Cheeseman Park Feat






A Brief History of Cheesman Park!

A local Denver park has a very interesting but slightly spooky past. What is currently the home to 80.7 acres of park space, the Botanic Gardens, and The Cheesman Pavilion at one point was the largest cemetery in the Denver area.


Mount Prospect Cemetery opens. The first burial occurs one year later.


Mount Prospect Cemetery is renamed Denver City Cemetery after the land is discovered to be Federal property and sold to the City of Denver for $200.


The cemetery enters into a great state of disrepair among some of the city’s most valuable real estate.


Congress authorizes the city to vacate Mount Prospect Cemetery and it was renamed Congress Park in recognition Congress granting this authority. Families were given 90 days to remove the remains of the deceased.


The City of Denver awards a contract to undertaker E.P. McGovern to remove the 5,000, unclaimed remains. McGovern was to provide a coffin for each body and transfer it to the Riverside Cemetery at a cost of $1.90 each. McGovern found a way to make a larger profit with the contact by using multiplechild-sized caskets for each set of remains (you can assume how this might be done).

The Health Commissioner immediately began an investigation into the matter and as a result, Mayor Rogers terminated the contract. A new contract was never awarded.


Grading and leveling began in preparation for the park although several of the open graves still were not filled.


The work on the park is completed without ever having moved the rest of the bodies. Cheesman Park is officially opened to the public. The park is named after Denver pioneer Walter Cheesman whose family donated the funds for the pavilion.


During initial construction of a new parking structure for the Denver Botanic Gardens between York and Josephine Streets human bones and parts of coffins were unearthed.

Today an estimated 2,000 bodies remain buried in Cheesman Park. There is no questioning the spooky and eery fact that this park is still technically a “resting place” for many “permanent” residents. However, what once was the venue for an often disheartening and sad process is now the home to exercise, fun, relaxation, and a place to appreciate nature within the city limits.

Let’s respect those before us by respecting what we have in front of us.

Chessman park is located between Humboldt St and Race St, and between 13th Ave and 8th Ave near Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

#Denver #Colorado #CapitolHill #Cemetery #CheesmanPark #Colfax #WonderCrate #LocalWonder

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