The Winters Cemetery was established in 1875, after Mason Abe Hill of Buckeye Lodge, recognizing the need for a place to bury loved ones, agreed to deed some land to the Masonic Order for public purposes. It came to be known as the “Masonic Cemetery of Winters.”
The first lots were encouraged to be purchased by fellow Masons. A lot of twelve plots sold for the price of twelve dollars and fifty cents. After the Masons purchased all they could afford the lots were then offered to the public. The first burial of Bert Allen took place in 1876. There were also bodies of people from the surrounding areas of Buckeye and Wolfskill having died as early as 1860 that were exhumed and re-buried in the Masonic Cemetery of Winters.
After several years the Masonic Lodge found it difficult to maintain the condition of the grounds as they wanted them. They tried to form a Cemetery District in order to turn it over to Yolo County to levy fees for hiring a Sexton as other Cemeteries in the County were doing. The Yolo County Board of Supervisors could not legally accept the Cemetery due to the fact that the district encompassed areas in both Yolo and Solano County.
The Masonic Lodge contacted Assemblyman O’Donnell for assistance. Within a few years the Masons had succeeded in petitioning for Assembly bill number 1742-O’Donnell which permitted the organization of a Special District Cemetery when the territory covers land in one or more counties.
With the passage of Assembly bill 1742-O’Donnell the Yolo County Board of Supervisors could then accept the Cemetery. On December 3, 1941 a Resolution was signed by the Masonic Lodge deeding all unsold lots, aisles, streets and alleyways to the “Winters Cemetery District.”
The Yolo County Board of Supervisors appointed three members of the public to serve as the first members of the Board of Trustees for the Winters Cemetery District.
Additions to the Cemetery were added in 1897, 1929, 1950 and in 1976 more adjacent land was purchased for a total of 13 ½ acres.
A small known fact: the Winters Cemetery has members of the Donner Party and one of the great grandsons of Chief Sitting Bull of the Sioux Nation.