Newport Beach Pier

Our History

History of Fairhaven Memorial Cemetery

O.L. Halsell and a few local businessmen organized Fairhaven Memorial Cemetery in 1911. The park was created as a memorial park versus a cemetery; memorial parks are distinguished by flat (not upright) markers so that the visitors feel as if they are in the quiet solitude of a park.

Fairhaven Memorial Park remains one of the most beautiful and well-respected cemeteries in Orange County. Its first mausoleum, constructed in 1916, was one of the county’s first. Today several additional outdoor mausoleums are located throughout the park. A crematorium was established in 1931 and in 1976 was expanded to include a mortuary.  Interestingly, Charlton Heston is said to have used Fairhaven’s mausoleum to record his part as Moses in “The Ten Commandments,” because of the God-like sound effects.

Many famous people, county pioneers and Civil War veterans are buried at Fairhaven, including Pamela Morrison, the widow of legendary rocker Jim Morrison; Clarence Fender of Fender Guitar fame; Corrie Ten Boom, the Dutch Christian who helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust in World War II; Douglas ‘Wrong Way’ Corrigan, who earned a notorious place in aviation history in 1938; and members of prominent local families, including the Irvines, Fluors and Moultons.