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Boulder's oldest cemetery was established by the city's Masonic Columbia Lodge (#14) in 1870. The Masonic Lodge had determined in 1867 that the growing city was in dire need of a cemetery. For many years it was considered a "disgrace" because despite all those employed to care for the grounds, the cemetery was barely cared for and was overrun with weeds and trash. It took much time in the early 1900s to restore the cemetery. Of those many prominent Boulderiates buried within are: Boulder's first librarian, Clara Savory, members of the Sand Creek Massacre, early Boulder pioneer, Andrew Macky, veterans from both sides of the Civil War, and Tom Horn (legendary scout, soldier, Pinkerton Detective, gun and murderer of at least 17 people-convicted for the murder of a 14-year old boy). It is fully restored, active and considered an historic treasure of Boulder.


  • Main gate of cemetery- "Pioneer Gate"
  • Tom Horn not long before his execution
  • Tom Horn's gravesite within cemetery
  • Boulder residents in cemetery circa 1880s-1890s
  • Satellite image of cemetery
  • Late 1880s photo of cemetery. Courtesy of the University library at the University of Colorado

Members of the Masonic Columbia Lodge 14, determined in 1867 that Boulder was in need of a cemetery. In 1870, the same lodge saw that one was established where it stands today. Throughout the 1880s-early 1900s the cemetery, however, was poorly cared for, despite all those employed to care for the grounds. Overgrown with weeds, trash, and even used as a grazing area for cattle by ranchers, the cemetery was deemed a "disgrace" by city leaders and public. The bad publicity fueled motivation to repair the damage done, and the lodge was able to set aside some profit for management. However, it would not be until 1912 until such a transformation would take place. Until then, a new cemetery was established, and many buried in Columbia were entered to the new one. 

When the transformation took place in 1912, it was heralded by the media. Over the next few years, parts of the cemetery were transferred over to the city's Park Cemetery Association, who took over management, and more competently than the Masonic Lodge was able to fully do. In 1966, the city of Boulder took over control of the cemetery. However, the city's Parks and Recreations department did not care for the responsibility, so the city for over a decade sought to make it an historic landmark in order to get funding and personnel to run and care for the cemetery. The endeavor was successful in 1977. In the 1990s, the cemetery went under significant restoration work. Today over 6,500 are buried in the cemetery. 

Of those buried include:
-Tom Horn- Famed scout, soldier, Pinkerton Detective, hired gun and murderer. He was hung for the murder of a 14-year old boy
-Clara Savory- Boulder's first librarian
-Andrew Macky- Early pioneer of Boulder
-“Rocky Mountain Joe” Sturtevant- Famed photographer of the Rockies
-Mary Rippon- First female professor at the University of Colorado 
-Marinus Smith- Significant contributor to the University of Colorado
-Union and Confederate veterans of the Civil War
-Latino, African-American, Japanese, Swedish, French, Greek, and German immigrants to Boulder.