Untangling the mystery of a forgotten pet cemetery
DEAR JOAN » My company moved to Fremont near Warren Avenue — across from Mission Boulevard and Tesla — a year or so ago.
On nice days, I’ll do the occasional walk to one of the delis that’s a mile away or so. One of my co-workers mentioned there’s a pet cemetery on the corner of Lakeview and Warren, so the other day I walked down the street into the parking lot, and sure enough there’s a pet cemetery of some sort there.
The gate is locked, and while it looks as if it’s no longer regularly used, it has not been totally abandoned. It certainly isn’t open because there is no access.
Might you know about this small plot? Could there have been a veterinary hospital there at one time back in the day along with a pet cemetery?
I just find this situation unique and it’s a quiet place hidden away from all the noise and traffic that permeates that area. Rather a shame that more couldn’t be done for its upkeep, but then again I figure no one wants to pony up the money. At least someone had the heart to leave it alone and keep it there. DEAR PAUL » You certainly provided me with an interesting mystery to investigate, and while I’ve managed to unravel a bit of it, there still are unanswered questions.
With the assistance of Fremont city officials, I was able to learn that the Warm Springs Pet Cemetery was issued a use permit in 1971. At the time, the area was zoned as parkland.
In 1976, the designation changed to industrial when the city amended its general plan and rezoned the area described as “bounded by West Warren Avenue, Braga Street, Alameda County Flood Control Line ‘D,’ the Nimitz Freeway to a point 4,900 feet southerly of West Warren Road and the PG&E lines.”
It was then that Robert E. Gwinn, acting as the chairman of the board for the Warm Springs Pet Cemetery, petitioned the city to allow the 1.8-acre cemetery to remain as institutional open space. The city granted the request, but in the 1980s, the land was subdivided and the cemetery size was decreased. And that’s where the trail runs cold.
City records show that the use permit remains active, but I could find no more information on the owners or whether burials still are being done. I thought it might have a connection to the Warm Springs Pet Hospital, but they say no.
If anyone knows the rest of the story, please fill me in and help us solve this puzzle.
Bark in the Park
San Jose’s annual Bark in the Park returns to downtown 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at William Street Park, South 16th Street and East William Street. Admission is free but a $5 donation per dog is requested.
The event includes lowcost vaccines and $5 microchipping, demonstrations, lots of food and merchandise vendors and everyone’s favorite — contests that include dog costume, dog/owner look-alike and tail wagging.
Money raised from Bark in the Park benefits local community and pet-focused organizations, including Humane Society Silicon Valley, San Jose Animal Care Center and the Campus Community Neighborhood Association. It’s a great event for an even greater cause.