History of Art Monument

Art Monument has been a fixture on Mission Blvd in Hayward, California since the early 1920’s. We pride ourselves on a solid commitment to family values and fair business practices. Through five generations of dedication to the monument industry, we have provided countless members of the bay area community, a positive way to remember their loved ones.

Alex McLennan Sr. was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1847 and immigrated to the United States via New York. When the Transcontinental Rail Road was completed, he relocated to Penryn, California, working to supply granite to major projects throughout the state. After a short time in Penryn, Alex moved to San Francisco and opened his own granite business at 4th and King Street, working on several of the now historic buildings in the city. He soon got word that there was an outcropping of granite in Madera, California. Seeing this as an opportunity to expand his business, he opened a small quarry in Raymond, California. Today, Cold Spring Granite owns the property.

Alex McLennan Jr. was born in San Francisco. Being born and raised in a granite rooted family, he naturally pursued his career as his father had. He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife Phoebe to go to work on the Parliament Building in Victoria. Alex and Phoebe had three children. They opened a small business in Vancouver called Art Monument Company and ran it successfully until Phoebe suddenly died. Wanting to start over, Alex moved his children to Hayward, California. Seeing the great potential of having a monument business across the street from a large cemetery, he opened a second Art Monument Company in the early 1920’s.

Alex’s children, Paul, Alex III and Melba grew up helping their father at Art Monument in Hayward. Melba worked a small flower stand next to the monument shop for years. In 1930, the flower stand was upgraded to Paul’s Flower Shoppe, which is still there to this day and is leased to Hayward Floral. Paul loved to talk to people. He was a natural salesman and a prosperous businessman, guiding families through the task of memorializing their loved ones. Alex was an expert stone mason, hand crafting headstones from large slabs of granite and creating many memories out of stone to reflect the visions of the family and his brother Paul.

In 1936 Paul married Vivian and in 1937 they had a son, David. Vivian stayed at home talking care of the family for many years until David graduated from high school. After he graduated, Vivian came to help with the family business. David attended Hayward High School on Foothill Blvd and later received a degree in Business from Chico State University. Upon graduating from college he returned to the family business to help his father in the day-to-day work of Art Monument Company. Being young and ambitious David decided it was time to update things. A new cyclone blasting machine and polishing equipment were purchased. In 1965, David and Paul made the decision to branch out from the Monument business and purchased the Masonic Cemetery in Livermore, CA, located on North Livermore Avenue. They renamed it Roselawn Cemetery, after Vivian’s love of roses. The cemetery was in need of restoration. Having a great vision for the cemetery they jumped in with both feet and worked to make it a beautiful final resting place for families in the East Bay.

In the mid 1970’s David’s cousin Jody came to work at Art Monument as well. She started working in the flower shop on weekends, learning the art of floral arrangement from Melba. Later she worked after school in the lettering room at Art Monument helping with the layout, design, and manufacture of memorials. Upon graduation from High School in 1979 Jody took on a full time role helping her Aunt Vivian with the bookkeeping. In 1989, she was instrumental in implementing the use of the Monu-Cad system (computer aided design) for designing grave stones. Jody is presently working full time in the design department in addition to taking on the roll of bookkeeper and office manager. Over the years she has developed an expertise in design.

David is currently the President of Art Monument Co., Inc. and the manager of Roselawn Cemetery in Livermore. Now his son, Andrew carries on the family tradition in working in the family business. Andrew has his grandfather’s natural people skills and has taken the lead role of managing the company’s sales and operations. Working closely with Jody and Sam, their master stone mason, to continue to deliver high quality customer service along with timeless beauty in their tombstones and bronze markers for families all around the San Francisco Bay Area.