Saturday, November 24, 2012

Local Family Graves

File on Scribd with maps, grave photos, and list of family graves in the local area.

Monument Cemetery

I found the Monument Cemetery to be very sad.  There are many tombstones in great disrepair, and there were at least, say, 100 graves marked only with this "unknown" marker - which I guess is better than nothing at all, but left me feeling profoundly sad.  Like we've lost something important.  I know that is the way of history and pioneer towns in particular, but two of those 'unknown' graves might be my great-great-great-great grandparents Robert and Eliza Jane Jones who both died maybe in the Monument area in 1873, and is it is I'll probably never know what happened to them or where they are.  Maybe they are one of these!  There was a funeral going on as I arrived, someone with a military background and he was cremated but they buried his ashes.  Everyone wore black, which is not what my own family tends to do at funerals.  I wonder how everyone knows how to dress for funerals, since no one talks about it really yet some are very formal black wear and others are just normal clothes and others are dress clothes?  If I ever had lots of money, cemetery marker upkeep/repair is one cause I've thought about.  I think the first time I thought about it was when in a previous genealogy hunt I visited the grave of Ira G. Cummings, a great-great grandfather of mine in Evergreen Cemetery for Memorial Day.  But his grave is completely unmarked - he had no headstone, and an employee had to show us basically where it would be.  But most of these smaller cemeteries have no employees, they just sit lonely and empty and decaying all the time, and no one is even necessarily keeping records of who is buried in them.  Anyway, I was disappointed realizing I may not be able to find Robert and his wife even if they are here.  They are, I believe, my first ancestors to be buried in this county and state - 7 generations back.

The sadness of this cemetery fits the sadness of this day - Ashura, 10th Muharram.  Most of those victims also did not get well marked graves, but they are still remembered.  Why do I feel it is important that we remember those who came before?  It seems really important.

I saw a few headstones like this where they're broken and they've just sunk into the ground.  Many more were completely gone or there may never have been a stone marker. 

This Robert Jones is the son of the Robert Jones I was searching for.  He was the only Jones in the cemetery marked on a headstone.

An example of one where the names are now fully gone, but remnants of a marker are there.  Initials are still there.

Another one fading into the ground.  

A whole row of "unknowns".

This is the oldest marked burial I could find - it seems to say 1871 and so my relatives could be right by it.

An older one still in pretty good shape - probably fought in Indian wars.

This one may have been re-etched or a replacement stone, so maybe some families have done some upkeep?

These two are clearly replacement markers.  My family might be near them or might not be in a cemetery at all or somewhere else.  

I wonder the story behind this one..... I do know there were fights with Indians now and then in the 1870's in the area.  But also could've been a murder or an accident, but the choice of the word 'killed' make you ponder.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Table Rock and Elbert Cemeteries 11/20/12

Mom, dad and I went and finally found the Table Rock cemetery today.  We've looked for it before, but it is hard to find.  My dad's grandfather was born there and we might have some relatives there, although apparently not direct ancestors.  It is in sorry shape.  It is on private land, completely fenced off, and apparently completely abandoned - not maintained or visited at all.  Well, for one, it is like a secret to figure out where it is because it is on private land.  I agree with my dad that that is a shame - unless it is strictly a family plot, cemeteries should be public!

So, for anyone else who tries to find it in the future, I am hereby posting more clear directions than we ourselves could find anywhere - finally a nice lady in the neighborhood told us where it was.  From CO 105, turn south on Black Forest Rd and then east on Angelholm Rd. and drive until the road ends, the cemetery is about a half acre fenced area right at the end of the road.  There are no signs, no entrances, and most of the grave markers are hidden in grass if they are even still there.  GPS coordinates N 39 degrees 07.095 minutes, W 104 degrees 41.143 minutes.  Elevation 7302 feet.

We then drove on to the Elbert Cemetery.  Elbert is a cute, very tiny little town - on the edge of the Black Forest it has more of a mountain town feel than a plains town feel.  The cemetery looks borderline full/abandoned.  Most of the graves are quite old and seem to be in primarily family plots.  But it is decent-sized, probably 10 acres?  My great-great-great grandfather Thomas Bird Allison is buried there and we found his grave.  He would be the second-oldest Colorado pioneer in my family buried here.  The other would be Robert Jones my great-great-great grandfather who died in El Paso County (here), Colorado, June 6, 1873 - but I have no idea where he is buried. His wife died only 3 months later and he was only in his 50's and she in her 40's - something happened, but I don't know what.  In the next census, my great-great grandfather William is in his early twenties, newly married to Grace Fraker, and also raising his younger brother Robert. I can't find a record of a grave - but he *might* have been somewhere around Fountain, Colorado at that time, since he shows up on the census there in 1870. He is listed right after Thomas Owens, who is apparently the earliest homesteader of the area. I can't find a list of graves in the Fairview Cemetery in Fountain - but a lady told me he's not listed there.  Or, he may have not been buried in a cemetery, but just in some unmarked grave somewhere?  No idea - it's a mystery.  Neither of these were born in Colorado, but were the first to arrive.  I think the first birth in Colorado among my direct descendants would be Nettie Jones, Robert's granddaughter, my great-great-grandmother born in 1878 in this county.  Not exactly sure where - maybe in the Table Rock area.  So, I'm a 5th-generation Colorado native and a 7th generation Coloradan, and even a 7th generation El Paso County resident. :)

Elbert Cemetery Allison plot.  Alva is one of Thomas's granddaughters.

Just loved the name!

Wooden grave markers are kind of sad to me.

Several hand-made grave markers were present - they must not have all the restrictions the big city cemeteries do.


Probably the prettiest head stone I've ever seen.

old building in the Table Rock area.

old stove

One of Thomas's sons, my great-great-great uncle.  Daisy was a Fraker, so she is doubly a great-great aunt- by married on the Allison side, but by blood on the Nettie Jones side.

Table Rock in the back ground; fenced in area is the cemetery.

Thomas Bird Allison - oldest Colorado grave of ancestors I've been able to find, but Robert Jones and/or his wife Eliza Jane would beat it - maybe around Fountain both in 1873?  The dates found were on but don't have sources cited, so who knows?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

May's Peak and Sesame Canyon Loop 11/17/12

This was a wonderful hike - lots of nice surprises.  We walked up a then-chilly High Drive and then a little-known trail to summit May's Peak, which had very nice 360 degree views.  Then we came down Sesame Canyon back to the road.  Mark's pedometer put it at nearly 8 miles.  Beautiful day, beautiful hike - thanks Mark. :)  May's Peak seems to be a somewhat less-known gem in North Cheyenne Canyon - does not get many visitors to the summit. If you cut out the High Drive part by starting in the North Cheyenne Canyon big lot, it would be significantly shorter and with significantly less incline.

Pygmy Nuthatch - there were LOTS of these

deer at the top of High Drive

Good views as we head around May's Peak

Chickaree - aka Pine Squirrel

Mark awoke some hibernating lady bugs under a piece of bark he picked up to prop his camera

The summit shot :)

The sun is burning through the tree! :)


Garden of the Gods

The bike cuts on Captain Jacks

Mountain Chickadee

Taco Bell rock

mossy forest in Sesame Canyon

Stellar's Jay

ice on Bear Creek

heading home