, German barber Fred Dohs, shopkeeper/realtor Irving Dunsmoor, and Isaac W. Lord, whose town “Lordsburg” would be absorbed into La Verne. What these men were proposing was unheard of in Los Angeles: a for-profit graveyard owned by a private company, not by a church or the City. As such, City Council was vociferously opposed, but gave in after the Evergreeners offered a 5 acre “potter’s field” to the City where the penniless could be interred. From the beginning, Evergreen was open to all races and creeds – except for the Chinese. Six years after the Massacre of 1871, in which 19 Chinese Angelenos were killed by a mob, anti-Chinese sentiment was still fierce. By 1887, they were allowed to bury their dead here, but only in the potter’s field.