13 April 2014

Central City's Masonic Cemetery

My family recently visited Central City & Black Hawk, Colorado for a day of exploring and history. We enjoy these excursions, and are often guided by one of the many ghost town or Colorado guide books in our collection.

For this day of adventure, we started by veering off the highway just before Central City and went to the ghost town of Nevadaville. My husband had spotted a cemetery from the main road, so we headed there first. It turned out to be the Masonic Cemetery. We ended up visiting a few more cemeteries, and I will blog about those in the coming days, as well as the many fraternal buildings still standing in the two communities. Nevadaville featured the "Masonic Block" or Lodge, which was built in 1875. This, too, will be mentioned in a future post.

One thing we noticed immediately, and it was a theme that continued throughout the day, was the number of damaged markers, as well as those that have fallen victim to earth's natural movement. You could look in any direction and recognize a marker that had fallen off of its based, showed evidence of tampering, or in many cases, was leaning so dramatically, it was actually dependent on a nearby marker to keep it off the ground. Since we had our daughter with us, we had to be quite cautious; there were many headstones that I would consider a hazard to her, so didn't let her wander off much on her own, or touch many of the markers.

So far, I have been unable to locate any formal group online that is working to preserve these cemeteries beyond what the community has already done (fences, gates, etc.).

All images are ©Jen Baldwin, Ancestral Journeys, 2014. 

Note that Mr. Polglase has both the Masonic and I.O.O.F. symbols on his marker. 

An interesting example of a tree marker including the Masonic square and compass.

Jennie S. Potter, aged 43 ys, 7ms, 3d. Her Masonic square and compass also says, "Holy Bible" across the top.

Weidmann family plot. Look at how severely this is leaning to the right.

General landscape and view of the cemetery.

William Henry Harper. This headstone is new, but includes Masonic and GAR symbols, as well as his photo. 

Sadly damaged, the marker for bothers William and Freddie Faull is in two pieces.
The top piece is actually completely gone.

A white bronze marker, unusual for this area.
It also included GAR markings on another side. 

The view from the cemetery. Note the white building to right of center at the back of the property.
This was likely once a tool shed, but also has an outhouse built into the corner.
In the distant background, to the far right, is one of the casino's of modern day Central City/Black Hawk. 
The tool shed, with the Masonic square and compass at the top.
It is unlocked, but houses nothing more than a few random boards and graffiti. 

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