The final Mass was celebrated in the chapel on May 26, 1963. After its closing, the chapel and cemetery fell into a state of neglect and disrepair with both the chapel and cemetery incurring vandalism.
In 1978, Cambria natives Marina Curti and Clementine Newman formed the Santa Rosa Chapel committee and spearheaded the restoration project for seven years.
By September 16, 1984, the restoration was complete and the chapel was rededicated for community use. Brush and trees had been removed and a fence and gate added. Workers raised and restored the foundation, replaced siding on the north and east sides, installed new window panes and a new floor and replaced much of the wainscoting. They rebuilt the floors, communion rail, confessional, side altars, and the iron fence and gateway at the cemetery.
The committee restored curbing around family plots and placed redwood markers on unmarked graves. They bought pews from Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz and even found the original 1871 altar in a Phelan barn.
Clearly, the efforts of these two extraordinary women and their Santa Rosa Chapel committee resulted in the treasured site we have today.
Fundraising continues today for restoration and maintenance of the chapel. It is available for weddings, memorial services, concerts and events. Additional funds are raised by the annual polenta dinner and candlelight Christmas program.