Columbia Cemetery (Boulder, Colorado)
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.
Backstory and Context
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.