1. The Lost Graves of Denver
Did you know that Cheesman Park in Denver used to be a massive cemetery? Originally a 320-acre hillside plot on the edge of the city, urban population growth slowly consumed the surrounding area, which led to the cemetery space being repurposed. Once filled with the remains of early pioneers, the decision to move the bodies to a new location was made in 1890. Most of the marked graves of wealthier inhabitants were easily found and moved, while the sections for the poor, the unclaimed, or criminals weren’t treated with quite as much dignity. The person in charge of removing the bodies was given a per casket price, which led to him filling smaller child-sized caskets with the mix of remains as more caskets moved meant more money.
Unfortunately, the man paid to handle digging up the bodies hadn’t been paid to refill the graves. This meant that countless unsightly holes started to pop up, raising a public outcry that eventually resulted in the city dissolving the contract with their gravedigger. The gravedigger packed up and left, leaving thousands of graves and a collection of human remains behind. The city eventually flattened out the land and made it look pretty again, transforming the space into Cheesman Park, the Denver Botanical Gardens, and City Park...but they didn’t remove the rest of the remains. Today, tons of people enjoy these places not knowing about their darker past...that is,until the occasional bone creeps up
. According to some, you can still see where the graves once were in the grass on the brightest of nights.
Photo Credit: david_shankbone (Flickr)
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