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Denver Area Cemeteries

Historical Background

Finding the cemetery where your relatives are buried in the Denver area can be a challenge. The earliest cemeteries, Mount Prospect and Acacia, have been moved and their records have not survived. To complicate matters, death records in Denver were not required until 1900 and they were not consistently recorded until about 1925. A list of Denver cemeteries is shown to the right.

Mount Prospect was the first organized cemetery in Denver. It was located on an old Arapahoe Indian burial ground, today this area is known as Cheesman Park. This site was selected by William Larimer and William Clancey during the winter of 1858-1859. The Kansas Territorial Legislature granted a charter on February 27, 1860. Jack O'Neill, a victim of a gunfight, was the first burial on March 30, 1859. The cemetery was eventually divided into sections for Roman Catholic burials (Mount Calvary), Masonic and Improved Order of Odd Fellows, Jewish (Hebrew Burying and Prayer Ground) and Mount Prospect or Prospect Hill. Mount Prospect, later called City Cemetery, had areas set aside for burials of paupers, Chinese, and members of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War Union veterans organization.

In 1872 the City of Denver applied to Congress for title to the land. On November 15, 1873 Denver gained ownership and Mount Prospect became City Cemetery. Riverside Cemetery opened in 1876 and burials in City Cemetery declined. In 1890 Denver was granted permission by Congress to use the land for a park. In 1893 burials were ordered stopped and 788 bodies were removed to Riverside Cemetery. In August 1893 the Denver Park Commission gave notice that families had 90 days to remove their loved ones' remains and that after that time no bodies were to be removed as the entire area would be planted in grass. About 4,200 bodies from City Cemetery remain beneath the sod of Cheesman Park.

Mount Calvary was the Roman Catholic section of Mount Prospect and later City Cemetery. In 1890 Denver was granted permission to use the cemetery lands for a park and the Diocese of Denver secured an injunction preventing enforcement of the order against their property. The last burial in Mount Calvary was in 1908. In 1891 Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge opened and many of the bodies from Mount Calvary were removed there. In 1950 the remaining 8,600 bodies were removed to Mount Olivet. Today this is the site of the Denver Botanic Gardens.

The Jewish section was known as Hebrew Burying and Prayer Ground. The local Jewish congregations did not hold title to their section and were not able to prevent the closure of the cemetery. In 1896 the Hebrew Cemetery Association purchased a section known as Emanuel in Riverside Cemetery. In 1911 Congregation Emanuel purchased 15 acres within Fairmount Cemetery, also called Emanuel. In 1923 the Jewish Cemetery Committee reported that removals from the Hebrew Burying and Prayer Ground had been completed.

Acacia Cemetery, located in the town of Highland between what is now 29th and 32nd Avenues and Tejon and Zuni Streets, was purchased in 1866 by Union Masonic Lodge No. 7, Denver Masonic Lodge No. 5, and Denver Chapter No. 12, Royal Arch Masons. The cemetery was opened and lots were sold in May of 1867. The southwest quarter of the tract was sold to the Improved Order of Odd Fellows, I.O.O.F. The cemetery was open until the late 1870s when the bodies were removed to City Cemetery. In 1872 sections for the Masons and Odd Fellows were set aside in City Cemetery. In 1893 the bodies were again moved, this time to Riverside Cemetery. In 1881 the entire tract of Acacia Cemetery was sold to George Tritch who filed a plat under the name of the "Union Addition" in the City of Denver.

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Arvada
Established 1889
5581 Independence St.
Arvada, CO 80002
303-422-5424

Hampden Olinger
Established 1963
8600 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO 80231
303-771-4636
Chapel Hill Olinger
Established 1951
6601 S. Colorado Blvd.
Littleton, CO 80121
303-771-3960

Highland Olinger
Established 1951
10201 North Grant St.
Thornton, CO 80233
303-451-6674
Crown Hill Olinger
Established 1907
7777 W. 29th Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80215
303-233-4611

Littleton
Established 1864
6155 S. Prince
Littleton, CO 80120
303-794-0373
Eastlawn Olinger
Established 1959
19600 Smith Road
Aurora, CO 80231
303-771-4636

Mount Lindo Olinger
Established 1963
5928 South Turkey Creek Road
Morrison, CO 80465
303-697-2011

Fairmount
Established 1890
430 S. Quebec St.
Denver, CO 80231
303-399-0692

Mount Nebo (Jewish)
Established 1902
11658 E. Colfax Ave.
Aurora, CO 80010
303-366-8264
Fort Logan National
Established 1889
3698 S. Sheridan Blvd
Denver, CO 80235
303-761-0117

Mount Olivet (Catholic) Established 1891
12801 West 44th Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
303-424-7785
Golden
Established 1873
Highway 6th and Ulysses
Golden, CO 80401
303-279-1435

Riverside
Established 1876
5201 Brighton Blvd.
Denver, CO 80216
303-293-2466
Golden Hill (Jewish)
Established 1908
12000 W. Colfax Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80215
303-237-0573

Rose Hill (Jewish)
Established 1892
6841 E. 62 Ave.
Commerce City, CO 80022
303-288-1414

 

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Updated: June 25, 2013