Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FALL ACTIVITY: Visit A Cemetery

Believe it or not, this is one of our favorite family Fall activities, next to driving up the canyon and checking out the changing leaves! Utah has some very old and interesting cemeteries just waiting to be discovered! There is also a lot of history you can learn in a cemetery! You can also add your own submissions to the Find A Grave website!

We love taking pictures of graves, then using our Kodak Easyshare Software to enhance and edit the pictures and make them look cool and spooky!

We also like writing down the names of some of the really old graves and coming home to research them and see if we can find any information on them and the life that they lead!

Below is a list of some of the old and cool cemeteries we like to visit.
(If YOU know of a really old and cool cemetery, please email us at enjoyutah@q.com).

NOTE: Cemeteries close at dark, so make sure to go there during the day. If you are caught after dark, you may get a trespassing ticket!

Utah's First Pioneer Burial Site / Native American Indian Mound
Let's start with the oldest known cemetery in Utah, which no longer "exists", but you can still visit it! Not only was it the first known Pioneer burial ground in the valley, but also an ancient Native American burial ground. Currently the plot is the home to the Palladio Apartments, and the address is 300 South and 200 West in Salt Lake City. The historic marker sits on the Southwest corner of the intersection. The marker reads:
Utah's first pioneer burial site was located just thirty feet west and two hundred feet south ofthis point. Here, thirty-three Utah pioneers were buried beginning with three year-old Milton Thirlkill. This youngster from Mississippi drowned in 11 August 1847 in City Creek, three days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Other pioneers known to have rested here include CarolineVan Dyke Grant (26 Sept.1847), Eliza Ann Rich (11 Feb.1849), perhaps Laura Exphena Rich (7-9 May 1849), and other unidentified members of the Charles C. Rich and Vincent Shurtliff families. Lost to memory for decades,the site was discovered during construction work in 1986. The burials had been placed by the pioneers in the soft earth of a prehistoric Indian mound which, when excavated, also revealed several Native American burials. The burial site was one block east of the "old Fort" (nowPioneer Park), Salt Lake City's first settlement site. The Fort soon expanded onto the blocks to the north and south. The site would have initially served this early municipal area. All surviving remains were scientifically removed and carefully reinterred.Unfortunately, not all the remains could be identified on the basis of existing records. The pioneers are reburied in an appropriate historic setting at Pioneer Trail State Park, 2601 Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, overlooking the valley they came to settle.- Placed by the Block 49 Commitee 30 May 1987

Salt Lake City Cemetery
Located at 200 N Street in the Salt Lake City avenues.

This is a great place to go to see many different headstones, memorials, and memory gardens. There is even a monument for those that have suffered miscarriage or the loss of a baby to go and meditate (
The Christmas Box Angel Statue). One of my favorite gravestones is a child in a wheelchair reaching up and standing up out of his wheelchair. It is very touching. There is also a section dedicated to the Japanese who lost their lives in Utah during WWII, and also a section dedicated to many who lost their lives in various wars (see picture to the right). Many LDS prophets and general authorities are buried at this cemetery. For a map of the Salt Lake Cemetery, visit our Salt Lake Cemetery page. 

Pleasant Green Cemetery
This cemetery is located in Magna, UT, but chances are you have never driven past it. It is located atop a hill and around a corner, so it is not easily seen from the road. If you take 3500 South all the way West you will eventually go as far as you can go, before the road starts turning North. This is where you will want to go across the railroad tracks and up the mountain. You will find the Pleasant Green Cemetery at the top of the mountain.

Copperton / Bingham Cemetery
This is one of the oldest cemeteries in the state. If you take the Old Bingham Highway all the way West towards Copperton, you will pass it on your left. OR you can take the New Bingham Highway towards Copperton, and you will see it on the road below on your left. A few years ago this cemetery was very run-down, with most of the graves being unmarked. In 2006,
Brad Jencks set out to complete his Eagle Scout project by researching all those that were buried there. There is more information and a sign about this as you enter the cemetery. Recently, the remains of historic lawman James D. Hulsey were discovered at this cemetery, and a marker was placed on his grave. On Nov. 29, 1913, Hulsey was gunned down near what was the town of Bingham at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains by a notorious desperado known as Red Lopez. Read the full story by clicking here.

Ogden City Cemetery
Ogden City Cemetery is the oldest cemetery within Ogden's city limits. The first burial was in 1851 and it is still in use. It is located at 1875 Monroe Boulevard in Ogden, UT.

Garrison Cemetery
I don't know if Garrison, Utah can be considered a ghost town, but there isn't much there besides an old cemetery and a church. And a house or 2. It is about 10 miles east of the Nevada state line on the road coming from Delta. The cemetery is around 150 years old and is very well preserved. Most of the grave markers are limestone and very easy to read. If you like an old cemetery, this is the place to visit. - Submitted by Cyndi Fowler

Mercur Cemetery
Found in Tooele County, this is a really old and creepy cemetery! Our field experts, Chad and Jen, are the ones that discovered this really cool cemetery for Enjoy Utah!, and over the summer we ventured out there with a group as one of our Summer Adventures. This is where we chose to spend our Halloween last year! To get there, go South through Tooele and into Stockton. Keep going until you see a sign heading Eastbound to go to Mercur. The cemetery is at the base of one of those canyons. You do have to park and walk up a small hill, but nothing too strenuous.

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