Category Archives: Historic Cemeteries

Historical Society now owns Wickenburg gravesites

Three years after resident Nicki Hamilton protested the condition of the Henry Wickenburg gravesite, some progress has been made. The town put the hillside cemetery up for auction on Oct. 16, and the Wickenburg Historical Preservation Society was the successful bidder. The deed requires the Society to apply for listing to both State and National Historical Registers, to install security fencing and signage, to restore what is now a dirt walkway, and to perform periodic maintenance. An APS power pole must first be moved from the property because it hinders legal access to the site. That alone will cost close to $8,000. With future support from the Vi Wellik foundation uncertain at this time, the project will need the assistance of many.

Plantings will be added, the walkway should be paved, and some of the graves are worn and need repair. Maintenance volunteers are sought, and an American flag from the period would be appropriate, if it can be located. (Henry Wickenburg died in 1905.) The hill where Wickenburg and some of his friends are buried is located off of Howard Court and Adams Street near Boetto Park. Anyone interested in preserving this important part of Wickenburg history is invited to send a tax-deductible contribution, which may be eligible for a matching grant, to the WHPS, P.O. Box 1341, Wickenburg, AZ 85358. Mark the check for the “Henry Wickenburg Cemetery Project”.

Historic Prescott cemetery getting new protection from vandals

[Source: Joanna Dodder Nellans, Daily Courier] — A group of volunteers took their first step recently to ensure the safety of a piece of Prescott’s history. Fourteen years after its creation, the Yavapai Cemetery Association has raised enough money to start putting up sections of fence to protect the historic Citizens Cemetery along Sheldon Street better from vandalism. Records show 2,750 people were buried here between 1864 and 1939 when it filled up, and many more remain unlisted.

For the first 40 years, no map of the cemetery existed, association president Pat Atchison said. A call for information went out, but, by then, much of the personal information was lost to time. The map shows hundreds of graves as “unknown.” Until the Cemetery Association came along 14 years ago, the county-owned cemetery was in disrepair, Atchison said. When volunteers cleared out bushes and weeds, it became less vulnerable to vandalism. But by then, only 845 of the burials still had some sort of headstone. “It just seems a shame, because once that’s gone, it’s just one less thing about that person that’s still on the face of the earth,” Atchison said. “And it’s the history of Prescott.”

To contribute to the fence fund, donors may send checks to the Yavapai Cemetery Association, 201 S. Pleasant St., Prescott, AZ 86303. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Jo. L. Keener, Daily Courier.]