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The Legend of Lone Tree Cemetery

One warm summer morning more than two centuries ago, a young Spaniard and his Señora rode into Señor Castro’s old hacienda near the present Pinedale Court tract in Hayward. Many travelers asked for food and lodging here, which was given freely. 

After the young couple accepted Señor Castro’s hospitality and enjoyed his delicious luncheon, they set out on fresh horses to ride to some point of interest in the surrounding countryside. Their host saw them depart in the direction of the LONE TREE. Their route was unusual, as Castro owned hundreds of acres on all sides, with no sign of settlement anywhere within eyesight.

Pink and orange sunset behind the silhouette of a tree
photo of the legendary Lone Tree at Lone Tree Cemetery

A few hours later, an old Spanish man, tired and travel-worn, arrived at the hacienda, presumably in pursuit of the young lovers. He claimed to be the girl’s father. First, he inquired about a pair answering the description of the two young people. Then, when informed of their general direction, he followed in pursuit.

Later that day, the old Spanish gentleman returned to bid Señor Castro farewell and returned to his home in Mexico.

Nightfall arrived, and Señor Castro harbored anxiety for his young guests when they failed to return. Questioning, he found that some of his vaqueros had seen two horsemen riding up to the LONE TREE, followed sometime later by a single rider.

They were still missing the following day. Señor Castro instructed some of his men to search for the young couple. Unfortunately, the search party made a sad discovery. They found the dashing young Spaniard and his beautiful bride lying side by side, having been shot dead. The young couple’s romance ended as they lay dead under the great, lone oak tree, killed by the avenging father, an unwilling father-in-law.

Years later, a group of community members established a cemetery on the site where the eloping couple was buried — under the LONE TREE.

For the sake of the legend, Edmund Dole, Dr. Edwin Kimball, Leander Linekin, Joel Russell, and others of the early pioneers acquired about thirty-five acres immediately around the lone tree, calling the land LONE TREE CEMETERY since there had already been burials there, under the tragic circumstances.

In the ensuing years, caretakers planted more trees and landscaped the grounds. Thankfully, the original old LONE TREE was protected and still stands today.

Granite Marker under the Lone Tree with the engraved date of 1700.
Photo of military personnel in front of a U.S. Flag

121st Memorial Day Service

May 27, 2024 - 9am-1pm

We are honored to host our traditional, in person, Memorial Day Program this year. We cherish this coming together to remember U.S. Military personnel who have died while serving the United States of America.
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