New Castle’s Highland Cemetery gets a new sign |

New Castle’s Highland Cemetery gets a new sign

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
New Castle News

Longtime New Castle resident Mike Miller has both volunteered and been on salary at New Castle’s Highland Cemetery for many years, surveying, locating graves, fixing markers and landscaping. He has done more than anybody to help maintain the cemetery.

Over the years, the cemetery has seen much disrepair, and Miller took it upon himself to add new respect to the old graveyard.

Most of the funding for Mike’s efforts came from the New Castle Historical Society. The town gave money for some of the salary, but it was the Historical Society that held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser last fall, raising $1,300 for materials for the creation of the new entry sign.

When the Lakota Canyon Ranch was developed, the old path up to the cemetery was eliminated. Now one must drive through the middle of Lakota to reach the cemetery (the old road has golf carts running on it). A new entry was carved, but the old gateway sign remains over at the other side, so Miller designed and built a new sign at the east end where the new road is. The attractive piece is made of wrought iron and rock, with the Highland Cemetery name and 1888 – the year the cemetery was created – on the sign. It is located beside the new entry, not across it.

Miller has been working on the new sign all winter at his residence. Some of the lettering, depending on the intricacy of the specific letter, has been done by local artisans.

Support Local Journalism

More work is planned for the entryway, including decorative rock to be placed around the base.

The sign dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day) at the new sign on the east side.

“Mike is the posterboy for volunteers in New Castle,” declared New Castle Historical Society President Charlie Ringer. “He is always doing something on his own to benefit the community, and rarely gets or even accepts recognition. Highland Cemetery would be pretty much a wasteland without his energy and attention.”

As part of National Trails Day, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) will host a trail work day Saturday, June 5, on the new Elk Creek Trail in New Castle.

A new section of trail will be constructed along lower Elk Creek to link the existing Rollie Gordon Trail to Main Street in beautiful downtown New Castle. Volunteers will move and cut back brush and cut a new 36-inch wide trail along the river corridor. The project also includes rearranging river rock to create the new one-quarter mile trail.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers and its project partner, the town of New Castle, will provide tools, materials, leadership, and some great rewards, including dinner at the end of the day. To volunteer, log on to, e-mail, or call 927-8241.

American Hiking Society sponsors National Trails Day to inspire the public and trail enthusiasts to seek out trails to discover and celebrate.

– Kay Vasilakis’ “New Castle News” column appears every other Thursday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. To contact her for a possible mention of a positive local event or news item, please e-mail or call 618-6689.

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User