By Prof. Annette Stott PhD
As pioneers tried to settle and civilize the “Wild West,” cemeteries grew to become vital cultural facilities. jam-packed with carved wood headboards, inscribed neighborhood stones, and Italian marble statues, cemeteries functioned as symbols of balance and growth towards a European-inspired imaginative and prescient of happen future. As repositories of paintings and historical past, those pioneer cemeteries inform the tale of groups and visible tradition rising jointly in the constructing panorama of the outdated West. Annette Stott lines this tale via Rocky Mountain cities at the western frontier, from the unkempt “boot hills” of the early mining camps and farm animals settlements to the extra sophisticated “fair mounts.” She exhibits how humans from Asia, Europe, and the Americas contributed to the visible personality of the mountain cemeteries, and the way the sepulchral backyard functioned as an open-air gallery of public sculpture, right now a domain for rest, studying, and social ritual. the following, common participation in various ceremonies introduced mountain groups including a frequency nearly unbelievable this day. Illustrated with eighty-three impressive pictures, this booklet exhibits how the pioneer cemetery emerged as a website of public sculpture and cultural transmission during which every one carved or molded monument performed twin (and occasionally conflicting) private and non-private roles, recording the community’s heritage and values whereas memorializing contributors and occasions. (20081209)
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Extra info for Pioneer Cemeteries: Sculpture Gardens of the Old West
Families and individuals bought the monuments they wanted or could afford, making the aggregate result a true reﬂection of community taste. People were limited only by personal ﬁnances and the rules that cemetery associations put in place to 17 5. This anonymous highrelief granite sculpture of an angel, either comforting a mourner or escorting a new soul to heaven, adorns the Greek stelai-style monument on the family plot of millionaire dry goods merchant William Garrett Fisher in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado.
The previously mentioned six unmarked graves discovered by ladies seeking ﬂowers probably date from this era before a town had commenced. In 1877 there were only six log cabins and perhaps two hundred people in the gulch. 19 12 From Boot Hill to Fair Mount Lacking sufﬁcient shelter to cope with such a rapid inﬂux, men paid to sleep in eight-hour shifts on beds of straw strewn on the dirt ﬂoor of canvas tents. Disease was common. Rich silver deposits invited claim jumping and murder. The impromptu police force was often inadequate to the task.
Prescott supplied several monuments for Elkhorn’s diphtheria victims, including this marble arch for young Beatrice and Clara Roberts, who died within a month of each other in 1889. Their parents had the arch inscribed: “Here rests the sweetest buds of hope,” an expression of the lost future. Elkhorn Cemetery, Elkhorn, Montana. this mining camp during its ﬁrst two years of existence. ”9 Extreme cold, heavy snows, lack of adequate shelter, nonexistent sanitation, and the scarcity of medicine and doctors all contributed to a range of fatal diseases.