History

 

Rose Hills Memorial Park was founded in 1914 by Augustus Gregg and other Whittier businessmen on a portion of the historic Rancho Paso de Bartolo land grant. Whittier Heights Memorial Park, as it was originally known, began as an 18-acre cemetery serving the growing city of Whittier. As the population of the area grew, the park grew with it.

In 1928, management launched an expansion program that continued into the 1950s. At its largest, the park spanned nearly 2,500 acres. Today, it comprises over 1,400 of the most beautiful acres you will ever see.


Historical image of the original entry gate at Rose Hills Memorial Park. This same spot is now known as Gate 14.


In 1917, shortly after Rose Hills was founded, a small, indoor Whittier Heights mausoleum—only the second public structure of its kind in California—was opened at the cemetery. In 1930, El Portal de la Paz (Doorway to Peace) opened to the public. This exquisite mausoleum, expanded several times over 30 plus years, is a Spanish Mission–style gem, with marble corridors, stained-glass windows, and an enclosed courtyard garden with a fountain.

Later, Rose Hills built garden mausoleum complexes (named for the missions of California: Terrace of Memories, Court of Eternal Light, Mausoleum of the Valley and Lakeview Mausoleum) and four chapels (Rainbow Chapel, Hillside Chapel, Memorial Chapel and SkyRose Chapel)—each with its own unique charm and purpose.

 

 

In 1942, Rose Hills completed a crematorium; in 1956, Rose Hills Mortuary and the Flower Shop at Rose Hills were opened, making Rose Hills one of the first cemeteries in the country to offer all the services and facilities necessary for memorialization at one beautiful location.


Historical image of The Mortuary at Rose Hills as originally built. The design was later changed to enclose the first floor.


In 2005, GardenView Reception Center began offering families modern amenities like catering services and audio/visual equipment in a peaceful setting. In 2008, the crematory was modernized and a viewing lounge was added so that it became The Witness Crematorium at Rose Hills. In 2015, Rose Hills Mortuary unveiled the Hall of Endless Remembrance, a space within the mortuary's visitation center designed and built especially for the Chinese and Buddhist populations. Summer of 2019 brought the Hua Yuan Ceremonial Complex, a multi-chapel building created with the specific cultural needs of Chinese families in mind.

Each addition or alteration has allowed Rose Hills to better serve our diverse community with unmatched beauty and cultural sensitivity.