Do you enjoy perusing centuries-old gravestones in haunting tree-shaded cemeteries?
If yes, a visit to Wildomar Cemetery at 21400 Palomar Street is a good bet. It’s the final resting spot of many famous Elsinore Valley characters dating back more than 100 years.
Now, local historian Edy Rodarme has chronicled the “legends, mysteries, and more” of the meticulously manicured resting place in her newly self-published book, “Wildomar Cemetery History” available for free download on www.smashwords.com (search “Rodarme” to find it).
The author has traced the cemetery’s beginnings and outlines major events that have influenced the historic grounds, including burials of the area’s earliest settlers, as well as “interesting facts" and "discrepancies.”
The cemetery has been steeped in lore since it was established over 114 years ago in 1898, Rodarme writes.
Along with the nuts and bolts of how the cemetery came to be, Rodarme fills the online book's pages with archival obituaries and stories about those who have passed – from the turn of the 20th century to present day.
"I have been researching Wildomar history since 2004," Rodarme said, explaining that the majority of the book's information came from online databases, the Lake Elsinore Library, newspapers, microfilm, and the cemetery itself.
"The info has been accumulating and just sitting in my file cabinet and hard drive -- I wanted to share what I knew," Rodarme continued.
The author was diagnosed with cancer last year, but said that's what got her to write.
"If I hadn't come down with cancer last September, I don't know if I would have slowed down enough to actually sit down and put the book together," she explained. "The chemo damaged my heart, causing congestive heart failure and I was under many restrictions. At one point, I was only permitted to walk 50 feet a day. I was going crazy, once I started feeling better, with nothing to do. I'm not a TV person, so I decided to put the book together.
“My enjoyment of history and genealogy has been a hobby for many years starting when my late husband, Jon Clayton Rodarme, inherited his familys’ research records," Rodarme said. "I am a self-taught volunteer who likes nothing better than to have an engrossing, seemingly impossible, research project. What could be better than researching a cemetery?”