Friday, September 06, 2013

Cemetery Work

My grandfather George Polhill, my mother's dad, is buried in Sunnyside Cemetery in nearby Victor. When we visited the grave last month while our grandchildren were visiting, we realized the grave needs some care. Not ones to procrastinate, we got right to it--today, 3 days before we leave. This is what it looked like when we arrived. It is the grave on the left.

John did the hard work, using a hoe and a shovel to removed the grass and other plants that had taken root in the years since he last cleaned the site. The cemetery is not maintained, so any cleaning and repair is up to the relatives of those buried there.

I wasn't idle. I put all those plants into a bucket and made several trips to the edge of the cemetery where I deposited them. Eventually the grave looked respectable again and you could actually read my grandfather's name.

George was a gold miner. He and his neighbors all worked underground. Today, looking at his grave, you can see the huge American Eagle open pit gold mine. Those buried in past decades couldn't imagine what goes on there today.

Cemeteries give hints of so many stories. If only we could read those stories. I found three sets of father and son graves where the two men from one family died in the same year. I wonder why?

I can't help but wonder where this man drowned. (Click to enlarge the photo.)  There isn't a decent river or lake for miles.

Since our last visit to this area, numerous unmarked graves have been mapped and marked with small white crosses.

The name of the person buried here has been long lost.

The first known burial in the cemetery was in 1891. Some Wisconsin Civil War soldier decided to seek his fortune in the gold mines and died here. I wonder if Mr. Tyler found that fortune before he died?

A number of the graves are encircled with iron fences, man-made items of beauty surrounded by the majestic Colorado mountains.


  1. It's always so interesting to read old tombstones.

  2. Hey! We visited that cemetery when we were in Victor last year. If we had known, we would have cleaned up the grave site for you. Well, maybe not.