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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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12 November 2016

An afternoon in Victor (part 1)

Pat and I took a jaunt to Victor on October 10th, specifically to explore Sunnyside Cemetery. I have a fondness for old cemeteries. I think they're peaceful. This one didn't disappoint. We were the only visitors, so we had the place all to ourselves. The weather was beautiful and the view was magnificent.

If you've never been to Victor, you should go there sometime. Founded in 1891 and located about 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs, Victor reached its peak during the storied "Pikes Peak or Bust" Gold Rush years, with a population of 18,000 in 1899. Much of its "boom" can be attributed to Winfield Scott Stratton, a lowly carpenter who discovered gold in the hills around Victor and struck it rich. Stratton was a kind man who did good things with his newly acquired wealth. Colorado Springs was a great beneficiary of his largess (you can read about him HERE, if you want to know more). As the 20th century progressed, Victor's fortunes declined until it was nearly a ghost town. There are a few abandoned old mines still standing, looking like tattered scarecrows in the distance, but there's also a busy, modern day mine operating in Victor, the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine. It's nothing like the mines of a hundred years ago. You can see it for miles.

Victor currently has about 389 residents. It still has its old time-y western frontier town kind of look, just like what you see in the movies. Many of the buildings are empty but the town doesn't look deserted. I like Victor. I think it'd be nice to have a cabin there.

Enjoy these pictures of the cemetery. We had a nice time discovering its overgrown secrets and buried sorrows.
Some of the grave markers are so old and worn, there's no telling who lies beneath them.
"Twins Baby Boy & Girl and Gilbert Banks".
There's a large plot dedicated to unknown soldiers. As you can see from the flowers, they still receive their respects, probably on Memorial Day each May.
This one was interesting. The wooden marker had long ago lost its lettering, so I don't know who's buried there. There's a mortsafe over the grave. I thought mortsafes were largely used only in Scotland, with a few in England (and no they weren't used to keep the dead from becoming vampires -- that's an urban legend). It's very interesting to see one in an old graveyard in tiny Victor. I'm extremely curious!
"Daughter of I.S. & Lily Cartley, Died Aug. 12, 1899, Aged 2 Months." I looked in vain for the baby's name until I noticed the bas relief letters on the top surface of the gravestone. They were so worn by time and the elements as to be unreadable, so I took a picture in hopes that I could decipher them at home.
Can you read it? It says Cleo Inez.
This grave marker is for a family (or at least a couple of individuals) named Phillips, one of whom was born in October of 1899 and only lived seven days, it looks like. The other inscription indicates a one year old, but it's hard to read so I can't be sure. I'm assuming the parents are also memorialized on the other two faces of this stone.
The final resting place of Roy William Falk. Quite a few of the graves had these cribs around them. Very Victorian.
"Maggie Daily, Beloved Wife of Frank Daily, Died Jan. 1, 1900, Age 22 Yrs 11 Mos 10 D."
There are a few modern graves in Sunnyside Cemetery. This one is from last October and was the newest one I saw. I'm sure his loved ones visited him yesterday, Veterans Day. There is a large, well kept plot dedicated to this family, the Roy-Meyers clan.
"Mary E. Wilhelm, 1861-1908." What an amazing view Ms. Wilhelm has for all of eternity. I told Pat  off the cuff that if I end up buried in a cemetery when I die, I want it to be this one, even though it's old and overgrown and a little forlorn. It's so, so beautiful and peaceful in this place.

Tomorrow is Sunday Style as usual, but I'll post more Sunnyside Cemetery pictures on Monday.


William Kendall said...

The graves of children particularly pull at you, even if you don't have children. I had a similar reaction to a wreath at our War Memorial last evening, placed there in memory of a seventeen year old killed in action during the First World War- my gut reaction were the words "just a kid."

Tamera said...

William I agree. It's heartbreaking to contemplate!