The origin of Casa Branca dates back to the eighteenth century. It is a Brazilian city remembered for quite a phenomenon called “voçoroca” (a collapse caused by undermining waters) where the land suffers erosion forming huge craters in the ground, giving it an aspect of the known Canyons. In 1728 there was already a reference to the village of Casa Branca in the”Journal of Historical and Geographical Institute of São Paulo” and the site had also appeared in the census of Mogi Guaçu. The colonial experience with the Azoreans began in 1813. In 1814 the resolution of Our Lady of Sorrows of Casa Branca was ratified determining the limitation of the land a league and a half away from Cocais to build a village for the Azorean settlers. The village was built in a regular way, semi-detached houses covered with straw. In 1815 more couples came to town. On February 25, 1841, Casa Branca is elevated to the condition of Village by Provincial Law no.15, and then it is elected the first Town Council.
The founders of the village were: Captain Orias Gonçalves dos Santos, Antonio Jose Correia (Baron of Rio Pardo), Captain Vicente Ferreira de Silos (Baron of Casa Branca), José Caetano de Lima (Baron of Mogi Guaçu), Commander Francisco Nogueira de Carvalho. On March 27, 1872, according to the Provincial Law no. 22 Casa Branca receives the category of city. The first press of the place “The Casa Branca” was founded on June 1, 1903. The city-aspas-s original station was opened in 1878, but the Mogiana railway just had its first junction opened in 1875 being all concluded in 1886. The Municipal Cemetery was built in the nineteenth century, a period of epidemics that ravaged all the State of São Paulo.
1728 – There was already a reference of the Village of Casa Branca.
1765 – The census of Casa Branca shows 16 free residents.
1813 – It starts the Azorean colonial settling.
1814 – It is promulgated the Permit which ratified the Resolution of Our Lady of Sorrows in Casa Branca.
1814 – Construction of the village for the Azorean settlers near the “Pouso of Casa Branca”.
1815 – New couples arrive in the village of Casa Branca.
1841 – Casa Branca is raised to the category of town, in this way making its territory independent of Mogi-Mirim.
1842 – It is elected the first Town Council.
1872 – Casa Branca is elevated to the status of city.
1878 – The Emperor D.Pedro II opens the first rail line section that led to Casa Branca constructed by The Mogiana Railway Company.
1951 – Inauguração da nova estação de Casa Branca.
1903 – Founding of “The Casa Branca” – the first press of the city.
1951 – Inauguration of the new station of Casa Branca.
Nineteenth century – – Construction of the Municipal Cemetery.
The cemetery is located at Avenida José Beni. It presents a flat topography formed by rectangular blocks that assemble funerary monuments dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some pine and trees are distributed randomly among the blocks.
In the Municipal Cemetery of Casa Branca there are buried many important personalities who contributed to the construction of the city, such as Antônio Pereira de Castro, who took part in the first Town Council of São Simão; Baron of Casa Branca and Vicente Ferreira de Sillos Pereira who twice hosted the Emperor D. Pedro II in his own house and was one of the founders of the city. As we can find in every secularized cemetery, there is a large number of anonymous people who were also responsible for the development of Casa Branca.
Within its urban structure, the cemetery contains tombs endowed with good artistic value. Some of the nineteenth century are made of marble of Carrara with images of angels and saints. The twentieth century ones adopt various influences since art déco up to modern art. Among the simple tombs, we highlight the cast iron crosses – unique craftsmanship. The cemetery records the memory of those who contributed for the growing of Casa Branca.
BORGES, Maria Elizia. Funerary Art in Brazil (1880 – 1930). Italian Marble Carver Craft in Ribeirão Preto. Belo Horizonte: C/ Arte, 2002.
Coordination and Research: Maria Elizia Borges.
Website Creation: Catu Design, 2008.
CNPq/PIBIC Researcher: Ana Maria Linhares de Almeida (2007/2008).
Photography: Luciano Bortoletto Júnior, 2004.
Translation: Iara Maria Sanches.
Municipal Cemetery of Casa Branca
Pope João XXIII Square
Cemetery is a cultural institution of the Western society. The preservation of its heritage is one way to legitimize it, as well as artistics and cultural activities carried on in situ.