In October 2022, we made a video expressing our concerns about the old Potter’s Field Cemetery at 11269 Garfield Avenue in Downey, and the unanswered question of what happened to many thousands of cremated remains of Rancho Los Amigos residents that were buried there in the 1930s.
We’ve created this dedicated blog post to share updates as we continue to seek information about the historic burials and to advocate for a permanent memorial to the people who were interred here.
Public records inquiries and responses to date:
• On September 26, 2022, we were informed that the Los Angeles County Department of Decedent Affairs had found no records, and advised to inquire with the Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk for Death Records, and with the California Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.
• On October 29, 2022, the Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk responded “The information you are requesting is not housed or recorded with the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.”
• On November 8, 2022, the Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau responded, “The Bureau does not have any responsive records to your request. Please note that the Bureau licenses and regulates fraternal and private cemeteries only. It has no jurisdiction over cemeteries operated by religious organizations, cities, counties, or cemetery districts; the military; Native American tribal organizations; or other groups. Therefore, because the Bureau does not license and regulate county cemeteries, there is no information the Bureau can provide as it pertains to the Los Angeles County Poor Farm aka Rancho Los Amigos South Campus.”
• On July 11, 2023, Malia Miglino shared a short video about the status of the burials at the Poor Farm cemetery to her macabremalia Instagram and la_history_girl TikTok accounts, including her inquiries with Downey’s city planner and the contractors for the new development on the parcel. We appreciate the increased awareness for this issue and continue to hope answers will be forthcoming before ground is broken for the project.
Virtual Poor Farm Cemetery memorial and death records:
• Find A Grave page for the cemetery, with less than 100 listed burials.
• Family Search database of California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994, search results for deaths at Rancho Los Amigos.