Oracle Cemetery Identification Project asks for help from public

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Rock structure where map will be located.
John Hernandez | Miner

Cathy Ellis points out worn grave and headstone.
John Hernandez | Miner

San Manuel Miner

A group of volunteers has taken on the task of identifying unmarked graves, cleaning up, and maintaining the Oracle Cemetery. Gloria and Reg Ramsay have been involved in keeping up the cemetery for years. They are now working with other volunteers to gather a list of everyone known to be buried in the Oracle Cemetery. There are many unmarked graves including those of what appear to be infants or children. The members of the Oracle Cemetery Identification Project are trying to find out who is buried in unmarked graves and identify those whose headstones have been worn by the elements so badly they cannot be read.

The project started as a clean up project about a year and a half ago. Members of the local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints have been involved in the cleaning. Lorin McCrae decided to locate a grave with GPS coordinates. They are now planning to map the cemetery and give each gravesite a GPS number. Each grave that is identified will be given a number. There will be stakes driven into the gravesite with temporary markers and if the deceased is identified their name will be added to the marker and map. The map will be located in the roofed rock structure at the entrance of the cemetery. This will make it easier for friends and relatives of the deceased to find the grave. It will also assist genealogists and historians in their research.

Noted historical author Catherine Ellis has been helping to identify gravesites and researching death records to find out who is buried in the cemetery. She said the history of the cemetery is interesting. In the 1880s through the early 1900s, people who died in Oracle were buried in Tucson at Holy Hope or Evergreen cemeteries or had their bodies shipped to other parts of the country or Mexico where they were originally from. The first known person to be buried in the area that is now known as the Oracle Cemetery was Andres Castillo in 1911. He was a Mexican working for Lavinia Steward. His body was found on a trail in Oracle. Steward took care of the burial arrangements and purchased the headstone. Soon others began to bury family members in the area. It may have not been a deeded cemetery at the time as town site problems had not been settled.

The Cemetery Grave Identification Project needs help from the public. They are asking anyone that knows who is buried in an unmarked grave or in a grave with an unreadable headstone to write the name on the temporary marker. If you disagree with the name that is on a temporary marker please let them know by calling Gloria Ramsay 520-896-2505 or Cathy Ellis 520-896-3226.

John Hernandez (263 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    CAC Science Club has fun outing to the Reid Park Zoo

    May 20th, 2015
    by

    Copper Area News It could not have been a more pleasant day to visit the Reid Park Zoo for the Central Arizona College (CAC) Science Club and Biology group who


    Ray seniors earn thousands in scholarships

    May 20th, 2015
    by

    Copper Basin News Thousands of dollars in scholarships and awards were presented to Ray High School graduating seniors last week during the 2015 Scholarship and Awards program held in the


    Lobo athletes honored at sports banquet

    May 20th, 2015
    by

    Hayden High School honored its 2014-15 student-athletes at its annual Athletic Banquet, which was held on Tuesday, May 11, 2015 in the school gymnasium.


    Hayden’s Top Students

    May 20th, 2015
    by

    Hayden High School this year named Jacob Manriquez as Valedictorian and Gabriel Mariscal as Salutatorian. Both young men will speak to family, friends and faculty on Friday, May 22, at 7


  • Stories Just For You

    CAC graduates 16 from Aravaipa Campus

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Central Arizona College hosted a consolidated graduation at Signal Peak in Coolidge, but officials were able to gather the local graduates from Aravaipa Campus for a photo.


    Superior High School honors student-athletes at sports awards banquet

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Superior Sun Superior Sun Superior Jr. High Athletic Director Ryan Palmer emceed the Panthers’ annual Sports Awards Banquet, which took place on May 7, 2015 at the school.


    Optimist host annual honor roll banquet

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    The Superior Optimist Club hosted its annual honor roll banquet on Friday.


    San Manuel track and field athletes compete at state track meet

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    San Manuel Miner Track & Field athletes from the both the Miners boys’ and girls’ teams competed at the Division IV State Track & Field Meet, which took place on


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather