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Pleasant Valley Cemetery (now Dizdar Park)
(Ventura County)
Ventura Blvd
Camarillo, California 93010 USA

The cemetery is located near St. Mary Magdalene Chapel. Pleasant Valley Baptist Church owned the cemetery in the 1870s. About 70 bodies were buried there.

 

It was decided to turn the cemetery into a park with land donated by Mike Dizdar, a Yugoslavian immigrant. He paid to move 100 bodies beginning in the spring of 1941 The majority of bodies were moved to Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura (on Highway 101 near Victoria Ave). Some remains were claimed by families members and moved elsewhere. Some remains were left in the park because families could not be located. At least five graves remain currently remain at the site.

 

The area finally became a Dizdar Park in 1945 owned by the county. In 1965 the county transferred the park to the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District

 

The city of Camarillo purchased the park from the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District in 2011. It was intended to be improved to include an amphitheater and new playground equipment. The old fire station would be leased for commercial use. This would require a driveway to be constructed. Since the land was once a cemetery, the city is required to do a forensic study.

 

"Is is my understanding that you have to have a relative's permission to move any remains, but the reason they were left there in the first place was because they couldn't find some of those relatives," Craven said. "When it was converted from a cemetery to a park, there was a lot of effort put into locating all relatives. We have to sit down as a council and figure out what we need to do and we will have to hear what people say about it. Right now it's premature to have a big discussion until we find out what's out there."

 

(2011 information excerpted from article in Ventura County Star, dated Feb 1, 2011)

 

Cemetery records updated 2015 from book published in January 2015: They Lived and Died in Pleasant Valley: A History of the Pleasant Valley Cemetery with A Springville Cemetery Addendum by Sherwood Milleman and Val Rains. Detailed information about the burials and familes may be found in this book. A copy of this book is held in the Ventura County Genealogical Society's Library collection at the Camarillo Public Library.