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Mesa cemetery tour offers peek at city history

MESA, Ariz. — The Mesa Historical Museum Board is inviting Joe and Jo Public to learn about Mesa’s history with a tour of the city cemetery this weekend.

Country singer Waylon Jennings’ grave is one of the first on the inaugural Mesa Cemetery tour.

Board spokesman Vic Linoff said the cemetery is the final resting place of other famous people. “Ernesto Miranda, for whom the Miranda rights decision is named, is also buried in the cemetery,” said Linoff.

“There’s also former Arizona Congressman John Rhodes, who served several years in the U.S. Congress.”

Another individual who influenced Mesa was Zedo Ishikawa, who died in the 1930s. The Mesa High School football star accidentally shot himself while trying to use the butt of a gun to break up a dog fight.

“While he was on his deathbed, with friends, students, and family around him, his last words were ‘Carry on.’ It was the advice he was trying to give to his football team,” Linoff said. “That has now become the motto for Mesa High School … ‘Carry on.’ ”

Mesa named an elementary school after him.

Volunteers will be around the cemetery to tell the stories of the people who are buried there.

The cemetery is located at 1212 N. Center St., directly across the street from Hohokam Stadium. Tickets are $15 for adults. Tours start Saturday at 8:30 a.m.