About Us

Front of Advance Monument Company

The 10,000 square foot building in which Advance Monument Company operates is a historic buildingĀ located in Orland, California that was once the home of the Orland Orange Growers Association. But the monument-making company that operates in there today and its owner, Samuel Cuestas, have a unique history of their own. Their history involves producing high quality monuments all throughout the state of California.

As a child Cuestas was influenced to go into the monument-making trade by family tradition. His father and two brothers worked in that field and exposed him to the fine craft of making monuments, also known as tombstone and markers.

In 1968 Cuestas decided to attend a special workshop that taught him several skills and later allowed him to obtain his first job in the industry. He then worked for two more monument companies where he learned how to sell headstones at retail, and also allowed him to perfect his layout-making abilities and sandblasting techniques.

It was in 1984 when with the suggestion and advice of his employer that Cuestas founded Hills Memorials Monument Company, which later became known asĀ Advance Monument Company. Soon after the foundation of the company, Advance Monument started selling at retail, and wholesale to 10 companies, including two pet cemeteries in the Los Angeles area. Cuestas even created a granite sign for the Chase bank in Downtown Los Angeles, and made the current sign for Arco Plaza in the same city.

After establishing his business in Southern California and operating for several years, Cuestas and his wife Ofelia decided to pursue country living and a more quiet location in which to raise their two children. Thus Cuestas, his family, and Advance Monument moved to Fortuna in California’s north coast in 1997, and then to Orland, which is about 20 miles from Chico, in 2004. 

Sam and Ofelia
Ofelia and Sam Cuestas

Today, Cuestas and Advance Monument Company continue to operate out of Orland and produce high-quality monuments for customers all throughout Northern California, especially in the counties of Glenn, Butte and Tehama. What has kept Cuestas producing monuments for so long is the satisfaction customers receive when they see the finished product. “We take pride in doing a good job,” says Cuestas.
-Written by Edgar Burgara


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