Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rolling Hills Cemetery

Perhaps if the local cemeteries were closer to my home, I might have walked them. I did explore a couple of historic ones during my short stays up in Victoria BC, including an old Chinese site overlooking the Sound. But I've never been one who is really into burial grounds. To my surprise, it turns out my son-in-law is.

We discovered the desolate- looking, overgrown Rolling Hills cemetery as we parked on Ruger Drive for the big airshow Sunday. Later SIL queried The Google and turned up this background:

"The cemetery is a product of the Great Depression. In 1933 Lester Lee Ruffner saw the need for inexpensive burial plots and made land available to residents who could not afford burial plots elsewhere. Thus Rolling Hills was established and burial sites were sold for between $5.00 and $10.00. According to sources found, most burials occurred between 1933 and 1950. In Ruffner’s records burial #1 is that of Andre Kavacs with a burial date of 16 June 1933, and the cemetery was called Granite View. Shortly thereafter the name was changed to “Rolling Hills”. It appears the burials were segregated according to their race.

"In about 1956, Lester Ward “Budge” Ruffner deeded the cemetery land to the city of Prescott with the provision that there be no more burials unless in already purchased plots. An April 2, 1958 motion in the minutes of the city council prohibited further burials. At the present time (1993) a portion of the cemetery is on private ranch land owned by the James family. The cemetery was never surveyed or platted, so no one can be sure how many people are buried there."

All this according to Which doesn't mention that the Ruffner family owned the major local funeral home at the time.

And the SIL's research also turned up all the tombstone pics you could want at an Arizona gravestone site! If you are interested in old local cemeteries, see if you can locate the little Cedar Glade site up near Old 89 and Hell Canyon -- a nice back country outing!

Another is along Iron Springs Road as you approach Skull Valley. And, of course, the big historic Citizens Cemetery is just south of Sheldon Street near the Yavapai College entrance.


Lane said...

Ah yes, this blog reminded me of my iris thieving days in the old Prescott cemetary...the one which changed its entrance from one end to the other, putting the Chinese (I believe) in the front rather than the back. The iris did not survive back here, but look like they are quite happy adorning grave and path alike up there!

Granny J said...

Too bad about the iris -- must be your moist climate! As for the sin of stealing them -- abandoned iris are ubiquitous in Prescott. Sometimes these survivors are all that remains of a long-gone house.

Lane said...

Well, they sure have won out in your graveyard. Actually, iris and I are not really good buddies. I love the look of them, and one year your mom bought me $75 worth of fancy babies...of which maybe 2 survived over at Gardens Oy Vey (Wolfgang and Diane's - google em!) but I have some invasive yellow buddies that do pretty well, and I don't mind 'invasive' from them... and a white or purple (which I think came from your ma's previous abode)

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