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Agua Mansa Cemetery Reopens to the Public

The history division at the San Bernardino County Museum announces that beginning Thursday, January 12, 2006 Agua Mansa Cemetery in the City of Colton will once again be open to visitors.  This site, located at 2001 W. Agua Mansa Road and one of the museum’s six historic sites, is the oldest cemetery in San Bernardino County. New public hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  (The cemetery will be closed to visitors on January 21.)  The site is closed on holidays including Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free; donations help support site preservation.

Visitors can stroll the grounds and talk with the on-site docent who is available to assist with information about the cemetery and the museum’s burial information data base. Over the last several years, history division staff members have compiled previous marker surveys, historic documentation and an updated inventory to create this special roster. For those who would like to do pre-trip research or cannot visit the actual cemetery, the data base is also available on-line through the museum’s website at – go to “Search the Museum Collections” and select “History – Agua Mansa Cemetery Burials”. 

The communities of Agua Mansa and La Placita, across from each other along the Santa Ana River, were the first non-native settlements in the San Bernardino Valley and had the first church and school. These villages were the largest settlement between New Mexico, and Los Angeles during the 1840s. Today, the Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery is all that remains of these once- thriving communities. 

While over 1,000 burials have been identified at this location, there are many others that have been lost due to environmental conditions over the years.  Active research is on-going through the history division and new information is added to the data base as it becomes available. Family activities and descendant’s days are being planned for the coming year.  If you would like to be notified of events at the site or if you would like to share information you may have about this site and burials in the cemetery, please contact Michele Nielsen, curator of history, at (909) 307-2669 ext. 240 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462 or e-mail her at

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 (adult), $5 (student or senior), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit

The San Bernardino County Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462.



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San Bernardino County Museum - (909) 307-2669 - 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, California 92374 TDD/TYY: (909) 792-1462

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