Abandoned or Lost Cemeteries

The following are abandoned cemeteries in Teller County with no marked graves and no known records of those buried there. If any markers or names exist, the cemetery has its own page. Unless otherwise noted, information is from the 1985 Colorado Cemetery Directory.

Arequa Cemetery
According to Jan Collins at the Cripple Creek District Museum there may have been a cemetery at the old mining town of Arequa. The site is now under tailings and the cemetery may have been moved.

The small and close-knit community of Clyde was located along the stage road (now below Gold Camp Road) about five and a half miles south of Love on Middle Beaver Creek. Clyde was founded in about 1877 as a stage stop. The community grew when Cripple Creek's gold rush hit in 1891. In 1899, when the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railroad came through, there was a siding at Clyde. Thus the community at the railroad became known as Upper Clyde and the original community became known as Lower Clyde. The community had a post office beginning in 1896, a school, and some stores.

The families at Clyde were hard-working class families. In such a remote area, and in the days before prenatal care when many women gave birth at home, the mortality rate for infants and children was higher than today. Many ranch families, unable to afford proper burials and tombstones, simply buried their dead, especially stillborns or infants, in a spot close to the house. For a generation or two the family generally remembered the graves, but some of the locations of such burial spots have been forgotten over time. Clyde is one such place, with up to three or four burial spots located on original homesteads. Some of the burial areas have been identified. Others remain a mystery. The community in general began downsizing after the railroad quit running in 1920. It was eventually purchased as a large parcel of land for ranching. Lower Clyde is now on private property and permission must be obtained to see it. Research by Jan Collins, Bob DeWitt, Ron Whitecotton, Jan Swarm, and Corey Collins; also see Celeste Black's Clyde (Cripple Creek, Colo.: BlackBear Publishing, 2005).

Known burials at or near Clyde:

BLACK, Darrell Alan
Born: 21 MAR 1961 Died: 6 OCT 1991
Location: Colorado Springs
Comments: Darrell was the son of Clyde resident Celeste Black, who says his ashes were scattered behind the family cabin.

MEYERS, Cecilia “Baby Girl”
Born: 1 FEB 1925 Died: circa 1925
Comments: Child of Helen (nee Meyers) and Jim Schneider.
There is the possibility that there are two children, not just one. Helen's granddaughter Fredda says Helen “never named her; she called her “Baby Girl” but Grannie Schneider called the baby Cecilia. Leah Meyers says the child is not buried behind the Schneider house, but is buried “in a clearing possibly made by the railroad just off to the left (if you are coming from Rosemont) and maybe four or five feet below the railroad bed. You could see the top of the [Schneider] ranch house from the site, but it was in a level spot on the hill above the house.” Research by Jan Collins; Alan and Chuck Hobden and Leah Meyers, descendants of the Meyers family, and Melissa Bradley; see also Celeste Black's Clyde (Cripple Creek, Colo.: BlackBear Publishing, 2005).

Died: 1910
Comments: Born to Helen (Meyers) Schneider and Jim Schneider. Buried in the trees around Clyde, possibly “to the south and the east of the town.” Research by Jan Collins; Chuck Hobden, descendant of the Meyers family; see also BCeleste Black's Clyde (Cripple Creek, Colo.: BlackBear Publishing, 2005).

Dutchtown was a small suburb of Victor primarily founded by Dutch immigrants. There was never an official cemetery there, but the Meyers family of Clyde lived there for a short time and buried a stillborn male infant there. The burial is documented as follows:

MEYERS, Valentine
Died: 1910
Comments: Born to Minnie (nee Goeglein) Meyers and Isadore Meyers. Stillborn male infant.
Research by Jan Collins; Alan and Chuck Hobden and Leah Meyers, descendants of the Meyers family.

GAR Cemetery
This cemetery of Civil War veterans was located about half a mile west of Victor on land owned by A.A. Stern just west of Sunnyside Cemetery. Established in 1892, the cemetery held 46 burials when they were moved in the 1920s or 1930s. Thirty-eight were moved to Mount Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek and the remaining eight went to Sunnyside Cemetery.

  • From the Victor Daily Record, May 23, 1909:
    "G.A.R. Readies Own Cemetery Plot; Sets Dedication Plans"
    Memorial Day this year will have a double meaning for the Old Boys who fought for the country in the early Sixties. It will, as usual, be the day on which they will mark the graves of their comrades and call them to loving memory, but also it will mark the formal dedication of the Grand Army Cemetery. The cemetery is now nearly entirely completed and the old soldiers feel justly proud of the energy, and progressiveness which made possible a separate plot for the burial of their dead.

    The large flag pole which formerly stood at the front of the McCarvill building on Victor Avenue has been presented to the G.A.R. and has been erected on the cemetery plot. A flag will be flown form the pole for the first time on Memorial Day. C.S. Davidson has been chosen to make the dedicatory and memorial address at the cemetery.

    It has been decided to hold the memorial services Monday afternoon. The Grand Army has issued an invitation to the fraternal order of the city to take part in the memorial services. The school children will be given a vacation and will attend the exercises in large numbers. Company K will march in the processional to the cemetery and the Victor Miners' band will furnish the music.

    Next Sunday evening at 7:30 o'clock in the Methodist Church Rev. George Stuntz will deliver the annual memorial sermon. This will be attended by the G.A.R., the ladies of the G.A.R., and the Women's Relief Corps. It is hoped that a large crowd will attend the memorial service. Exceptionally good music has been secured and the service will be one of the best ever given in the history of Victor.

  • Excerpted from the Cripple Creek Gold Rush, July 7, 1978
    "Unknowns' Mystery Solved" by Sgt. Alby Steiner, U.S. Army
    Editor's note: Thirty-eight tombstones marked "Unknown Soldier" are located in Mount Pisgah Cemetery and another eight are to be found at Sunnyside Cemetery outside of Victor. The origin of the unknown soldiers have presented a mystery for years. Sgt. Steiner, a journalist at Fort Carson[, Colorado Springs, Colo.], spent over a year researching the history of the tombstones.

    In the high country of Colorado's Rocky Mountains there are two cemeteries which have presented a mystery for many years. They are located in the towns of Victor and Cripple Creek. And within these cemeteries stand 46 military headstones bearing the simple inscription "Unknown U.S. Soldier."

    The fact is that these graves are the graves of Civil War veterans who were buried in a long forgotten cemetery outside of Victor. It was a cemetery for members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). These veterans went to Cripple Creek during the gold rush and died there. All the veterans were originally buried together in the separate GAR cemetery located a few hundred yards west of the present Sunnyside Cemetery, on private land. Later, during the 1920s, the bodies were moved to their present graves.

    The National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C., has records of these headstones having been ordered in 1933 by Dr. Glenn Chaffee, then the Post Adjutant of the American Legion Post 35 in Victor.

    But the mystery is not totally solved. Several of the archive documents bore a name which had been crossed out and replaced with the term "Unknown U.S. Soldier."

    Kenneth Geddes, a Colorado Springs attorney and the city attorney for Victor, is a member of one of the old families in the Cripple Creek District. Geddes recognized the name . . . of one J.B. Cunningham, who had built subdivisions in Victor and had been one of the city's leading citizens and a member of the GAR. . . . It was Geddes who remembered the location of the GAR Cemetery about a half mile west of Victor.

    The cemetery was located on land owned by A.A. Stearns whose father, Alonzo Stearns, had been buried in the GAR plot. Research discovered that sometime in the 1920s Stearns requested that these graves be moved off his land and reinterred elsewhere.

    Stearns's daughter Elsie Akin . . . said the request to move the graves had been made because the cemetery had been abandoned. There were no more Civil War veterans or their families in the area, no one was caring for it and there was no water for up-keep.

    Records show that American Legion Post 35 in Victor handled the requests for the headstones at the new burial sites in 1933, a few years after the actual removal of the graves. In the archive documents 24 headstone requests listed a name, but for some reason the names had been crossed out and replaced with the "Unknown" inscription. The remaining 23 headstones had been requested without any alteration to the documents, apparently true "Unknowns."

    Geddes surmises that the reason for the eight being buried in Victor is because they were thought to have been Victor residents even though their remains could not be positively identified.

  • From the Cripple Creek District Museum archives, courtesy Ed Hunter of Victor:
    In 1993, Carol E. Roberts wrote a letter to the National Archives inquiring about the GAR cemetery; she received a letter back stating there was no information about the cemetery. Roberts identified the cemetery as having been located in the NW 1/4 of Section 31, Township 15, Range 69W, located on "a part of mining claims, all under patent number 8777, called the Gettysburg, Appomattox, Red Cloud and Mother Lode." Roberts also verified the cemetery sat on the Stearns ranch "which was out toward Grouse Mountain."

    Wesley Primm, a former mortician of Victor, told Roberts that his father-in-law, who owned the McMillan Mortuary in Victor, was contracted to move the bodies from the GAR Cemetery to the Sunnyside Cemetery in Victor. A Cripple Creek mortician moved the majority of the bodies to Cripple Creek's Mount Pisgah Cemetery. Roberts also spoke with Elsie Akin, daughter of A.A. Stearns, who said she was present when the cemetery was emptied about 1920. Roberts concluded that all the bodies had been removed from the cemetery in its entirety.

    Locals occasionally inquire as to whether all of the bodies were completely exhumed from this burial ground. According to Victor historian Ed Hunter, the Cripple Creek & Victor Mine examined the cemetery site in approximately 1991 as part of its permitting process. At that time, a certified graveyard specialist was on hand and each grave was reexhumed to check for bodies. No bodies were found and the conclusion was that the cemetery in its entirety had been removed.

  • Some of the original graves at the GAR Cemetery, which were moved and reinterred at Mount Pisgah Cemetery, are as follows:
    O. Anderson; A. Berry; J. Brady or Belby; G. Branen, Beuner or Brines; J. Burrow; T. Bussey; S. Coor or Good; Alfred Cousins; J.C. Cunningham; --?-- David; L. Donnell; W.E. Dupree; --?-- Egbert; Edward Fachrell; J. Golsher; J.A. Keese; --?-- Libbey; W.R. McLaughlin; Thomas Peel; L.H. Ridge; William Schriver; T.L. Scott; and James S. Wright. Source: Teller County, Colorado, Church and Cemetery Records by Carol Loudermilk-Edwards (Westminster, Colo.: Carol Loudermilk-Edwards, 1983) (PPLD 929.378858 T274), p. 75.

    Locals have long maintained there is a cemetery at Goldfield. In recent years [2010], residents have also claimed to have found the cemetery, but this has not been verified. According to Sharman and Dave Straub, Richard N. Thurlow and a baby girl died in 1896 and are buried at the cemetery. The Straubs visited Goldfield in August 2008 and found two granite stones from the 1990s above Goldfield. A resident of Victor also described to the Straubs a clearing where the old cemetery was identified by wooden markers and crosses. The Straubs, however, were unable to locate the burial ground. (Thurlow family file, Cripple Creek District Museum).

    In addition, Duane Lankford, son of Mary Martha (nee Lago) Lankford who grew up in Goldfield, says his mother remembers a childhood friend who died circa 1909-1912 and was buried at Goldfield. The cemetery was at one time surrounded by a fence but it is now apparently gone; the child’s grave was marked by a wooden cross. (Lankford family file, Cripple Creek District Museum).

    Finally, Jeff Trenary of Cripple Creek recalls visiting the cemetery in the 1970s. During a 2009 trip to find it, however, Trenary was unable to pinpoint where it might have been due to changes in the landscape.

    Grave of Adolph Huffman
    The body of scissor grinder Adolph Huffman was found lodged against a large rock in West Beaver Creek “at a mile and a half below the little town of Love.” Coroner Dunn of Victor and two assistants were called to the body. Huffman was too decomposed to transport back to Victor for burial preparation, but documents in his pockets identified him. Dunn and his assistants placed the body in a coffin and buried it near the spot where it was found (Cripple Creek Morning Times, June 29, 1899, front page).

    Indian Burial Ground
    An Indian burial ground was located about three-fourths of a mile northwest of the town of Florissant in Section 2, Township 13 South, Range 71 West. Nothing remains.

    Grave of Mr. Johnson
    Single grave, date unknown, reported to be in the northwest quarter of Section 14, Township 13 South, Range 71 West, currently in the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. In June 2001, Florissant Fossil Beds personnel, including the head ranger, had never heard of this burial. Research by Walt Stark in 2002, including a survey on foot, had, to date, failed to turn up any clues to the identity of this person or the location of the grave.

    Love Cemetery, aka Beaver Creek Cemetery
    The community of Love was platted in 1892, but the area rapidly declined after 1901. Once on public land, the location of this cemetery is unknown, although it was probably near Love, which was in the southeast quarter of section 23 of Township 15 South, Range 69 West, just northwest of the reservoir currently there. This cemetery is not to be confused with the three Beaver Creek cemeteries close by in Fremont County. For additional information on cemeteries along Beaver Creek, see Sherry Johns’s book The Forgotten Cemeteries of Beaver Creek, (Penrose, Colo.: RRR Publications, 2009).

    In 2002, Mrs. Thelma Rathke Sheridan remembered that two babies of her father-in-law, Henry C. Rathke, were buried there--one by his wife Margaret and one by his wife Berniece. Also, "one or two Waters babies" were buried in Love Cemetery. Current Beaver Valley Ranch caretaker Carleton Brown hasn't seen a cemetery on the property near the remains of Love.

    Members of the Love family, original owners of the ranch at Love, may be buried there.

    McCALLISTER, Roy Harold
    Born: 27 DEC 1889 Died: 7 MAY 1897
    Source: Jan Collins, Cripple Creek District Museum, file on Love, Colo.; Ron Whitecotton, descendant of Roy. Family members are still trying to ascertain whether Roy was buried at Love or elsewhere.

    RATHKE, Harry
    Died: 1896 Comments: Age 8 months. Comments: Son of Henry Charles Rathke and Margaret (Conrad) or Berniece Rathke.
    Source:, Little Family History and Genealogy; Jan Collins, Cripple Creek District Museum, file on Love, Colo.

    RATHKE, Ray
    Born: 1902 Died: 1902
    Comments: Child of Henry Charles Rathke and Margaret (Conrad) or Berniece Rathke. Source:, Little Family History and Genealogy; Jan Collins, Cripple Creek District museum, file on Love, Colo.
    WATERS, Infants
    Comments: Two infants from the Waters family. Source: Jan Collins, Cripple Creek District Museum, file on Love, Colo.

    Love was the last community to officially debut in the Cripple Creek District, acquiring a post office in 1894. The tiny village was named for a nearby rancher's spread, located at the extreme east end of the Cripple Creek District. Although small, the community supported a school and a store. Most members of the community were ranchers, with the occasional miner taking up residence as well. Dairies and sawmills in the area also provided employment. The post office was discontinued July 5, 1902 (historical research by Jan Collins).

    Midland Cemetery
    From Highway 24, turn south at Divide on Highway 67 and drive 5.2 miles. The buildings on the left are what remain of the gold-rush town of Midland. According to GPS-derived geolocation (accurate to within 10 meters), Midland's general coordinates were 38°52'14.3"N and 105°09'34.3"W. In 2001 residents had never heard of a cemetery in the area. There were reportedly about six graves dating from 1892-95, but the location is unknown and records are unavailable. According to the City of Cripple Creek, Deadhorse Charlie is buried here.

    Rural Cemetery No. 1, possibly aka Colbert Cemetery
    When long-time Teller County resident Betty Burns moved to her home northwest of Florissant in 1961, she recalls being shown stone markers with a fence on a bluff near her home. She was told by Myrton Wright (1896-1985) and another person that they were the markers of a family who had died when their house was set afire during the night. Reportedly, the man of the household had found gold and hidden it behind a brick in the chimney. Either he revealed his secret while drunk, or the children of the family let it slip, and rogues came during the night and torched the house to get at the gold.

    Burns remembers markers for the parents of the Colbert family, as well as markers of two or three children. She also remembers the chimney of the house still standing in the early 1960s.

    Point of bluff, reported location of Colbert Cemetery, northwest of Florissant

    However, by the 1990s, the markers, fence, and chimney were completely gone. In 2002, she pointed out the bluff where the markers were. According to GPS-derived geolocation (accurate to within 10 meters), the coordinates are 38°57'08.4"N and 105°17'23.7"W. From Highway 24 at Florissant, turn north onto County Road 1, then left onto County Road 31. Turn right onto Wildhorn Road and drive about one-third of a mile. Turn left onto a private road and the bluff is on private property to your right.

    Colorado Cemetery Directory says this was an early cemetery and the last burials were made in the 1920s, but that no trace remains. If the Rural Cemetery No. 1 and the Colbert Cemetery are indeed the same cemeteries is unknown, but they are said to be in the same area. Dates of the Colbert family's residence and deaths are unknown.

    Infant at Reifenrath House
    The Reifenraths lived in a large two-story home along the old stage road between Love and Clyde. Locals who grew up there say an infant, possibly a stillborn, is buried near the house. There are also rumors the house may have at one time been a brothel. The home is on private ranch land and permission must be obtained to see it.

    Grave of Unknown Child
    The single grave of a child, name and date unknown, is reported to be near the town of Florissant in Sections 1 or 2, Township 13 South, Range 71 West. No further information is available.

    Grave of Unknown Man
    The single grave of a lumberman, name and date unknown, is reported to be near the townsite of Midland, about seven miles south of Divide. No further information is available.

    Old Victor Cemetery
    Leah Meyers, who grew up at the community of Clyde, has identified this cemetery as being located “west of the Sunnyside Cemetery. . . . The town of Victor started a garbage dump at or near the site of the old cemetery.” There were very few legible markers or stones standing approximately circa 1940. So far, one grave has been documented at this site:

    MEYERS, Glen “Baby Glenny”
    Born: circa 1911 Died: 24 DEC 1913
    Location: Goldfield
    Comments: Accidentally drank a bottle of chloroform, per communication with Alan Hobden, Jan Collins’s file on Clyde, Colo., and Celeste Black, Clyde (Cripple Creek, Colo.: BlackBear Publishing, 2005).