Hidalgo Cemetery is one of three mining cemeteries that exist in/around the Almaden Quicksilver Mines. One is not labeled on any maps: Guadalupe Cemetery (a.k.a. the Spanish Cemetery or Cemetery Hill Cemetery), which was used when early Mexican miners worked the hills. It’s probably not labelled to protect its inhabitants. The other, Hacienda Cemetery, is located in New Almaden.
According to the Genwebs and Quicksilver, The complete history of Santa Clare County’s New Almaden Mine, Hidalgo Cemetery was created to replace the Guadalupe Cemetery in 1879. Like Guadalupe, most (if not all) of the people buried here were Mexican miners.
Don’t expect to find headstones or even bodies located at Hidalgo. While it was in active use for many decades after the Guadalupe Cemetery closed, according to this site [site no longer up]: “In 1933, the Corps of Engineers, contracted with Tommy Monahan… and a funeral director in San Jose, to remove the remains and rebury them at Oak Hill. Even though they believe they moved them all, the Quicksilver County Park Department continues to care for this cemetery as though there are still remains there.”
It’s a bit of a hike to Hidalgo Cemetery. Most of it is downhill (which means coming back is uphill). You can mark your progress by looking for a row of cypress trees that rise above all other trees. The distance from the Wood Road entrance to the Cemetery is roughly 2.5-miles (4km).
The graveyard (that is not really a graveyard) is still quite beautiful and worth the walk; it’s white picketed fence and surroundings are a reminder of what the area used to be. The views from here are spectacular. On the way you will find a large grouping of cactuses; these are thought to have been planted by the Mexican miners in the early days of the Mines.