COBWEB CORNERS: The forgotten cemetery

By Mel McFarland

       Several years ago I was involved in an investigation on the site of Colorado City's cemetery. Story was, all those buried there had been moved to either Fairview or Evergreen. Not so. There are still indications of burials there!
       Some of you may already know where I am talking about. For the others, here is a bit of its history.
       The exact date the cemetery was started is unknown, but it is assumed to be about 1860. Up until Colorado City became part of Colorado Springs in 1917, it was in use. The Fairview cemetery over off 26th Street was more popular, because it was where everyone could see it. The Pioneer cemetery, as it was known, was not located where many saw it every day.
       In the 1930s, there were regular questions about closing it and removing the graves, but the city did not have the money for it. Even then the fence protecting it was gone, cattle roamed the area, and tombstones were often knocked down. Only on Memorial Day did it see any activity.
       Eventually, there were few family members left of those buried there. Some were cowboys, miners who had given up on Cripple Creek, ladies of the night, and others, more respected in the community.
       In the 1940s, someone removed the remains of any tombstones that could be found.
       By the 1950s, the site was forgotten by most. It was part of a piece of land to be developed, but there was a problem. You can not just build on a cemetery! Moving the remaining graves, almost all of which were now unknown, was out of the question. The solution: Make it a park.
       Today the ground is a little flatter than in the old days. Fill was brought in to ease the hillside and make it easier to use as a park. There is a marker to the original use of the land, but few take the time to read it.
       There was talk once of putting buildings, even a swimming pool in the park, but others objected because of the graves. Graves, what graves? This generation did not even know about them. They are still there, and some of us know what Pioneer Park up on the mesa is... and was.