The Odd Fellows cemetery is the final resting place to many of Fallbrook’s early homesteaders and community leaders. The graveyard was created in 1904 when F.W. Bartlett offered the local Odd Fellows lodge ownership a 3 acre plot of land. At the point this land had already been in use for burials since 1886, but this offer gave this cemetery an official name.
As of 2014, the cemetery appears to be in a state of disrepair and negligence, but from what I gather, maintenance is performed by family members of the deceased. If you’re a fan of rickety, old cemeteries brimming with historical personality then you will probably enjoy this place as much as we do. I personally love these kinds of graveyards, with so many unique tombstones. Walk around and pay attention to all the tiny details this spot has to offer.
You will notice that many of the markers are nothing more than a simple wooden cross or small brick with etchings. Names include early Fallbrook families such as Fallis, Scott, Lamb, Mack and Ellis. One of the first Congressional Medal Winners rests here: Sergeant William Pittinger, whom became a Civil War hero as one of “Andrews Raiders,” after infiltrating Confederate territory and hijacking a train in an attempt to disrupt enemy lines.
This maneuver later inspired Walt Disney’s movie The Great Locomotive Chase. Once settled in Fallbrook, he served as the Methodist minister until his death in 1889.
In 1904, the I.O.O.F. set the price of its cemetery plots at fifteen dollars for a single plot, or fifty dollars for eight plots (family rate), excluding maintenance. Shockingly enough, the price remains at the 1904 rate, but many problems have occurred due to the exclusion of maintenance in the initial cost. For that rate, it is up to relatives to maintain their loved one’s plot and the general well-being of the cemetery. As time passes, most relatives have since moved away or died, and the cemetery has deteriorated. A donor recently left a grant for cemetery restoration and upkeep giving the spot a new fence.