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 (646 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.

  • Additional Stories

    Annual Fiesta de la Primavera to be held this weekend in San Manuel

    April 13th, 2018
    by

       St. Bartholomew’s annual Fiesta de la Primavera promises something for everyone this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. at Park […]


    Kearny Glass & Mirror business to be featured on Gas Monkey Garage Rehab

    April 13th, 2018
    by

       Jennifer and Owen O’Brien are the latest owners of Kearny Glass & Mirror. The company has been in business […]


    Kelly Haddad to be honored Friday; admin building in Kearny to be renamed

    April 13th, 2018
    by

      The late Kelly Haddad, a long time Justice of the Peace and political figure in Pinal County, is being […]


    Annual horseshoe tourney set for Saturday in San Manuel – all throwers welcome

    April 13th, 2018
    by

       The annual Fiesta de la Primavera horseshoe tournament is April 14 at the St. Bartholomew Horseshoe Arena, Park Ave. and Main […]


  • Additional Stories

    Arizona Trail hikers, runners and riders attempt 800 miles in a single day

    April 13th, 2018
    by

    TUCSON, Arizona—On Saturday Oct. 6, 2018 more than one thousand people will participate in AZT IN A DAY throughout the […]


    Oracle Horse Owners Evacuation Preparation Group to meet April 12

    April 12th, 2018
    by

      Do you live in Oracle? Do you own horses?   If you answered yes to both questions, ask yourself […]


    Hayden’s Bohrn, Valencia earn AzNFF honors

    April 9th, 2018
    by

      Hayden High School seniors Robert Bohrn and Frankie Valencia, members of the Lobo football team, were honored by the […]


    Two children found dead in vehicle

    March 27th, 2018
    by

        Homicide detectives from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office were called in to assist the Superior Police Monday night […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger