Sunday, July 11, 2010
Alma Study Group Tours Buckskin Gulch July 10, 2010
The Buckskin Cemetery is located about 1.2 miles west of the Town of Alma just off Park County Rd. 10. The wooded cemetery's graves are located without much organization. Some grave markers predate the dedication of the land by President Roosevelt in 1902. A number of graves are marked only with 2 sticks tied together to create a crude cross, others are unmarked, and some have granite or marble headstones inside metal or wooden fencing. Originally, the cemetery was the last stop for people who had lived in the town of Buckskin or worked in Buckskin Gulch.
According to legend a smallpox epidemic struck Buckskin. Overnight the miners and their families became very sick. Wagons hauled the dead each day to the cemetery. Business stood still and the saloons were silent. There was a desperate need to tend the sick. A dance hall girl that never gave her real name, but was known as Silverheels, met that need and went from cabin to cabin caring for the sick and dying. Those who survived were left with pitted and scarred faces. Silverheels was soon overtaken by smallpox and was in turn cared for by the surviving townspeople.