All of the old graveyards were originally associated with churches, but time has cut that connection in many cases. Many of the old churches are gone, and many of the cemeteries have been buried under housing and commercial development. San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque's Old Town Plaza is a good example. There are some known burials on the grounds, and likely some under the church's floors as well which may date back to Albuquerque's founding in 1706.
|San Felipe de Neri -- Certo Dolly Super-Sport -- TMAX 400|
A survey report of local cemeteries made in 1999 shows that there was a San Felipe Parish Cemetery located just a few blocks from the church and in use from 1854 to 1869. The report notes that "... the Jesuits sold this cemetery to John Mann for his market garden in 1892. He planned to level the ground to accommodate his irrigation ditches, but agreed to move any bones he turned up to a common grave in the new cemetery. He ultimately plowed up two tons of bones, which were moved to the Santa Barbara Cemetery..."
No visible traces of the old Parish Cemetary remain; the site is now occupied by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the Explora Science Center and Children's Museum on Mountain Road. (Coincidentally, our house is just south of Mountain and directly across the street from the historic Mann House.)
There a quite a few Day of the Dead events that take place over the course of about a week in Albuquerque. The biggest is the Marigold Parade in the South Valley, scheduled this year for Sunday, November 2nd. I've made pictures of the parade participants for the last several years and will likely do so again this year.