Fifth annual cemetery tour puts twist on history

Volunteers from a previous year's efforts at the Fairview Cemetery pose for a group picture
Volunteers from a previous year’s efforts at the Fairview Cemetery pose for a group picture

“Fountain, a Place of Opportunity” will be the theme of the fifth annual Historic Cemetery Tour in Fountain, which again this year will get a big assist from two UCCS history classes.

The cemetery tour happens 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 1 at Fairview Cemetery, 757 S. Santa Fe Ave., Fountain.

The Fountain Fairview Cemetery Benevolent Society (FFFC) works closely with UCCS students to make the tour happen.

Students enrolled in Barbara Headle’s course, “The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries and American History,” along with Amy Haines’ course, “The American West”, will volunteer to interpret and preserve the history of the cemetery.

“We’re tying it in with the 19th-century notions of the West as the land of opportunity (the old saw “Go West Young Man” comes to mind),” Headle said. “Opportunity, however, meant different things to different people; for example, in the presanitorium era, tuberculosis patients and doctors believed fresh air alone was reason enough to take long sea voyages or go west.”

Attendees can expect a guided tour through the historic cemetery, where students and members of the FFFC will give short presentations through six stations. Each tour lasts approximately one hour.

“Cemeteries are more than places to bury the dead. Cemeteries hold the history and heart of a community,” Headle said.

Anyone who is interested in community history, history of the American West, or wanting to support UCCS students is welcome. The FFFC hopes to raise $10,000 in ticket sales and donations to preserve, conserve, and protect historic local graves.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5  for senior citizens, students and military. Children ages 12 and  younger are free. Tickets are available at the gate.

Visit FFFC’s Facebook page for more information, or email Kimberly Sweetwood with additional questions about the event.

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