Monday, October 3, 2011

Sacramento Archives Crawl and Carlaw's Headstones

This past Saturday, October 1st, I took part in the first ever Sacramento Archives Crawl. Four local archive locations made up the crawl with exhibits of rarely seen artifacts and tours of some of their non-public facilities. I received my 'passport' at the first location I visited (I chose the Center for Sacramento History since I think of that as my 'home' archive location).  Each archive stamped my passport marking my journey through the crawl. To intrepid history fans that visited three of the four locations a prize, in the form of special Buffalo Brewery coasters, was awarded. Since Buffalo Brewery was located on R Street (now the site of the Sacramento Bee building and just torn down by my modeling era) this was something of a quest for me.

Several other participating archives had a presence and it was fun mingling. The Old City Cemetery Committee had a table at the California State Archives which reminded me to take another stab at finding the Carlaw family plot. I had tried a couple times before and had struck out miserably. Today however, I enlisted the help of the friendly volunteers there who steered me to the correct location.

I've been curious for some time how the gravestones for a family of gravestone cutters would look. The last of the Carlaws, Jack Carlaw, was interviewed in the 1930s mourning the trend away from fancy headstones to the point where he thought the artistry of his craft was no longer needed. But, their own family headstones are straight-forward and functional, without much artistic embellishment.  I guess that old line about shoe makers' families could apply to stone cutters as well.


  1. Sounds like a great event; it would be nice if they did something equivalent down this way. Maybe next year you can get the CSRM Library to participate!

  2. They had a table at the Sacramento Room of the Central library - so they were represented.