Found Tombstone: Missing Marker or Movie Prop?

A Facebook friend messaged me this morning about a story in today’s Antelope Valley Times:

Tombstone found near Vasquez Rocks

ACTON – A Sprint employee made an unusual discovery while working near the Vasquez Rocks in Acton… the broken and discarded tombstone of a woman who was born and died in the 1800s.

[Around 3:30 p.m., Monday, August 4,] Joe Trader was working on a cell tower near Indian Brave Road and Valley Sage Road when he found the tombstone nearby.

Trader called the Sheriff’s Department and the tombstone was taken to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station by Deputies.

There were no clues to where the tombstone came from or how it came to be abandoned in the hills. It is unknown if it had been stolen and discarded or if it had been abandoned in the hills after having been replaced with a newer grave marker.

The tombstone is engraved with “Mother” on the top and the name “Sarah Robinson” on the front.

It gives a date of birth of May 19, 1822 and a date of death of June 22, 1889.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2400.

[Information via press release from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.]

See the original article here:

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I used to live not far from where the tombstone was found, so of course, this mystery intrigued me. Unfortunately, I was on my way out the door to take my kid to swimming lessons, so I could only do a brief search for the mysterious, tombstone-less Sarah Robinson. Oddly, I could find absolutely nothing about any woman even slightly resembling her vitals. Granted, I was in a hurry, but I fully expected to find… something. Shortly afterwards, my friend added the comment that the latest rumor is that Ms. Robinson’s tombstone was a lost movie prop. Interesting, and certainly possible, considering that many, many movies, TV shows, music videos, etc., have been filmed at the Vasquez Rocks, which are nearby.

I’m not entirely convinced, though. And I would hate to see Sarah go without her tombstone, especially if she was buried in a nearby cemetery or on a local property.
So… what say you, genealogists/movie buffs out there? Can we find a home for the Sarah Robinson tombstone? Or is it truly just a movie prop?


Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Elizabeth is a genealogy and family history researcher, writer, and consultant. Adores good grammar and spelling, and believes the Oxford Comma is just misunderstood. Thrives on large quantities of coffee. One daughter, two rescued hounds, and a plethora of missing ancestors keep her on her toes.


  1. It could possibly be from the former ventura cemetery that was turned into a park. they dumped all the headstones in a river and they ended up washing up for years. Supposidly people along the 126 and in santa clarita used them as doormats and decorations. Its also possible it was stolen from pioneer cemetery or acton cemetery in palmdale.

  2. Interesting point, Anonymous. Terrible to think grave markers were being used as door mats, but anything is certainly possible.


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