Linwood Cemetery scaring up funds
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – News of proposed improvements to the historic Linwood Cemetery has spread far and wide, prompting philanthropists from across the country to pledge support.
“It received national attention,” said Cindy Cochran, director of the Frontier Historical Museum. “We’ve gotten three e-mails or phone calls from people who want to donate money. One lady claimed she is Doc Holliday’s distant cousin.”
Word of the planned improvements was broadcast on the statewide television news and the nationwide Weather Channel, she said.
The cemetery, perched on a hill on the east side of Glenwood Springs, featuring infamous gambler and gunslinger John “Doc” Holliday’s tombstone, is the third-most-visited tourist attraction in Glenwood Springs, Cochran said.
But it has sustained heavy damage from water runoff and a general lack of upkeep. Water running across the surface of the cemetery during the spring snowmelt and rainstorms has taken nearly two feet of topsoil from some of the grave sites.
Cochran and members of the Linwood Cemetery Committee plan to remedy the situation during the next several years.
Their plan includes cleaning up the area, trimming back bushes and branches, filling in holes, putting together a new drainage system, rebuilding the fence and entrance, revamping the trail and installing interpretive signs.
They may also seek families to adopt headstones and gravesites occupied by deceased people who no longer have family in the area.
“We put together a committee,” Cochran said. The committee’s first meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, at the Frontier Historical Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave.
Along with offers of money, Cochran said the Frontier Historical Society has been offered topsoil from a local company to fill holes and regrade the eroded areas, as well as the services of a local landscaper.
“Really the only thing we haven’t been offered is an engineer to create a plan for erosion control,” she said.
Cochran will seek grants to pay for some of the improvements, but first she is crossing her fingers that the city’s Historic Preservation Commission will accept her application to designate the cemetery as a local historic landmark. If it receives landmark status, the cemetery will be eligible to receive grants from the Colorado Historical Society.
Linwood Cemetery and the Cardiff Schoolhouse are the first two sites that preservationists hope to protect with landmark status.
The first work day to upgrade the cemetery is planned for Saturday, May 17.
“We’re going to basically have people come up and clean it up,” Cochran said. “It should be kind of a fun day.”
For more information on how to become involved with the cemetery upgrade, call the Frontier Historical Society at 945-4448.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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